father’s | daughter: direct translation of a Korean idiom meaning “to resemble the father”
Jim Man and Su Kim got their start in LA’s premium denim scene. This beginning shows—they’re drawn to all things denim, and devoted to high quality. In an industry where the bottom line often wins, Father’s Daughter aims first to build up artistic confidence and foster the people behind the brand, whether it’s the wash contractor, the sewer, the intern, or the photographer. This doesn’t only make the product better: it’s just a better way to live and create.
In Korea, Jim Man Kim ran a custom dress shop with his wife. His dream, like his personality, was big, so in 1991 he moved his family across the world to a place built for big things: Los Angeles.
The years that followed brought the rise of premium denim and Jim started working at his first denim company, one that had birthed this new industry. He became lead patternmaker, crafting perfectly fitted jeans for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, J Brand, and other iconic names.
After carving out a niche in denim patternmaking, he opened his own workshop, “Jim’s Design Studio,” in the heart of downtown fashion district at 9th and Spring. Clients have come, and stayed, for his magic—a developed eye for balance and fit, flawless needlework samples, and readiness to combine his genius with the vision of designers.
Some would call Su Kim a 1.5-generation Korean because she moved to California when she was six years old. Growing up, she experienced the beautiful mashup of LA—liquor stores and taco trucks, luxury grocers and hipster cafes, beaches and outdoor malls. She saw how LA vibrates with all the dreams it attracts.
While getting her undergrad degree in sociology, trends and the search for “newness” became the backbone of how she made sense of the world. Still, it wasn’t the career path for her. She panicked. Her father wanted to help, but he only knew one thing: fashion. So he offered Paris. Who would say no?
After two years studying nouvelle couture—learning sketching, construction, draping, sewing, and how to deal with incredibly intimidating French women—Su returned to LA for a career at a major denim label. She played out her path in the design department, traveling to Asia and Europe to understand the industry’s scope and grow her technical knowledge. Yet despite such a large reach, she felt creatively cramped. She wanted to pour all of herself into a project.
When she approached her dad about creating their own brand, he said he’d been waiting for her to come to this point, when she felt ready. She was ready. So they went for it—a small family team, creating something larger than themselves.
Little label, big dream.