At the beginning of 2018, fashion communication students at Brighton University were preparing for a new term of innovative work, creating and designing magazines that explore the limits of fashion publishing. After printing copies of seven magazines, Neighbour, Breach, Outof, Voix, Unco, POWA and Strip, the emerging writers, editors and publishers took to the Magazine Shop in Brighton, to decorate their window and sell the magazines as part of the thriving independent industry in Brighton & Hove.
As fashion becomes more and more an industry with a multiplicity of different elements, including design, communications, digital media, styling and creative direction, making up just a few of the opportunities a career in the fashion industry offers, the place for communications students is widening. We caught up with Erin Dapper, the head of the project and student at Brighton University, and Martin Skelton, Owner of Magazine Brighton, to hear more about how the city residents and students worked together to pursue a more diverse range of emerging printed talent.
What inspired the idea of participating in Brighton's booming independent magazine scene?
It was actually my lecturer, Stephanie John's, idea. As a course, we all love Magazine Brighton because they provide such fantastic content for us to take inspiration from. She contacted Martin to see if we could use the window display and sell our magazines in the shop and he agreed. Steph let us know that this could be an option for us and I asked if I could lead the event to make it happen. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up and I really wanted everyone in my year to have this chance!
"One of the reasons we set up the shop - on top of our love for independent magazines and the people who make them - was to support students. Our big hope is that we can give some help to students who are interested in magazines by paying for their first print run or a designer or.... We haven’t reached this point yet but we are really happy to support students who come into the shop and were immediately happy to say yes when some students asked if they could have our window for a few days. "
Martin Skelton, Magazine Brighton
How did the collaborative project come about?
As soon as I was put in contact with Roxana, the manager, I met up with her and we decided on January 12th - 14th to decorate the window with our magazines. When the time came, one or two people from each magazine group went in the morning to decorate the window how they liked. I'm the Director of PR for Neighbour, so it was my idea to use the flashing neon lights to draw attention. Others used confetti, posters, candy, even dice. Isabelle, who is employed there, then took all of our quantities and prices for the magazines so that they could be bought in the store. Only the magazines were sold. Neighbour sold four copies, Unco sold 1, Voix sold 2, Breach sold 2, and Strip sold 1. On Sunday evening just before it shut, we then took down the display.
What do you think the future of fashion communication will look like?
"I think there will always be a future for fashion communications because fashion will always exist. Nobody ever walks around naked! Where there is fashion design, there is the promotion of it. With our generation, there are so many major events happening that are affecting us now, which strongly influence the way we interpret and express things. It brings us closer together and you can start to see that in fashion comms. Lack of diversity and inclusivity in fashion is something that we are all aware of and it's what needs to change. When we all finally get out there in the field, these two aspects will be at the forefront of it all.
We look forward to welcoming Brighton communications students to Graduate Fashion Week 2018, taking place at Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, East London, from 3rd - 6th June.