New LA-Based, Swedish-Inspired Label Mor Dotter Is for Badass Babies and Mamas
Photos: Mor Dotter LA
Finding for the perfect grown-up moto jacket is already quite the fashion scavenger hunt on its own — but finding a pint-sized version for your badass babe is a whole other story. Flashback to over two decades ago when Swedish transplant and knitwear genius Susanne Cousins finally found the perfect leather jacket and black leggings for her two-year-old daughter, Hanna. Flash-forward to 2017, and the incredibly cool mother-daughter duo have teamed up to create Mor Dotter LA, a new edgy-cool line of womenwear and kids clothing.
The brand — which means "mother daughter" in Swedish, naturally — is inspired by Hanna's tiny biker jacket from all of those years ago. Designed in Mor Dotter's Hollywood studio and produced Downtown LA, the line is comprised of adorable skull print tanks and diaper covers ($34 and up), super-soft unisex onesies ($39), kitted booties ($94), leopard print party dresses finished with black tulle ($220), pink floral bomber jackets ($140), and of course, the raddest little biker jackets available in leather and vegan options ($250 to $320). For mama, there are oversized tees finished off with shredded hems ($45), chic leopard print button-downs ($89), matching cashmere tees emblazoned with "I am" ($194), and more.
Here, we sat down with Hanna Cousins to find out more about the cool family business, her mama's Hollywood knitwear history, the item that she always steals from her mother's closet, and what we can expect from Mor Dotter in the future. Read on below, then head over to the brand's website to shop it online.
What's your and your mom's professional backgrounds, and what was the "a-ha" moment that inspired you to team up together and start Mor Dotter?
My mom has a long history in the knitwear industry — over 30 years. She got her first start doing Cosby sweaters in NYC when I was a baby. She has a long list of working with costume designers and in the entertainment industry after we moved to LA when I was 2. She's done the knitwear for movies such as The Grinch, Scooby Doo, and The Matrix. She also had a store in LA for many years as well as NY. She has a history of teaching really hip knitting classes and has written six books about knitting that all launched in Barnes & Nobles.
My background is in art, but I grew up always knitting with her, from sitting on her lap while she hand loomed as a baby to helping her teach classes about knitting as I grew older. I went to school for painting so we have managed to incorporate a lot of hand drawings that I do into the fabrics that we make, and then are both knowledgable about yarn content and texture. she's the reason we do a lot of knitwear and why we started this thing! I got super lucky having such a creative mom and teacher all these years.
What's your connection with Sweden?
Our connection with Sweden is that well...my mom is Swedish! She moved to Manhattan when she was 19 where she met my dad. A few years ago I went to go live there as well for two years. It's where her trade of knitting began and how it got passed down to me. Swedish modern aesthetic plays a major role in influencing our designs alongside with maintaining a traditional craft.
How do you inspire each other's personal style?
Somehow our personal style has morphed into one in the same. I guess I was influenced by her style subconsciously. I literally steal her boots all the time until she ends up letting me keep them. We both are into the boyfriend tee look...and all black, leather, pointy boots life.
Has motherhood changed your personal style and if so, how?
I am not a mother yet, but asking my mom if motherhood changed her style she said, "No, I used to run around looking for black baby leggings everywhere, and Hanna's biker motor jacket that I got her when she was 2 basically influenced our entire collection." She was always best dressed and super funky and still is! And it's true, we were both unpacking that jacket one day and thought about how we can't find a proper biker moto for babies anywhere.
Who or what inspires Mor Dotter's designs?
What inspires Mor Dotter's designs are a lot of things, beautiful yarns and textures, pairing yarn with fabric for one of a kind pieces (we do a lot of special order baby dresses that are like creating a painting when we put it together). Spending time together is a big influence, she's my best friend, we talk on the phone multiple times a day and she's my favorite person to go get a glass of wine with which is probably when we do our best brainstorming. We love rocker feel but also super clean lines and simple color palette. Basically we make a lot of things that we want to wear but for babes.
Who are a few of your favorite mother/daughter style muses?
I asked my mom about muses and right away she said Donna Karan and her daughter, Gabby [Defelice]. I don't know if we have a lot of muses yet since we are still exploring this concept of mother and daughter and learning more everyday, through real life interactions and social media moms. My muse would be my mom and all of her history. A big part of our collection is me yanking out something she made 10 years ago that she's forgotten about and then we revive it and make it an approachable piece now. Everything we've made so far really is a part of us and our close relationship.
Any plans to create "matching" mother and daughter pieces? What can we expect from the brand in the future?
Yes we have many plans for matching outfits, that's the entire concept of our line and overall end goal — so far we have matching cashmere sets and leather biker jackets. More to come are matching cotton pullover sets, leather bomber jackets, fisherman cap beanies, and more printed pieces. I think that's what the most exciting aspect of this collection will be. Who doesn't want to dress up with their babe?