NOW 2019

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never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never

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L E TT E R F R OM TH E Five years ago, I founded NOW as a fashion publication

interest in fashion being superficial, trivial, or somehow

to celebrate and empower individuals in their self- external to my intelligence. Through this project, I look expression through style. I was in high school and closely at what it is about the world of fashion that is had certainly never considered doing research before.

problematic and unintelligent in order to wade through

The continuation of this project has been fueled these insecurities. Here, my power to exercise and simultaneously by my interest in pursuing a career in

celebrate creativity has grown alongside and because

editorial creative direction and love for connecting of the opportunity to exist in an academic, researchwith people in meaningful ways. The issue that follows

based space. Media theory has given me perspective

has been guided by my undergraduate thesis, which

on what it means to be an informed producer and a

investigates how certain fashion publications function.

critical consumer. Concerns over my work no longer spiral in doubt, wondering if it is “important” or

My introduction to the world of research was

“smart” enough. Instead, I consider whether or

uninteresting. How my mind operates rejected sterile not it is thoughtful, aware, empowering enough. and methodical practices of seeking and collecting information. I had no desire to spend years of my life But perhaps these things go hand in hand. Selfthinking about data or research questions. But after defeating thoughts about my interest in fashion, style, a first few awkward interactions with Media Studies and visual work have been mediated by my developing research, something shifted. I realized that this process ability to be informed and ultimately create things that could be just as non-linear and creative as any passion are important, smart, and thoughtful. In transforming project usually is. I loved hearing about how being

this insecurity, I have made space for new meaning

personally invested in something could make academic and for my own contributions to the canon of work all the more interesting. And so, I started to intersectional editorial content in fashion publications. realize how I might have the right ratio of borderline obsessive-compulsive perfectionism and love for creative Immersing myself in a visual world has meant relating work to find my place in this world of “research”.

to a new system of language. It has required me to quickly process media theory from classes and relate it to

I have consistently struggled with the perception of my

images I see in fashion magazines and on social media. 4

Synthesizing complex articles and research has me feel as though I am seeing these images for the first time. This new system of language consists of “reading� images, power dynamics, representation, intersectionality, circuits of culture, and decoding. These things have allowed for my revision of what I had always taken before as fact.

In what follows, I question the ways mainstream and





represent femininity and marginalized individuals in relationship to my understanding of the intersectional feminist movement. This work is highly personal and represents what I think it means to produce a fashion publication in an intentional, thoughtful way.



EDITOR IN CHIEF & CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sophie Bergquist PHOTOGRAPHERS Ryan Jones Michelle Miles Will Jones Eli Aura Catherine Clark Leo Domingues CONTRIBUTORS Michelle Miles Leah Tassinari EDITORS Leah Tassinari Lana Swartz William Little Ryan Jones STYLISTS Kate Snyder Lauren Wick Brandon Bland SET ASSISTANCE Maeve Bradley







express your self through style



auras CREATIVE DIRECTION Sophie Bergquist Brandon Bland PHOTOGRAPHY Eli Aura


the prismatic nature of youth explored through the lens of a primary palette



COLOR OVER LINE Mondrian inspired color blocking. Why try to see the big picture with so many perspectives to choose from?


MORE IS MORE Model Brandon Bland steals the spotlight




consider your intersections


INTERVIEW AND STORY Sophie Bergquist PHOTOGRAPHY Michelle Miles Will Jones

[ in conversation ]

B E AT R I X O S T 18

n a culture of speed; from the instant nature of our technology to fast fashion, it is increasingly rare to encounter individuals who take time. Who put care and intention into themselves, their homes, the way they fill their days. One of the first things I noticed about Beatrix Ost, upon meeting her in her Charlottesville, VA townhouse is that she is one of these rare individuals.

and in the townhouse that she recently moved to. From this solid foundation, she is able to present herself to the world in a way that is wholly original. In periods of transition, uncertainty, change, many times we are advised to seek mentorship from those who have lived through life’s many twists and turns. I turn to Beatrix, seeking wisdom and hoping for some seed of reassurance in a time that feels very unknown, asking her about this uneasy feeling. “I love to talk about this with teenagers, standing on the edge of a new, unknown life. I am standing on the edge of a new, unknown life too. I’ve never been old before!” Frustratingly ambiguous, I let this sink in and eventually find comfort in it. We never are fully formed, never complete, always on the brink of discovering our evolving selves.

As life pulls at the seams in what sometimes feels like every direction, Beatrix’s regal posture and steadfast red-lipped smirk remain unchanged. Sitting comfortably by the burning fireplace in her multipurpose living room turned painter’s studio, we embark on a conversation about occupying the space of our bodies and homes, life’s changes, and how adornment is everything but superficial.

Our bodies are our real houses. This is where we really live.

“I never just throw something on me, I wear it. The difference is that care,” says Beatrix. And that care is apparent in seemingly everything Beatrix touches. From the delicately steeped rose tea that we sip on to the slight veil of intentionally purple hair that sweeps out from below her patterned headscarf, an ethos of care quite literally shines from Beatrix. It seems that the amount of energy she focuses towards caring for herself and taking care of her body is reciprocated by the space around her. Throughout our conversation, her two dogs rarely leave her side as her bejeweled hands occasionally wander to pat their sun drenched faces.

Beatrix is the perfect example of this. As she sees it, having lived through various phases of the unknown, each is an opportunity to reinvent herself. With this, she disregards the notion that at some arbitrary age we are meant to ‘have it all figured out.’ While some things are constants, like the red lips she’s been wearing since she was sixteen, her violet-hued hair, and the z-shaped scar from childhood on her forehead, Beatrix seems to thrive in the freedom that change affords.

“I want to feel I can move,” she says, “I don’t want to be dressed so that I am not feeling my own age. “You have to learn to listen to yourself, like my I want to be comfortable in this body. I want to motto in your body is a good place to be, I think our wear something which makes me feel great.” The bodies are our real houses. This is where we really longer we spoke, the more I realized the liberation live.” With that, there is no doubt that Beatrix Beatrix seeks from her wardrobe is merely the base is at home in her body, among her beloved pets, layer from which she lives an unencumbered life. 19

This freedom, fluidity, the way she theatrically moves through a space speak to the surrealism threaded into her personal style. She presents herself as stand-alone work of art at first glance, something from Dalí or Magritte. But her aesthetic is deeper, more developed than such a finite description. “I am not a consumer, but I am a collector,” Beatrix corrects me. So perhaps not a solitary work of Surrealism, but a collection, exhibition brought to life. A timeless one at that. “I have an evening dress which is really bare. And I still wear it. I think it’s encouraging to other women. You don’t just have to be really young to wear something like that. It looks great. It’s almost a statement.” Without paying much attention to trends, Beatrix says she has built her wardrobe to be a collection of adornments from different stages in her life. Various travels, relationships, and adventures have yielded a rich physical archive of a full life.




fill in the margins


LIVING a series of features on individuals who do and make things that resist definitions of artist, musician, and designer



L E [ O ] D E A R


Leo is a maker of jokes & photos, a writer of code and poetry. He ultimately exists on a level of cool that is hard to come by. Featured here is his photography, which he edits to obscure and create meaning. Double exposures and annotations merge abstraction with poetry.






An afternoon spent wandering through some of the best of New York City brought photos of and conversation with Mike and Frantz of HOAX, a two man band pioneering the empathy stage of pop. Interview by Sophie Bergquist Photos by Dorothy Wang


What do you think of the term intersection? M: About a year and a half ago, we started defining our music to ourselves as ‘empathy pop.’ We want it to

M: There’s a modern take on it. And there’s the speak to people’s individual journeys but also create a technical take on it. When I think about it, I think of

sense of closeness from one person to the next. So if

literal crossroads, you know? Paths are crossing. And

you can’t see someone else’s perspective, to at least let

then there’s the practicality of it.

people be able to hear a different perspective. In that regard, I think our music is a lot about people coming

F: I think it has a lot to do with race.

together and intersecting. To be open to listening.

M: Words are so interesting. For me it really makes me F: I think a lot of it has to do with getting people in a think of a bunch of different people coming together room together. There are reasons why people believe or crossing paths. But words are so fluid, they can

things so strongly. And it’s easy to think that a person

mean different things in different realms. Like I know

who has different opinions from you is totally different.

intersectionality means one thing in academics but it But when people come together you realize it’s a lot has meaning in political and pop culture realms too.

more complicated than that. Maybe you don’t agree with everything, and that’s good, but you can still respect

To follow up on that, how would you

that. So hopefully that’s what our music can inspire

describe your music demonstrating a

people to do, get in the room together and just talk.

crossing of paths?

Do you also use your personal styles to

represent your ideas? Or is it a separate

M: I think everything in your life that got you to a

specific point is part of what you make. So like for us, we thing? grew up as minorities and I think that shows in how we

M: It’s almost more lifestyle based. The art I think is

look at life. We both had pretty strict minority parents

who wanted us to do things that are counterintuitive great, my style, my preferences, they are all based on to what we are doing now. That dichotomy of wanting my lifestyle which then breathes into the stuff I create. something more for your life while being told that in I think it compounds naturally. Sometimes we dress up order to get that you should be going in a different like it’s the Seventies. direction is tough.

F: Not for any reason, just because we think it’s dope.

F: When I was younger, I always hated how people

would define themselves based on one thing. I never M: Right, and then that might spur us to sing in a really subscribed to that. I don’t think of myself as a certain way. “New Yorker” even though I grew up here my whole

F: It’s kind of like method acting. You get into the role

life. I’m Puerto Rican and Haitian and am always

between those things. I always just want to be defined and it inspires you. I get a lot of inspiration from people, as an individual. I’m just me. But at the same time, I especially from the Sixties. realize the way I was raised contributes to who I am. That shouldn’t limit who I can be though. 32

As two guys making music, how do you see

really does. But at the end of the day, we want to be able

yourselves relating to a female audience?

to pose those questions and ask ‘why do I believe what

M: I feel like I always have better conversations with

do with our music. We want people to really dig within

I believe’? That, to me, is the most important thing we

women, and I think it’s because a lot of the men I come themselves. across feel like they can’t really talk. With women, it

M: This is making me think of our current album that

feels like there is this emotional honesty that makes it

easier to talk freely about anything. Rather than filter we are working on, called b?. It’s easy to think that we your emotions or have to appear alpha or strong or are doing it all wrong, because we are a generation of doers focused on quantitative things like money or


numbers of streams… but I think we are making a really F: For me, it is always strange to have noticed these conscious effort to balance that ‘doing’ and ‘being’ in divides between men and women. I was raised by my the process. In our music we aren’t trying to say that any one way is the answer, but rather just pose the question.

mom and was always surrounded by women growing up. So I never understood that idea that to be a woman

One thing that stuck out in our conversation

is less than. My mom is lit! She’s my dad and my mom.

It’s so weird that that is something that is learned, that earlier today was hearing you say you want someone is less than you because of their gender or race. to live now. What does that mean for you? I hope our music could have the effect on someone to be able to make them say they respect and love everyone.

M: I think it’s gratitude. Taking time to internalize

I might be a bit of a pessimist, but I don’t think that’s

events and people and conversations. Appreciating

going to happen. I think that generationally we need to that it is first of all happening to you and then being be teaching our kids respect and love and having them thankful for it. As much as there is pain in life, there is also beauty in it. Being just grateful to be alive is a

teach that as well. That’s how a change will be made.

huge part of it, of being now. In an ideal world, what are people hearing

F: It is really easy to point to things that are wrong. But

in your music that sparks a new way of thinking?

it’s harder to be like ‘damn, am I part of the problem? Or am I somehow making it better?’ To me, until you

M: I think a lot of it is perspective. I genuinely believe

do that you aren’t really here. Like you gotta take time to

everything we write and sing about. Lyrics naturally

think about it all or else you get in this crazy pace where

come to support those ideas. Or at least come to shine

it is wake up, rinse, repeat. It shouldn’t take something

light on a new perspective - one that is different from

terrible to happen in your life to make you grateful. We

the usual male narrative. So hopefully that is what try to live that now. people are getting, exposure to seeing things from other points of view. F: Yeah, and that we don’t know the answers to any of the questions we are posing. And I don’t think anyone 33


PARKED Mike (left) and Frantz (right) have each others’ backs


B? Profiles of the band before their upcoming album release



STARS N’ STRIPES Snapped in the band’s neighboorhood, Queens 38



ARTICLE Leah Tassinari DESIGNS Brianna Toomer PHOTOGRAPHY Jen Lovely STYLING Elaina Haviland MODEL Sophia Bru HAIR AND MAKEUP Veronica Navarro 40

nobody’s housewife 41

DAMAGE CONTROL Toomer’s designs are made for everything but staying still


In an age when ‘feminism’ is a polarizing F-word in our everyday vocabulary and ‘sustainability’ has graduated from an abstract concept to a trending qualifier, it’s easy to point fingers at who is or isn’t doing enough to make these more than buzzwords. Well, say what you will about us, but millennials, like fashion designer Brianna Toomer, may just be the children of the revolution. Effortlessly embodying a modern feminist archetype, Toomer is facing social stigmata with grace beyond her years and style beyond our imaginations.

tenth birthday, [my dad] got me this whole art set and fashion sketch book… I would take that book to school every day and practice drawing.” Instead of dolls and make believe, Toomer had her sketch book and fashion magazines.

With her sights set on the fashion world, Toomer always knew that she wanted to live in the city. She enrolled in the San Francisco Academy of Art University and immediately fell in love with the city. Like any other young student, she did face some defining life situations, and it was in San Francisco When many of us think of Alaska, we picture a that she first came face to face with feminism as frozen tundra dotted sporadically with bouquets more than just an abstraction. “I don’t know if I of wildflowers, arctic water walled in by glaciers, can remember it when I first moved, but once I and rugged mountain peaks crowned by a row really got acclimated, it was actually a lot from the of conifers. Alas, Toomer, who grew up in LGBTQ community,” explains Toomer. “I know Anchorage, Alaska, paints a more metropolitan I would not have experienced that in Alaska.” image of her hometown. “The art scene isn’t that great, but it’s one of the first states to legalize Toomer’s seemingly idyllic, Alaskan youth didn’t marijuana. Politically it’s a red state, so outside present palpable moments of marginalization, of Anchorage people think very conservatively, but in San Francisco she faced a different but within the city we don’t really have racial challenge. “Because I am a tomboy and I carry diversity problems because it is so diverse.” In myself more like a guy… when I moved to San fact, it was growing up in Anchorage that fostered Francisco, a lot of people thought I was lesbian Toomer’s unique personal style. As the only sister or queer or bi,” said the young designer. “I got of two boys, Toomer naturally played whatever hit on by women all the time or guys would say sport they were playing. Her affinity for athletics they thought I was into girls.” This conundrum continued throughout her youth, and she was was difficult to wrap her head around at first. surrounded by young girls of similar dispositions. Despite this, though, Toomer maintains that It wasn’t until Toomer moved to the mainland San Francisco, particularly the Tenderloin, is states that she became fully aware of how one of the least judgmental places she’s ever different her appearance was at the time. “Yeah, lived. “I liked living in the Tenderloin and seeing I didn’t really feel it until I got to the states and transgender people that maybe weren’t like the there were more ‘girly girls,’” Toomer reflects. cool transgender girl on Instagram… It was Her style wasn’t the only thing that blossomed in like a free for all, no one really judged anybody, Anchorage. “I was super into sports, but I was you can see anything at any time of day.” always drawing and was always really artistic.” Toomer confidently states that she knew by the After paying her due for four years at school, age of ten that she would be in fashion. “For my the zenith of her career so far came when she 43

created her senior year collection, titled ‘Nobody’s

what I learned very quickly. […]It’s just more under the

Housewife.’ Inspired by 40s army wives and by the

rug whereas at the time we’re in right now in America

strong women she admired in her personal sphere, everything is extremely vocal so it feels like we’re the only ‘Nobody’s Housewife’ takes retro silhouettes and

ones with these problems.” And, though she doesn’t let

tailoring and brings them into the contemporary

people’s opinions influence her style and design choices,

age with convertible features and electrifying color

she admits that she does think about the message she is

combinations. The contrast of structured suiting and

sending with each outfit she puts together. In terms of

feminine frocks is a clever quip to the retro standards of

her career, she recognizes that she is very lucky to be in

womanhood and the modern concept of the feminist an industry dominated by women, and so she confirms ideal. Now studying fashion in Paris, Toomer has gained that feminism affects her design aesthetic. “I’m always wisdom and perspective, and her creative spectrum has thinking about the customer that I’m designing for, the expanded so that she will be revisiting the collection girl, the muse that I have in my mind, the perfect girl and fine tuning it to better reflect a matured mindset.

that I would have wearing it.” And the perfect girl to her? “It’s something that she embodies. Women that

After finishing her four years in San Francisco, Toomer I’m influenced by are stronger women… they embody was accepted into a fifth year of studies in Paris at the values and confidence that I see in feminist women.” the Studio Berçot, where she is currently perfecting her portfolio and tweaking her senior year collection, It appears that despite the tumultuous political times applying her new technical skills and worldly experience statewide and abroad, the revolution is starting slowly, to her opus. Paris, the city itself, provides endless

at least within the fashion industry. Toomer, for one,

inspiration for the young designer. “The culture, the plans to work her way up the ladder and build her art… I mean I get to see so many different artists that I network connections. Looking forward, she hopes that didn’t get to see before… The clothes that I see…” muses

womenswear will evolve more in practice rather than

the designer. Of course, the question of American style just aesthetic. “You can’t really revolutionize within versus Parisian style always comes up, especially upon

silhouette, at this point,” laments Toomer. “But, you

a quick browse of the designer’s Instagram. Electric

can revolutionize the way people are thinking.” Her

green braids, bra tops, utility pants, vintage blazers, fellow students are leading the way. “This generation athletic apparel, etc. do not the classic française make.

of designers is going to really start pushing more

Toomer laughs when she recalls reactions to her look. sustainable design.” Instead of just creating the newest “Yeah I feel like an outcast every time I step onto the trend, or the biggest name in fashion, these young metro. It’s funny, sixty to seventy percent of people look

designers are thinking beyond that and evolving existing

at me like I’m crazy.” But, rather than being intimated, practices to be more holistic. She acknowledges, Toomer finds it to be a liberating sensation and

however, that the industry still has a long way to go,

approaches it all with “a certain level of confidence.”

and that not all the necessary resources are available yet to make fully sustainable, eco-conscious fashion

With Brianna’s background and experiences, it begs the possible. But, at the very least, it is the direction question of how she now views modern socio-political we are headed. It is a slow burn, but this child of issues, especially since her trans-Atlantic move. “I

the revolution plans to set fire to the fashion world.

honestly think it’s the exactly same as in America. That’s 44

STAY SHARP The designer’s graduating collection is put to the test 45


WORKWEAR The collection disrupts traditional notions of menswear and professionalism



be revisionary


S E ML ahead Michelle Miles,

whose beauty oscillates between Old Hollywood glamour and a face of the future is here, now in her own words

directed by SOPHIE BERGQUIST photography by RYAN JONES set assistance by MAEVE BRADLEY



There’s this quote that I love from Diana Vreeland about style:

you it,








you the I’m









stairs. way about




life. lots

Without of


While my style evolution has, unfortunately, still not helped me overcome the boundary of stairs, the way I dress myself has undoubtedly played a role in helping me understand who I am, and who I want to be. It’s the same way that what I do with my time, the words I say, the things I write, and my every other action shapes my identity and sense of self. Sometimes I feel that style boils down to making decisions – decisions about how you want to present yourself to and experience the world. It’s work, but I believe that being conscious of your own presence is important, and thinking purposefully about what you put forth into the world is valuable work to do.

It has very little to do with the clothes you wear, and perhaps more to do with the energy and attitude you carry, which can be so influenced by how you’re dressed. For me personally, clothes are also a very unique opportunity to feel tangibly connected to the world. I make a point to buy as much of my wardrobe as possible from thrift stores or sites like Depop, for environmental sustainability reasons, but also because garments with backstory interest me more so than garments I simply find beautiful. I love wearing things that I know others have worn, and constructing stories about them in my head that I imagine my experiences add to or build on.




I actually remember exactly when my

they were a support system. They provided

interest in fashion began – when after

a wealth of confidence I drew from when I

school activities ceased to consist of

rolled into my high school classrooms each day

animal crackers and naps and became

in dramatic winged liner, vibrant shades of

soccer practice and dance rehearsal, my

lipstick, fedoras, and fur vests (and thankfully,

adolescent self encountered a very isolating they’ve guided my style evolution since then). conundrum. I couldn’t participate in any of

I felt so empowered by the women who ran

these physically demanding activities, and

these blogs, that I even taught myself how to

my interest in drawing and painting didn’t create a website from scratch and designed my exactly provide the supportive community

own – which is tragically gone now, since my

that my friends enjoyed through their sports tween self forgot to renew my domain name. teams. By the grace of some higher power, the solution to my isolation presented itself

Every 14 year old is self-conscious about

shortly after I received my first laptop for their appearance, the changes their body is Christmas, when my world was forever

undergoing, the pressure to fit in with their

changed by a virtual space called Bloglovin’. peers – let alone being the only kid in school in a wheelchair. The 300 pound hunk of metal that Each day after school, I signed into my

I throne daily never gave me the opportunity to

account to see what had been posted that

blend in and with everyone else around me, and,

day on The Blonde Salad, PeaceLoveShea,

at 14, the fashion blogosphere took my hand

Man Repeller, or Into the Gloss. These

and showed me how to embrace that facet of

blogs were more to me than just websites, my life as my boldest, most coveted accessory.





color it in




CREATIVE DIRECTION Sophie Bergquist PHOTOGRAPHY Catherine Clark STYLING Kate Snyder LIGHTING Ryan Jones MODELS Lizz Bangura, Julia Melton, Aryana Jiménez Senzano 60

Three women exist and live in a white space. This minimalistic and bleak environment has enforced its code of ethics and behavior upon these women for so long that they struggle to live in color. On the vernal equinox, light breaks through the boundaries of the white space and encourages them to color in their world. As a result, they experiment with moving away from the uniform of minimalism and begin to express their individuality through style.

visible and exposed in this white space to obscuring an outsider’s view of their faces and bodies. They gain agency as they begin to disrupt the space they are in, stepping away from existing entirely within the white editorial backdrop to expose the boundaries of the set they are in. In doing so, the framing of the set is exposed and more natural light is used. A disruption of the white space is also achieved by incorporating elements to the set that add dimension and shadow. This takes shape through adding wrinkled paper and other objects to the set. Ultimately, the women disrupt their environment, finding subversive, creative, and colorful ways to create their own space within already existing boundaries. The whiteness of the setting will not be erased (as you can not erase what is already white), but it will be forever altered by the impact the women make.

Space is created with increasingly bold colors and silhouettes. While the white space they have always existed in has required a quasi-neutral uniform - of khakis and whites and rigidly tailored clothing, they begin to step outside of these boundaries. Silhouettes become more fluid, unstructured, and maximalist. They take ownership of their identities, going from being fully


NET NEUTRALS THIS PAGE : Labo Art skirt, Isabel Marant blouse, Herno vest, Lizzie Fortunado cuff, Zero Maria Cornejo strap flat, OPPOSITE PAGE: Isabel Marant blouse, Marla Aaron lock necklace, Honey hat






Art pants, Paloma Barcelo wedge OPPOSITE PAGE:

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CUFFING SEASON Isabel Marant blouse, Brochu Walker joggers, Sofie Dhoore belt, Lizzie Fortunado cuffs, Marion Parke 45mm 66


THROWING SHADES THIS PAGE : Ulla Johnson blouse, Herno vest, Butter heel, Illesteva sunglasses OPPOSITE PAGE:

Isabel Marant sweater, Brochu Walker jumpsuit, Lizzie Fortunado cuffs, Golden Goose sneakers, Illesteva aviators




NOT A TULLE Sofie Dhoore dress and belt, Rachel Comey top, Ten Thousand Things earrings, Birkenstocks 71




DOUBLE EXPOSURE THIS PAGE: Caliban dress, Lobster earring, Baizaar beads OPPOSITE PAGE: Isabel Marant blouse, Tibi dress, Lizzie Fortunado cuffs, Baizaar beads


BLOCKED Kule jacket, Tibi dress, Marla Aaron lock necklace, Lizzie Fortunado cuffs Baizaar beads, Bird earrings







Over the past few years, I have been given the tools to voice for the voiceless, you just have to pass the mic.” embark on a revision of my own work while being in- And so, I pivoted in my egocentric perception of this formed by important theories in media and intersection- work, realizing that this is about who I am able to conal feminist studies. I adapted the academic affordances nect with, celebrate, and empower. Considering NOW of research to look again at media texts in fashion jour- as a portfolio of a way of thinking and as the reprenalism that have always been central to my own con- sentation of an evolution is important to me. I am not sumption. By looking closely at editorial content from going to change the way that fashion magazines whitesome of my favorite publications, I see more clearly how

wash diversity or how size-inclusivity is used as a mar-

production, representation, and consumption (the cir- keting tactic. But I have changed how I think about the cuit of culture) function to either empower or oppress. work I have been doing and plan to continue to do.

Part of this reflective process has been coming to terms To claim to conclude this project would be reductive. with the importance of my role in this. From my re- The work presented here and in the production of NOW search, I know that how a media text is produced and is a commemoration of the beginning. It signifies my who is represented is incredibly important, especially transition into and out of academic spaces, guided by a when the goal is to empower marginalized individu- creative mission. It represents years of thinking criticalals. Also from my research, I have realized that exist- ly, looking hard, and making things from scratch. But ing power structures are not diverse or at all commit- it is student work, and will eventually be ‘that thing I ted to empowering marginalized individuals. Given made a bunch of years ago that is hard to look at.’ In this, I began to wonder what my role is in producing

recognizing this, I am excited to know that this is work

this kind of work. I am a middle class white woman, that will never be done. Just like the schools of thought after all. I wanted to distance myself from the traps of

that I have been immersed in throughout this process,

the “white savior” complex but also contribute to the

my interrogation of the world around me through the

reconfiguration of existing power structures. A quote medium of editorial images will continue to evolve. I’m from activist Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer helped me to

hoping it will help the world around me evolve as well.

reevaluate my mission here, “you don’t have to be a