Haughty editors. Ten-thousand-dollar-a-day models. Elite labels.
Mainstream fashion magazines can be daunting. Ugly Betty shows how the world of high fashion holds disdain for “normal” girls. The Devil Wears Prada illustrated the industry’s superficiality and backstabbing.
But two new magazines on campus want to make fashion more approachable for the average Northwestern student: STITCH and eNVyus.
STITCH, which debuts at the end of April, celebrates “fashion set free” and features clothes from Evanston stores along with student photographers and models.
“We hope to break down the stigma, make fashion more accessible,” said Medill freshman Joyce Lee, STITCH’s editor-in-chief.
eNVyus plans to launch its first issue next September.
“Fashion is not just this shallow thing that only bimbos with credit cards can do,” said Medill freshman Danielle Cadet, co-editor of eNVyus.
The first ‘STITCH’ is sewn
It all started with Jeremy Piven. Lee and two friends were waiting outside of Pick-Staiger Concert Hall last October, passing the time until the doors opened and they could snag seats to see the Entourage star. One of the three Medill freshmen wondered aloud what Piven would wear for his performance.
Like most good conversations among friends, their talk did not stop at speculation about the celebrity’s wardrobe choices for the evening, but meandered on to a discussion on men’s and women’s fashion. The students noted that none of the magazines on NU’s campus regularly covered fashion.
For the record, Piven wore a purple sweater, a dark blazer and jeans. But that’s hardly important. The students recognized there was a place for a fashion publication on campus and decided to start their own.
A staff formed rapidly. STITCH put together three photo shoots for their first issue. Lee said the group tried to create fresh and edgy looks at the shoots, and the models were always willing to play along.
“We would say to [the models], ‘Go lie across those woodchips or get up on that table and pretend to scream,’ and they were so receptive,” she said.
In addition to three photo spreads, the magazine’s first issue contains a “Trendwatcher” section, a profile on a Chicago designer and a section on new art, music, movies and books. Also in the issue are ads for Evanston businesses.
“Our goal isn’t just to shine the spotlight on who we think are stylish people,” Lee said, “but also to illuminate the artistry and inspirations of fashions, as well as style-conscious individuals here.”
She said the magazine caters to both genders, and seeks to avoid the haughty attitude that makes fashion seem daunting for many.
“We’re firmly unisex,” Lee said.
STITCH recently received a grant from Medill to further finance their magazine. Staffers said they hope to see the publication build up its content and develop a name on campus. They’re also looking to draw more advertisers and convince big-name stores to donate clothing for shoots.
“It will take building a brand,” Lee said.
Look for copies of STITCH on campus and at stores around Evanston at the end of April.
eNVyus channels Vogue
Fashion was in the air last fall. In the same month that launched STITCH was conceived, another magazine idea was born.
Weinberg sophomore Evelyn Parks and Medill freshman Danielle Cadet, both aspiring fashion editors, decided to start their own fashion magazine after browsing the pages of Vogue one day together.
The magazine is still in the works, but has a staff of about forty people, with models and photographers lined up.
“The goal is to show how to make fashion work for your lifestyle,” Cadet said.
eNVyous’ editors said they’re aiming for a “classic” style with the magazine, inspired by the idea of creating a “Vogue for college students.” They hope using clothing from Evanston stores and Old Orchard mall.
“It’s still in the making and we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Cadet said.
Look for issues of eNVyus next Fall Quarter.
Two’s a crowd?
The editors of STITCH and eNVyus said they aren’t worried about the proximity of their launches.
“I’m not worried one bit,” Lee said. “In fact, I find it encouraging that there are other people out there with the incentive and the passion to go out and start their own fashion magazine.”
eNVyus’ editors said they too see the sudden interest in fashion magazines as a good sign.
“It goes to show that fashion has a place on this campus,” Cadet said.