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My Mother’s Jeans by Chloe Lonsdale

My Mother’s Jeans by Chloe Lonsdale

Chloe Lonsdale grew up with "denim in her blood." It all started in the 1970s when her father bought a van filled with old denim and drove around London trying to wholesale its contents to trendy boutiques. "Everyone laughed at him," Lonsdale recalls. And so the story goes: In an attempt to salvage profit and dignity from the venture, he leased out a shop on King's Road and filled the shelves with his stock. In three weeks, the shop was sold out. The Jeans Machine was born.

When Chloe's father, Tony, met her mother, Chekkie—a well-known model—shortly thereafter, it was love at first sight, and the two quickly bonded over their passion for jeans. One day, Chekkie modeled a style from a new range, Made In Heaven. Soon, Made In Heaven was a big-time brand (the line's founder later became Chloe's godfather). Decades later, following the completion of her fashion design education at Central Saint Martins, Chloe made up her mind to revive the defunct Made In Heaven label as MiH. Her starting point: A few dusty attic trunks filled with her mother's jeans.

How I came to own my mother’s jeans...
"My mum was the model for Made in Heaven jeans in the '70s and she also helped my father run his then-famous Jean Machine stores in London, so, needless to say, she accumulated a huge collection of denim. Fortunately, she kept much of it, including this patchwork pair, which I then discovered and appropriated."

What these jeans mean to me...
"Everything. Without these old jeans, I wouldn’t have had the source of inspiration for my entire livelihood today. The entire re-launch of my line, MiH was based upon a combination of images from the Made in Heaven archives and my mother's old favorites. Although the look is not entirely ‘70’s retro’, many of the cuts are based on original patterns and almost all detailing is the same, from the logo of the dove to our studs and rivets."

Favorite thing I’ve done in my mother's jeans...
"Walked with my baby son, Finn, in the park and felt a full 360-degree, circle of life type moment."

My preferred way to wear them...
"With a white tee and chunky leather ankle boots or Converse."

What about my mother's style I admire...
"She is the most utterly low-maintenance, naturally sexy and effortlessly beautiful woman I know and she refuses to spend a penny on clothes–mostly because she knows she doesn’t need to! We wear the same size and to be honest, our style is very similar, except that I'm living in the city and am busy being a working woman."

Photos: Courtesy of Chloe Lonsdale