It’s one of the most influential magazines in the world, a place to soak up all the goings-on around Central Saint Martins, at the University of the Arts London, considered one of the best universities in the world to study fashion at and birthplace of some of the best designers in the world.
Today we’re talking about 1Granary, the student and graduate run magazine for Central Saint Martins, made with exquisite care, attention to aesthetics and content with thousands of followers across the globe.
At So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins, we’re big fans of theirs and we had the opportunity to spend some time talking with them about what goes on behind the scenes. If you’re interested in studying fashion or, it’s your way of expressing yourself and the world you live in, then you won’t want to miss out on this interview
SC!: Could you tell us a little about how this project got started?
1GRANARY: 1 Granary initially started as a blog that first saw the light of day when the Central Saint Martins campus moved from Soho to King’s Cross’ 1 Granary Square. Only Fashion and Fine Art were taught in Soho’s Charing Cross Road building and we were all spread around different floors and rarely saw each other, but we’re now surrounded by graphic designers, illustrators, film makers, and many other pathways, which makes it easier to collaborate and much more inspiring. We do strongly believe that in our time everyone should change their mentality from competing with each other to collaborating and the magazine is one of the results of it.
SC!:Who makes up the team? Are you all students or ex-students at St. Martins?
1G: Our team is largely made up of Central Saint Martins students and recent graduates, but we also have a few brilliant international contributors who are part of the platform. Outside of the core editorial team, we have fashion designers who are journalists, and journalists who end up helping fashion designers…
SC!:In your second issue you said: “being a creative is hard at the moment, right? With the highest university fees on record, investing in yourself as a creative is pretty risky business. In light of sweeping cuts to arts education, and indeed to the arts as a whole, it’s not looking like the best time to commit to a career as an artist or designer”. According to the 1Granary team, is this the worst time to invest in a degree in fashion?
1G: I can say either yes or no to that question. It depends on a plethora of personal qualities, which could either be developed by enrolling in fashion education, or by persistence and a lot of hard work. Truth is, there will be those who have obtained a fashion degree but who don’t put in the hard work to make it and there are those that bypass the education system to go straight into the deep end.
Part of the problem is that a fashion degree is seen as an “investment,” like some sort of luxury leather good or a financial endeavour that will instantly reap rewards. It should be seen as an achievable option for everyone that works hard enough for it and deserves it. A fashion degree is an opportunity to develop the skills, techniques, vision and physical ability to become a fashion designer, journalist, professional etc.
That’s where the scholarships and bursaries help, but the costs of living in London and producing a collection can still go far beyond the basic tuition fees for most people, making it realistically unaffordable and thus, essentially elitist.
You have to ask yourself whether you want to play by the rules and get an education by paying tens of thousands of pounds in tuition fees and living costs, or if you’re bold enough to attempt get the same skills and experiences on your own.
SC!: In the second issue you also stated that, “The pages in issue 2 are a testament to that (being creative is hard at the moment), featuring the first generation of Central Saint Martins students, who fought through money issues to produce something original, and do something new”. What can we find in the second issue? Who have you interviewed from the first generation of Central Saint Martins?
1G: The second issue is filled with a mix of interviews, editorial collaborations and features on established and current CSM talent. We interviewed figures such a Hamish Bowles, Simon Foxton, and Lee Swillingham, as well as interviews with current CSM tutors and more recent graduates, such as Craig Green and Alexander Fury. We have a lot of freedom to feature who we want, so we’re always looking for inspiring talent for the magazine and website, as long as it is relevant to CSM.
SC!: Do you have any support for the project? Is it a self-funded deal or does the university along with advertising cover your costs?
1G: The university is not involved with financial support or content. We have no editorial restrictions, which is great, but it means that we have to raise money to cover costs independently.
SC!: What’s it like to publish your magazine in a world that’s seemingly turned away from paper and focused on the on-line world?
1G: We would like to take a leaf out of Thomas Persson’s book, the Editor in Chief of Acne Paper. He told us that his magazine was about making something museum quality. We strongly feel that print still has its place and relevance, and maybe even more so now that the big focus is on digital. The game changes, but the reality is: you have to make quality in no matter what platform.
SC!:Any advice for potential St. Martins candidates?
1G: Grow a good set of balls. Fail a lot, and learn from it. Our mantra as of late has been: “Who the fuck’s got time for mediocrity?”
SC!: Does St. Martins provide support to students once they’ve graduated?
1G: The University itself does not so much offer support as access. Rather, it’s the network of people that you meet through your course, whether it’s the tutors, classmates or people who come in to collaborate or commission projects. It’s not a certainty that these people will support you, but if you give them a reason to, we don’t see why not.
SC!:What publications should every fashion student read?
1G: There’s only two types of publications, the good and the bad ones. Most of the stuff we read doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with fashion: we admire articles about great thinkers, good interviews that have depth and anything that offers useful advice.
All images courtesy of 1Granary
Translation and Layout by Michael Padilla