Master pattern maker Jim Man and Su Kim are the newest design duo to hit LA's already amazing denim scene, but there's a twist: they're father and daughter. The aptly named label Father's Daughter—a Korean idiom meaning "to resemble the father"—offers a fresh spin on an old standby, with gorgeous, lush denim jackets and delightfully comfortable jeans. In Korea, Jim ran a custom dress shop and after moving to LA in 1991, he became the go-to pattern maker for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and J Brand.
His daughter Su followed in her father's footsteps with her own mark in the design world, studying nouvelle couture and working for some of the top denim labels before approaching her dad with the idea of partnering up for their own line. They remain a small, family team, with the entire process from sketch to production accomplished right here in LA. We sat down with Su to get a little more information about the inspiration behind the line, the importance of staying true to your own style, and why dorky dads are the best muses.
What was the inspiration for the line?
First of all, I'm utterly inspired by my father, who as a first generation Korean immigrant in LA has become a respected pattern maker in the denim industry. He is relentless, and always looking for better ways of making garments.
Secondly, LA has been my muse. I grew up here, and moved around to different neighborhoods growing up. Each area is another world. That's what I love about LA, there's these micro communities, and if you dig enough, LA can be your oyster.
Lastly, while doing research, I read a book called Scene in Between by Sam Knee about the shoe gazer scene and was already into the riot girl movement headed by bands like Bikini Kill. These touch on '90s DIY movements of garage bands, zines, and a slow burning rebellion.
Where do you get your materials?
A lot of the material is from my connection to the denim world. Going back to being a product person, the fabric is super important in terms of the overall feel of the garment, so I go to sources I trust and also go with my own instincts. A lot of the fabric happens to be from Japan. In the denim world, that makes it more legit.
Who are your style icons?
Dorky dads, teenagers, seniors—I actually really love studying people who "don't have style." It's so much more interesting when someone who just happens to be wearing something because it has entered their life in a natural way and they like it versus premeditating their wardrobe from the reflection of the other. At least, it makes a nice conversation piece.
What designers do you love?