Iva Jankovic (36) is the founder of M!DS artwear (pronounce: Mids artwear). She started the label in 2011 with her friends Maja, Danijela and Siri who she met while studying Fine Arts at the HKU (University of the Arts Utrecht). The concept was to make drawings on handmade clothing, so that people could wear their drawings as art. Their first exhibition went so well that Iva decided to continue the label. Almost 4 years later her creative idea turned into a full time job.  Iva designs and makes everything herself and buys her natural fabrics at the textile market in Utrecht. Her clothes are sold at Puha in Utrecht (The Netherlands) and at different events around Europe.

14 copyHow did you decide what to pick for the shoot?
I decided to go for only handmade and secondhand clothes. Nothing I’m wearing for the shoot is new except for one pair of pants. Other than that I looked at the colors, so I wouldn’t only be wearing black. And I chose the prettiest clothes of course!

Did the photoshoot change the way you look at your wardrobe?
Yes, it feels refreshing! I started to wear things that I don’t wear so often. And it’s more colorful and diverse. I also want to clean and sort out my closet now, because I realize I have too much in there.

What is your favourite way of dressing?
I noticed after the shoot that I pick clothes that resemble a uniform. Pants combined with a loose shirt in two colours and it just repeats itself, different colour and different pants, but it’s basically the same thing. It’s this type of outfit that I wear a lot. 6 copy
I feel most comfortable when it’s simple and basic and just one or two colours like black, white and blue. Though I sometimes feel like wearing a certain color only. I think that’s why I have so many clothes. I’ll feel like white and wear all white or I’ll feel like red and wear all red. Or if I feel like a drawing, I’ll wear everything black to look like a drawing. Or if I feel dramatic and I wanna look dramatic. Then it’s nice to have the choice to do so.

And you can dress quite sexy as well, can clothes make you feel sexy?
The clothes don’t make me feel sexy, but if I feel sexy I do like to dress sexy. I don’t think it works the other way around. Sometimes I try opposites, when I feel loose and happy I wear all black. But I still feel the same, so it doesnt change the way I feel.

12 copyWhat makes your wardrobe green?
It’s all second hand or handmade or clothing that I got from people or swopped with people, it’s rarely new. I calculated it and only 15% is new.

Where do you buy your second hand clothes?
Emmaus, Episode, Kaufhaus, but mostly at Kingsday. (Kingsday is a national holiday in the Netherlands, then the entire country turns into one big fleamarket).

Do you have favourite shops where you buy new things?
Not really! But I buy my basics at the H&M and sometimes I go to Monki.

How does money play a role in your shopping?18 copy
I don’t have a budget for clothing and spend very little on it and try to spend even less. I think it’s not nessecary to spend a lot on clothing. You can find nice clothing without spending a lot of money. I spend around 20 euros a month. Of course I do spend a lot of money on nice materials, colors and paint, sewing equipment, but not on my own clothing. Only once I spent 200 euros on a jacket and I got the 200 as a present. I’ve been wearing that jacket for over fifteen years now.

If you would get a 1000 euros to spend on clothes  where would you spend it on?
I would have to do some research. I think I wouldn’t be practical and buy a lot of second hand clothing. Instead I would buy one really nice piece.5 copy

Is there anything missing in your wardrobe?
Yes! What I need is a practical good jacket. That’s something I really need here in the Netherlands, but still don’t have it. It’s like I refuse to accept the weather in the Netherlands.

Future plans for your wardrobe?
To be more playful and to keep things more basic when I’m busy, like a uniform, but I would like to keep enough to be able to play around.

Are there things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I like Tilda Swinton’s style. I also like how my friend Maja dresses. She always combines colors nicely and matches everything. I always enjoy seeing her. I can read what she is doing and can see the effort when she is dressing up, with the jewelry, the colors and the clothing. She is really playing with it.  It almost becomes something more like a sculpture.


Where can people buy M!DS artwear?
At Puha in Utrecht, at the Kledingbibliotheek and online at Etsy, although the Etsy shop is currently empty, because I sold everything. But I’m working on a new website, facebook is the easiest and best way to see what I’m doing and be in touch.

And you make everything yourself?26 copy
Yes, I make the designs, I sew everything,  I draw the designs and paintings on it. Recently I started silk screen printing which is really nice because it ’s so much easier. I also started experimenting with flock printing.

How did you learn to sew?
I studied Fine Arts and never went to school to learn sewing, so it’s self taught. I mostly look at how other people do it. I used to sneak into shops turn clothing inside out to see how it was stitched together and how they solve the problems of the openings. I just learned to make a shape, that will be the canvas where I can put a drawing on. Sometimes I try to move around lines and stitches and see what happends.

19 copyHow do you come up with the patterns?
I just play around and try out things, but I always try to make them basic.

What kind of fabrics do you work with?
I’d like to work with silk, but rarely use it. Mainly I work with viscose, cotton, linnen and for the winter wool. I love natural materials.

Do you have collections?
I’m trying to, but for now I work randomly. But I do follow seasons, I use light materials for the summer and thicker ones for the winter and I also make jackets for the winter. I make about 100 unique different pieces for the fall/winter collection and in the winter I make 100 unique pieces for the spring/summer.

What inspires you?9 copy
I’m inspired when I go to the textile market and see and feel materials. Then I look at the structure and color and that’s a starting point. Then I think about what color fits well with it and then I think about the drawing and lastly I think of the shape.

Do you ever make a piece that you wanna keep for yourself?
Yes, it happens rarely though, but it happens. Usually I wear the pieces  that have a mistake or when pieces don’t sell. I have one dress that I think is really beautiful but that just didn’t sell, so now I hold to it for myself.

Do you ever bump into people wearing your clothes?
Once I saw a girl in my coat, but I didn’t realize it immediately. First I thought ‘ Oh she look nice, this is familiar, this is my coat’. I thought it was my own coat, but then realized I sold it to her. It’s great when that happens. A few times at Puha I ran into someone. If I meet them they are always really happy about the pieces. And they also love to meet me in person, to talk to the designer behind their dress, shirt or coat.

21 copyFuture plans for your label?
Being more sufficient with my production so I can find more selling points. I do want to keep producing everything myself, but I wouldn’t mind getting a hand from an intern.

Tips for other women?
Swap clothing, because you get pieces that you normally wouldn’t buy for yourself, and you get to try out new things.  Also you don’t have to buy anything but get them for free second hand.
This way you don’t contribute to the system and you do get new clothing. On top of that you make other people happy with your own clothing and you don’t create any waste. So that’s a win-win-win-win situation!
Also you can give or lend clothes from yourself to a friend or even when you find clothes on a swap party for a friend, bring it for her if you think of her. It keeps it more loose like that. And I think a lot more people should make their own clothes and not follow fashion too much, but think about what they want and really like.