Johannesburg - Mia Widlake has always “made stuff”. From her days studying fashion design, when fabricating garments was par for the course, to her current range of madly covetable ceramics and quirky-cool textiles, she’s always been very hands-on.
So, although she’d describe herself first and foremost as a stylist, she’s also a designer, a creator, an artist.
“In the beginning, it came from a place of necessity – to get the pieces I wanted, I had to make them,” she explains of the genesis of her Studio No 19 label. “I lived in the US for a while and there’s so much to buy there that when I came back, I found I was struggling to find exactly what I was looking for,” she explains.
So, when she desperately wanted a particular type of round mirror, she designed it. Soon enough friends were asking her to make pieces for them and it became apparent that there was a definite and considerable market for her unique custom designs.
She concentrated initially on a range of printed cushion covers and tea towels. The often avant-garde, occasionally whimsical illustrations merge in a sort of urban romanticism, “nouveau gothic”, if you will. A little bit hard-core, a little bit quaint, but very cool.