TDS is the mother-daughter fashion brand that has taken over Instagram. Fashion bloggers across the world have become obsessed with their signature furry bombers, and it's no surprise that the internet murmurings were turned into up-roar when Suki Waterhouse and subsequently Vogue jumped in on the action. Their pieces are simple, beautifully made and highly relevant to today's fashion climate.
What makes TDS so unique, however, isn't their immaculate designs or handmade quality, but the fact that the business is run by mum Sally and her daughter, Lettie. We spoke with the pair to learn about the ups and downs of working with the most important lady in your life.
How did TDS first come about?
TDS came about during my second year of university. People would stop and ask me where my clothes were from and couldn't believe it when I told them my mum made it. I decided to create an Instagram account and post photos of her designs, 'behind the scenes' photos of fabric swatches and sketches. This then became a 'shop front' and we told small collections of fluffy cardigans/sweatshirts from Instagram only.
Explain your different roles within the company to us?
My Mum is a wonderful designer. She lectured in fashion for over 20 years so she's the real creator of TDS as she makes all of the jackets. My skills are in photographing and marketing.
Lettie, what was it like growing up with such a fashionable mum? Do you feel like doing something like this was in your destiny?
It's amazing! From a very early age I was dressed in "Sally Pattinson" clothes and was a very trendy baby! Since a little girl both my brother and I would be so excited to see mum at the school gates, she would have this way of matching/putting outfits together SO amazingly, it literally blew our minds. She'd put earrings with different bangles, matched with layers of necklaces, belts, bags etc. She dresses amazingly today, much better than me! She has an eye for style and sees beauty in so much. When my mum was little, aged 6 (possibly younger) she would make her own doll clothing and take a real interest in fashion design and the construction of clothing. I never really did but I was inspired by my Mums work room, it was full of colour, textures, patterns and I think that's what started my love for fashion, being surrounded by beautiful clothes which my mum had made herself. I've always had a good eye for colour and designing so my background has had a strong influence.
You are from North Wales, how do you think that the remoteness of your location has helped or hindered you?
Not really remote as we are less than an hour from two of my favourite cities, Manchester and Liverpool, also 2 hours away from London. If anything it's probably made us even more 'likeable' and unique in a way. The amount of people from the industry who assume we're London-based 'because we're in fashion' is amazing. I love the fact were northern based. We built our brand from our home, we have our studio here, we source our fabrics here most importantly, our designs are all made here. You can be anywhere in the world as long as you have the Internet, we are lucky enough to ship worldwide.
Who, in your opinion, is the most exciting person in the media doing something positive for women right now?
There's so many! Women of all backgrounds, ethnicities, sizes, ages are breaking boundaries in fashion, politics, film, sports, everything. Especially in fashion, we're seeing so much more diversity coming through with models. Ashley Graham is a great icon for plus size within the industry. I am LOVING editor in chief of Teen Vogue, Elaine Welteroth. The stories, research, diversity they produce is absolutely incredible and inspiring. I think it's one of the best publications for young women.
Tell us about the first time you fell in love with an item of clothing.
Gosh..there's been SO many times. Even as a young girl I fell in LOVE with a pair of faux leather black knee high boots. They were amazing. I was about 10 years old and pleaded with my mum to wear them to brownies (she said no, probably for the best) Weirdly I remember falling in love with a barbie doll because her outfit was absolutely out of this world and I wanted the barbie, just because of the clothes she was wearing! More recently, I fell in love with a Louis Vuitton champagne bucket bag. I never really fall for modern, up to date designer items. I'm far more interested in older, vintage designer pieces. I think they are so special, they've told a story, had previous owners and I love that.
Who is your ultimate fashion icon and why?
Lettie - My Mum!
Sally - Vivienne Westwood. I have always loved her passion for design and how she wasn't afraid to experiment with what she was creating.
What do you think are the plus sides of working with your mum/daughter respectively?
We both respect one another's work ethic. We were mother daughter but also very close friends so we already have a very good relationship. We are able to help each other in difficult times and no one to give each other space too.
What do you think are the negatives of working with your mum/ daughter respectively?
I guess sometimes I can be laid back as I think it's only my Mum.. when really she's the boss lady! On quiet days it's easy to loose focus I think and not work as hard because of the environment and work relationship.
You’ve been featured in magazines like vogue etc, when did you first realise that your brand was going somewhere?
When Suki Waterhouse instagrammed a photo of her wearing her jacket and definitely when we were featured in Teen Vogue, the USA version which was HUGE for us and so exciting.
Who do you think is doing the best job at breaking all of the rules in fashion at the moment?
Fashion is changing.. social media rules the industry as that's where many individuals are spotted for their look, attitude and 'vibe' they give off. I follow quite a few cool 'it' girls on social media who aren't your typical beautiful models but they have an edge which I think is important. Fashion isn't about having the top designer clothes or being the most beautiful, it's being able to express yourself and there's a lot of boys and girls doing that more these days.