Interview with Hayden Shiebler of Mother’s Daughter.
Hayden Shiebler is the owner of the locally-based online boutique shop, Mother’s Daughter. Shiebler is also a film director/editor, and a photographer. Her roster includes music videos for Wax Idols and Devon Williams, her collaborative efforts with Tamaryn in Honey Suckled Video, plus she’s got a lot more coming down the pike. To say the least, the girl is majorly busy.
I checked in with Shiebler to ask her about her shop, clothes, her film work, and essential accessories.
Night Fog Reader: For people who aren’t familiar with Mother’s Daughter, could you tell us a little bit about it’s origins, and what its become?
Hayden Shiebler: Mother’s Daughter is an online vintage shop I started in November of 2009. I spent months before holed up in my parents house in rural Tennessee developing the aesthetic and adjusting every miniscule detail possible. It started as part time side project and is now my full time job. Mother’s daughter is a store but it’s also become more than that, it definitely promotes a specific feeling and look. The specific feeling and look change subtly over time, just as people do. What can be promoted, sold and shared through the shop is limitless and that is really I think what sets it apart and made it what it’s become.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
My aesthetic is very decisive and deliberate. Nothing is haphazard, even if it looks that way. I like contrast in all forms - mixing patterns, sobering combinations of black and white, etc.
I imagine that finding such unique articles of clothing can be challenging at times. Raiding the thrift store bins is often the method of many vintage-boutique shops. How is your approach different? Can you tell us without telling us too much?
I don’t really know how other people do it, so maybe I don’t do it any differently? I just try to look at everything in the store, or estate sale, or antique mall or wherever I am. Also I sometimes let a piece set a precedent for my entire shopping trip. Like, if I find a pair of pink satin trousers - I will kind of buy everything else I see with that in mind. Not even matching just whatever look or vibe I get from a certain piece.
What’s your sweetest find?
I don’t even know anymore, I love clothes but because I cycle through them so quickly they all have had their moments of being my favorite. I guess I have a 1930’s cotton lawn dress with all this beautiful mesh paneling that I will never wear, if I had to choose.
A lot of people have a negative knee-jerk reaction towards boutique vintage clothing. Personally, I see it as artifact and preservation work. How do you value vintage, and what do you find significant about these types of clothing?
I’ve realized I don’t necessarily think you need to pay homage to the past to look to the future, that seems to be a common explanation for the value of vintage clothing. I bought vintage clothing as a teenager because I worked a minimum wage job and had to be creative with what was available to me. I never looked at it as being “valuable” because it was vintage, it was cool because no one else had the same clothes as I did and because I was given the chance to reinterpret something that had already been worn and make it my own. I think the value in vintage is giving a person the opportunity to take something that has had a decided purpose for many years, and let it become something that no one ever considered in the past.
You photograph most of the content for your shop’s site, and you often travel for shoots. How do you scout locations? Do you have any “dream” locations?
I don’t really scout locations, I sometimes get recommendations from friends who have lived here their whole lives, or just drive toward an area that has caught my attention and do some exploring. We recently shot in the salt flats in Fremont, I expected it to be sprawling, pastel and dreamy. It turned out to be industrial, neon, and apocalyptic. This unexpected, impulsive element probably adds a bit of energy to the images. I wish San Francisco was a bit closer to the desert, any desert location is my dream location. I love the abyssal and stark beauty of the desert.
In addition to doing this shop and managing it’s visual content, you’ve also directed a music video (Wax Idols - All Too Human). How did this come about, and do you have anymore videos in the works?
When I had previously taken photos for Wax Idols, Hether and I really meshed well creatively. She trusted my sensibility and I trusted her vision. I expressed my interest in starting to do video work, she needed a video, it just kind of came together really effortlessly - a natural progression. I have one video completed that was made in collaboration with Honey Suckled Video (Devon Williams “Your Sympathy”), three others that are on their way to completion (Dominant Legs, Religious to Damn, Plateaus). Some of these I’m solely directing or editing, others I’m filling all positions myself.
I can’t resist myself from asking a fashion advice question. Could you list 5 articles of clothing or accessories every person should have?
I live in San Francisco, this may only be practical for people who live here too:
1. black suede or leather ankle boots, with a heel.
2. suede mini skirt
3. silk kimono
4. tailored trousers
5. cropped sweater
Mother’s Daughter carries these things consistently, so my list is kind of obvious.
Take a look at some of the new arrivals at Mother’s Daughter: