Tabi Jackson Gee | Contributing Writer | Friday, 9 October 2015

Faux Fur The Design Store

We're Obsessed With The Design Studio And Their £100 Faux Fur Jackets

The Debrief: The world’s hottest new design team are a mother and daughter duo from a small Welsh village called Hawarden. And they’re about to make your winter wardrobe amazing.

In case you’re not au fait with the best new thing on the web, The Design Studio, as Lettie and Sally Pattinson’s faux-fur coat label is called,  is a humble brand that’s gone from zero to hero in less than a year, with the help of some winning designs – and the all-reigning power of da interwebz.

Some facts: Suki Waterhouse was TDS’s first customer, they have 20,000 Instagram followers and their faux fur jackets sell out in seconds every time they launch a new collection. The stats alone speak for themselves, right?  Well, just wait until you see their coats…

It all started when daughter Lettie went to uni, taking with her an orange cardigan mum Sally (a fashion and textiles lecturer and Vivienne Westwood’s biggest fan) had made for her.  Lettie’s friends wanted their own, so next term Lettie took a bunch back with her. A business was born.

It’s a business that has remained straightforward. They make a handful of new coats every fortnight, then sell them on their website after announcing the launch date and time on their social media. And the best thing about them, after their uniqueness, is their price.

Compared to the likes of Shrimps (sorry, but who has £500 for a fur coat?) they’re affordable, and even more unique – they rarely make more than two of each design, ever. So you won’t have to face the embarrassment of walking into the pub and seeing three people in the same jacket as you. (We’ve all been there.)

Before they get so big we have to chase their PR manager down the street to even get a phone interview, we caught up with Lettie to find out who’s the brains behind the operation and why they’re not planning on selling out. Ever.

What kind of  girl do you imagine when you’re designing them?

Urban, cool, someone who likes individual brands and is fashion conscious, always looking for the next big thing, before the hype takes over! I think TDS is for individuals who want to make a statement in the fashion industry.

We see so many people today wearing the exact same thing... it’s crazy! With TDS you are 100% owning something truly unique and exclusive. I think you can feel quite proud wearing one of our jackets, knowing that no one in the world has exactly the same

Who’s the boss – you or your mum?!

I think we’re both the boss! The great thing about us is we both really understand each other’s talents and work load. My mum is the head designer and the actual creator of our products, which is extremely important. Both my job and my mum’s are just as important. I’m always guided by her and appreciate her advice. It’s fair to say we both have a great working ethic and support one another’s job roles as much as we can.

Any tips for someone starting a business? 

It’s vital to be organised and keep to schedules all the time to provide the finished product.

Is there a cool mother/daughter combo you look up to?

There are so many stylish mother daughter duos out there in music, fashion and film industries! I’ve always really liked Julia Restoin-Roitfeld and Carine Roitfeld. Carine introduced Julia to modeling at an early age with Mario Testino. I remember being used in my mum’s fashion at the age of 14 months – not quite Mario Testino, but still.

They’re such a stylish pair and come across as so close and such good friends. Very much like my mum and me.

Any dream places you’d like to see your clothes sold?

It would always be a dream to see TDS in the likes of Selfridges or Harrods one day. We’ll see. 

It’s cool how you’re just promoting through Instagram. Have you got any tips for great Instagram pics?

Instagram is my baby! I am so OCD about it. I constantly want it to look good, it’s really vital to our brand and has had such an impact on our lives. Social media is a huge part of people’s lives and is used on a daily basis, so to be posting a photo, it needs to be a good one.

I really love VSCO cam – I think that has some beautiful natural filters. I also love clean-cut images so the backdrop has to be plain in order for the products to look professional! I make sure I really colour co-ordinated the page, so the products and images show the summer, pastel colours taking it slowly into the darker autumn winter pallets. 

Tell us your top faux fur styling tip.

Be sophisticated, funky, cool and urban – yet modern and stylish.

What are the dos or don’ts of wearing faux fur?

Not best in the rain, although they do tumble dry really nicely! They can pretty much be worn with anything and can be dressed up or dressed down. They're a real wardrobe staple piece.

Would you ever branch out into other types of clothes or accessories?

We’ve spoken about accessories and other styles of coats but at the moment while the Bomber Jacket hype is still there, we’ll carry on making them!

Watch this space. The Design Store’s new collection will be on sale, on line at 8pm this Sunday.

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Follow Tabi on Twitter: @tabijgee