On the Record: 8 Fashion Zines to Keep Your Eye On

A guest post by Isabella Urbina, BA Fashion Journalism student

Academy of Art University’s Fashion Journalism students practice capturing zeitgeist by publishing concept zines.

It’s said that experience is the best teacher, so in addition to studying the intricacies of magazine writing and reporting in the classroom, fashion journalism students at Academy of Art University get to take a turn in the driver’s seat.

Under the guidance of Stephan Rabimov, fashion journalism program director and publisher/magazine editor himself, Academy’s graduate and undergraduate students learn how to conceptualize, produce, publish and distribute their own niche magazines.

Academy of Art University provides a program and a platform for students to develop their passions as creative professionals within the fashion journalism field. As part of the program’s mission, every student publication must also feature a number of collaborative editorial projects completed in partnerships with other Academy programs, such as fashion styling, fashion design, and photography, just to name a few. Every concept magazine is digitally produced and distributed via program partner: Issuu.

Here are eight (8) magazines originally created by students in the School of Fashion’s Fashion Journalism program at Academy of Art University who are leading the way in 2018:

KSHA

KSHA Magazine

KSHA promotes the positive nature of being off-beat within the Indian community. We harbor souls of whom are on the verge of two realities; embracing Indian stereotypes and breaking them. We are unafraid of the clashing of Western ideologies with our traditional Indian beliefs and culture in the lens of fashion, art, music and religion.


Like many student-produced magazines, Nivetha Sundar’s project incorporates her roots. This one blends bright Indian culture with grit.

KSHA was an idea created with the intent to inspire,” Sundar explained. “This was a project where I challenged myself to really get into a rather dark, somber version of Indian culture as opposed to it being colorful and loud.

In stories such as “Cultural Appreciation” or “What To Believe,” KSHA is giving a new understanding to the world and how to engage with it. KSHA pushes away from the norm and captures little specks of different experiences.

“I liked the look of magazines like Lula, Out Of Order and Gross Mag, and wanted to show that style to the Indian community,” Sundar said. “Our country is dominated by Elle, Cosmopolitan and Vogue, and hopefully, with KSHA, I can start to discuss the important issues in Indian fashion, religion and culture.”

TAZEH

TAZEH

The growing global undercurrent of Iranians seeking to freely and creatively express themselves is the force that inspired Tazeh – the digital and print publication created by artist for artists with a message, where resilience is respected, and modern Iranian voices are celebrated. The future is Tazeh.

Tazeh Magazine offers a new approach to Iranian fashion by filling the void of curiosity for the western world. It provides an underground scope of Iranian new-wave artists who are going against the grain, presented in a mixture of psychedelic and geometric cutouts and textures.

Within the independent world of publishing, editor-in-chief Farnaz Dadashi created Tazeh with the hopes of capturing the attention of the alternative-thinking generation with the eagerness to express and learn. Dadashi used social media as her tool to discover and connect with different Iranian artists and collaborators, thus crafting a window into her world as an Iranian creative.

“Right from the beginning, I knew that I had to capture the essence of my cultural heritage, one that is so deeply rooted and politically sensitive. It was important that I took a hyper-delicate approach, in order to fully understand the historical context, and to make legitimate references in all my features and articles,” Dadashi explained.

WHITE HORSE

White Horse is a bare examination, from the outside in, of acceptance and esteem. Translated through minimal graphics and light imagery, its aim is to eradicate the ideas of perfection that are perpetuated through social media and magazines.

The digital publication immediately jumps into a conversation, in the editor’s letter, featuring creator Syahirah Khairuddin staring at her reflection, seeing herself and her image within.

“Beauty to me is accepting my flaws and imperfections way before trying products. I wanted White Horse to be a source of inspiration for those who are going through what I went through. Embracing our natural beauty before we start applying things to our faces and our bodies is crucial to our self-esteem,” Khairuddin said.

White Horse finds its foothold in calling out influencers and mainstream media. For example, in articles such as “Emotional Beauty,” the publication examines issues of anxiety and depression due to social media and its effects on how we view ourselves.

“With a niche magazine, a lot more can be discussed, and more issues can come to light,” Khairuddin said. “I think it is great that more and more people are finding their niche. Some magazines are just another version of the other.”

BRAVA

In many student-produced publications, developing a “voice” is the ultimate goal in communicating a message. This is especially true for Latin American publication BRAVA Magazine, which gives a refreshed lens to the English-speaking Latin world in a smart and stylish way.

“I’m speaking to the North American audience, in their own language, about a somehow forgotten, foreign, industry,” explained editor-in-chief Paula Gómez. “I think it’s a magazine that’s needed; it gives voice to Latin American fashion in such a simple, carefree, optimistic way. The content accommodates a variety of readers. I see BRAVA leading the way, not being part of a ‘type of publication.’”

In its sleek design, whimsical illustrations and powerful quotes from Latin women in literature, BRAVA captures the magic of culture. “The most rewarding part was finding the BRAVA voice, and seeing it come to life in each story and article published,” Gómez said.

PRSPCTiV

In a world of constant movement, there’s rarely any time to take in the details. PRSPCTiV magazine is a “detail-grabber” with a thoughtful eye that connects space and style through geometric graphics and clean color palettes.

“It tackles multiple subjects while simultaneously weaving them together, providing the reader with a more dimensional experience and the tools necessary to connect vision with a mission and, therefore, acquire their aspirations,” says editor-in-chief Ariana Kearney.

From fashion and interior design to sustainability in design, PRSPECTiV tackles subjects that many mainstream publications often do not challenge. It’s design focuses on clean layouts and spirited headlines; it joins conversations many Millennials are having and provokes self-examination for the purpose of changing our lifestyle for a better future.   

MORALE

Morale is a celebration of the self. It is a collection of real stories that encourage a path of self-love and genuine identity for all women. of all shapes, sizes and skin tones, and It shakes the status quo with articles and visuals that re-directs focus away from the globally accepted idea of “perfect.”

Editor-in-chief, Jinea Witter, created this magazine to challenge the images and impressions of standardized beauty in mainstream publications. and Through Morale, Witter crafts a different reflection of young women. Vibrant illustrations and layouts add life to the journey of self-discovery.

“For this magazine, I wanted to target younger women with an edge — the ones who are still trying to find their purpose, and who are discovering their best qualities,” Witter said. “It’s a magazine that’s relatable and speaks directly to the women who are trying to figure it out. It encourages women to have a voice and to go the distance, whether it’s in their careers on the runway or behind the scenes.”

modaBRASIL

modaBRASIL offers an exclusive window and succinct tour guide for those of us unaware of the thriving talent and industry in South America, covering all aspects of Brazilian fashion and culture. It’s more than the touristic side of Brazil — it’s the real, unseen lifestyle that the world rarely catches a glimpse of — presented in a young and illuminating way, explains editor-in-chief, Gabriela Schwyter Granziera.

“My main inspiration behind modaBRASIL was to find a bridge of communication between Brazil and the worldwide fashion industry,” Schwyter Granziera said. “Brazil has an independent fashion industry of its own that goes beyond brands and designers. It’s an economy itself; because of language barriers, the industry cannot expand outside the country.”

The content is delivered with edgy styling and layouts that are balanced by images of the natural world throughout the magazine; it paints a new, youthful vibrant picture for readers.

Fashion Intellect

Fashion Intellect begs to challenge the notion that fashion is just pretty fabric on pretty faces. Editor-in-chief, Mashawn Jones, developed Fashion Intellect with the purpose of educating the skeptic, and encouraging them to see how fashion seeps into different facets and industries.

“It makes readers ponder fashion in another light. In the world of niche and independent magazines, it follows that standard by providing fresh, thought-provoking content,” Jones said. “I’m not saying that my magazine is revolutionary, it just isn’t what you think of when it comes to your average fashion magazine.”

The magazine serves as a relevant platform to discuss trends and issues within the industry through reviews such as “Is Fashion Above Diversity Issues?” and “Is it Menswear or Womenswear?”, as well as the Palomo Spain spring/summer 2018 review. The magazine’s , punchy writing and transparent design, accomplishes its greatest goal, which is to provoke deeper discussion among its readers.

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