Continuing our series looking at up-and-coming interior designers, we speak to Kit Miles, whose career in textile and fabric design is flourishing after setting up his own studio...
Kit Miles is a rising star in the world of interior design, and it’s easy to see why. The London-based 27-year-old founded his own label after graduating with an MA in textile design from the Royal College of Art in 2011, and hasn’t looked back since.
His dynamic, creative output has gained global media coverage and led to him working with prestigious interior design clients and retailers.
“I started the studio after graduation with plenty of energy and drive,” he says. “It’s quite incredible looking at what it’s grown into, and it still feels like just the beginning!”
Kit first took a serious interest in fabric and interior surface design when studying textiles at Watford Art College. “I had some very inspiring teachers who helped to cultivate my curiosity,” he says. “I thought textiles to be the perfect vehicle to explore my passions for architecture and graphic design.”
Never a dull moment
Furthering his education with the MA at the Royal College of Art was an important step in Kit’s career. “It provided the very best grounding for my career,” he says. “And founding my own studio has continued to teach me new skills every day – it’s never dull!
“I work often with private clients who buy metres of our stunning printed velvets or our down and feather filled cushions. Some of my clients include Conran, Heals, Osborne & Little and Hyatt to name a few.
“It’s always fantastic working with the Mint store in Kensington too. Most of my clients are from the domestic interiors market but I am seeing a lot of hotels and contract uses coming through as well.”
Kit’s innovative use of shapes and colours has led him to designing intricate and compelling works. His “Bird in Chains” design, for instance, has been highly praised for representing a classically bright, exotic print at first look, but as you gaze more carefully at the fabric a more fascinating, surreal narrative emerges.
“We always produce work that has a kind of surreal energy to it,” he explains. “There is always a feeling of regality to the work, mixed with our signature futuristic edge. We always play with scale and imagery to create this incredible energy within the collections and it’s always fresh and forward looking.”
When asked which of his designs he is most proud of, Kit points to a new collection he launched at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week in May.
“Part of that new range is “Ecclesiastical Botanica”, which is one of my personal favourites,” he says. “It features huge branches covered in moss tangles in giant tropical leaves and jewel-like birds floating about. It’s a real narrative piece – printed as a wallpaper as well as a velvet and a stunning silk.”
Anyone looking to update their home with fresh and innovative wallpaper may well find that one of Kit’s designs, such as “Ecclesiastical Botanica”, does just the job. If you’re looking for inspiration in decorating your home, check out this Pinterest board of his best designs.
Running your own design label comes with big challenges as well as successes, and Kit is fully aware of the need to keep on innovating in order to ensure his brand continues to thrive.
“The main challenges are to make sure that we are always improving and evolving the service into something even simpler and more beautiful to use,” he says. “We are just about to launch our online store at www.kitmiles.co.uk which will display the collections of wallpapers, textiles and cushions.
“I’d say my biggest achievement is that I have managed to create an environment in which taking creative risk yields value both in terms of product and business. I am glad to say that I am not afraid to take risks and I don't see that ever changing. I truly believe it’s the reason people come to me.”