For anyone familiar Just A Girl In Love With A Mechanic T-shirt . with Canadian fashion, the name Linda Lundström should set off alarm bells ringing. From 1974 to 2008, Lundström was one of the country’s biggest outerwear designers, pumping out 800 styles a year with a team of over 150 employees.
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After being forced to shutter during the 2008 financial crisis, wasn’t too keen on restarting her business – until she received a phone call from her daughter Mosha Lundström Halbert, a former editor at FLARE and Footwear News, suggesting they create their own brand of upscale luxury parkas Just A Girl In Love With A Mechanic T-shirt .Together with sister Sophie Lundström Halbert, the trio founded Therma Kōta in 2016, bringing their shared vision for fashionable coats warm enough to withstand the Canadian winter to the market. The line features show stopping holographic coats and lush shearlings meant to appeal to women of all ages. “What’s so amazing is that we are able to design styles that feel multi-generational,” says Mosha.“I am in my 30s, Sophie is in her 20s, my mom is in her 60s, so we try to make sure that all our styles have that appeal that transcends age.”Though turning family connections into business connections may seem odd to some, Mosha describes it as very normal for their family. “We grew up with our mom and dad working together,” she says. Mosha and Sophie both took summer jobs at their mom’s stores growing up, which sometimes had unintended consequences.“We’ve both been fired multiple times by our own mom,” she laughs.Despite past blunders, the Lundström clan agrees that working together that only improved their ability to communicate with one another. “I find it very refreshing,” says Mosha.“We’re family so you don’t get away with things, but at the same time, you never question anyone’s intentions.”Lundström adds: “Does that mean that we never disagree? No it doesn’t. We have some very fierce conversations sometimes. Being a family, we work through it.”Lundström lives in Caledon, Ont., Sophie lives in Dublin and Mosha shuttles between Miami and LA, so business meetings often double as a way for the trio to catch up. “We talk everyday. It’s 50 per cent business, 50 per cent ‘oh Sophie I like your haircut,’ just mum and daughter stuff,” Lundström says.Not only do they work together, family forms the very essence of what mother Rebecca Henry and daughter Akua Shakubar have created with their label House of Aaama. Their second collection, Bloodroot, told the story of Rebecca’s maternal heritage in the Antebellum South. Part of their mission as a brand, beyond creating lacy prairie dresses that wouldn’t look out of place in Julie Dash’s epic 1991 film Daughters of the Dust, is to carve out space in fashion for Black Americans to have a nuanced conversation about the bonds with family and home country that were stripped away because of slavery. “By working together, me and my mother have been able to strengthen our bond, and in a way, break these family trauma cycles,” Akua says.Day to day, Akua studies strategic design management at Parsons School of Design in New York while Rebecca works full-time as an attorney in Los Angeles. “It’s a lot of late night phone calls. We will have meetings at 12am – well, for me it’s a 12 am. Right now it’s like working 9am to 5pm, and then 5pm to 1am on House of Aama,” says Akua.The duo agrees the most surprising thing about running a fashion label as a mother and daughter is how little their roles at home have factored into their personal relationship. “I don’t really think that I pull rank as the mother,” says Rebecca. “Just because she’s my mother, she never makes me feel like her ideas are better than mine or vice-versa,” echoes Akua.However, they are perfectly comfortable divvying up duties based on who might be better suited for the role. “Before we had this business I didn’t really realize that Akua is like a hard-as,”says Rebecca. It can be infuriating, but it can also be wonderful, because I am not that way. I’m a Pisces, and I don’t have that skillset to just grind things out on a day-to-day basis.” That said, they’re still grinding pretty hard. House of Aama is gearing up to launch their third collection at New York Fashion Week in September.
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