StyleNest take five minutes with daughter of the man behind the Jean Machine on the infamous Kings Road and Creative Director of MiH Chloe Lonsdale.
Goddaughter of the original founder of MiH Jeans, Chloe Lonsdale revived the brand to become the cool go-to denim label we know and love today. StyleNest caught up with Chloe to talk about motherhood, denim and to find out what’s in store for the brand. Chloe certainly knows a thing or two about jeans and shares with StyleNest the secret in finding that perfect pair.
Denim is in your blood. Did you always know you wanted to carry on your dad’s legacy and open your own denim boutique?
I have always loved jeans and I always knew that I wanted to work in the fashion industry – being creative in a commercial way. My main aim was to create beautiful jeans; maybe one day I will open a store but not quite yet.
You have three children, how do you balance work and family?
Living very close to work, running the business with my husband, having an amazing nanny and realising that is about all I have time for.
StyleNest can’t get enough of MiH jeans, can you give our StyleNest readers any inside news on any current or future projects you might be working on? Perhaps a maternity jean collection?
We have no plans for maternity jeans yet – I think when people are pregnant they should avoid spending too much on clothes they can only wear for a short amount of time but I would love to launch a children’s range in the future. For now we are focusing on expanding our ready-to-wear, to make a complete lifestyle range.
So many people struggle to find the right style of jean for their body shape, what advice would you give our readers to find their perfect pair?
Try not to be too affected by what is the hottest new thing in store and instead think about what you feel comfortable in and how you like to wear your jeans, whether that’s with flats or heels, casual or smart. Any good jean will transcend all fashion trends.
What is it you love most about denim?
For me real, true denim is something that gets better every time you wear it. It takes on the wearers’ identity and forms a cornerstone of their wardrobe. It is the most utilitarian, democratic item of clothing.
You are a working mum of three. You certainly have your hands full. What do you do for some well deserved “me time”?
As a rule my husband and I go away a couple of times a year just for a couple of days. We really value that time together when our lives are so busy. I rarely get ‘me time’ but I love to watch movies when I get the chance.
London must play a big inspiration to your collections. What do you love most about the city?
It is an amazing city – culturally everything is on your doorstep and it is one of the greenest cities in the world. I often wonder whether I should be bringing my children up in the countryside but having Hyde Park, Holland Park and Regent’s Park within a 10 minute drive is a pretty incredible second best.
Women often lose their confidence and sense of self after having children, what advice would you give to women to help them get their style back after giving birth and help them fit into their all important skinny jeans?
Breast-feeding certainly helped me. You can almost feel things going back into place. It’s so easy when you haven’t worn your special clothes for almost a year to forget about them, but it’s so important to try to bring back one thing every day, be it a bracelet or a favourite top to start getting back to your old self.
Pastel denim was huge for SS12 and printed denim is the new must-have for AW12, can you clue our readers on any future denim trends?
We are really moving back to authentic blue jeans again, sometimes with a bit of distressing. Boyfriend jeans are also big again but I think it is key to wear them with a heel to keep them feminine. Prints and colours won’t completely go away but we are going to see a lot less of them.
When you are not busy working, what do you enjoy doing with the family?
I love taking my eldest son swimming and getting them all out in the fresh air in the parks at the weekends. Everything, inside and out, is turned into a den.
A pair of jeans is the wardrobe staple for an evening out or weekend look. What’s the best way to get the most use out of your denim?
Choose a denim wash that is very versatile in the first place, like a classic blue or our signature Midnight Blue (a very dark indigo). That way you really can make it work for everything. The more you wash your jeans, particularly if they are dark coloured, the more important it is to put them in at a low temperature, with minimal detergent and then hang dry. They should be washed inside out but always turn them back the right way when you hang them to dry.
What fashion spots have you made this season that your wardrobe won’t be without?
I live in our classic MiH leather biker jacket so I cannot wait for the updated petrol blue colour for spring. I am also desperate for great ankle boots and a pair of Pierre Hardy wedge heels.
What is your failsafe outfit for a casual look and a cocktail party?
My favourite casual look is an oversize silk shirt, a pair of slim leg jeans and ankle boots. For a cocktail party I would wear a simple silk dress by Vanessa Bruno paired with a fun pair of heels from Charlotte Olympia – that is about as much as I will accessorise.
You are an inspirational business mum, what advice would you give to our readers who want to set up their own business?
No one ever said it was going to be easy and it isn’t, but if you are determined, tough enough and plan ahead, I think you can achieve what you set your sights on.
Are there any British designers you really love? Whether established or new to the fashion scene?
I love Margaret Howell – after years in the business she continues to deliver such consistency. Christopher Kane is an amazing young talent that I have tremendous respect for.
What do you think is true style?
Being confident in what you wear and how you wear it. It’s not to do with the latest fashions, that’s for sure.
What’s your motto?
You can do whatever you set your mind to. Believe in yourself.
Click here to visit www.mih-jeans.com.