We met up with Beccy Hill, Editor in Chief of Sister Magazine – an internationally stocked and independently published magazine for girls which aims to provide a platform for a generation who are frustrated by the constraints of gender in modern society. After almost five years on the scene we wanted to find out more about the launch of The Feedback Series – their first ever line of merchandise.
What’s the story behind Sister Magazine?
Sister was my final major project for my Fashion Journalism course at University. The summer of my graduation it got stocked by the Tate Modern bookshop, which was totally insane and drove me to keep going with it. It’s now managed to grow from just me to James, Laura and Rosie – we all went to university together which makes it even better.
Your first campaign has the slogan “Generally Quite Professional” emblazoned on the back, where did that come from?
What you see on the t-shirts are actual lines from the feedback that I was given when I handed Sister in at Uni, (Hense the name The Feedback Collection) It was the worst mark I had ever received and I was heartbroken. It felt like my tutor’s comments more reflected his opinion of me and my taste than of the magazine. I hope they don’t come across as bitter, we just thought they’d make funny t-shirts and hopefully inspire people. When you get criticism, it can be really difficult to persevere and have complete faith in yourself and what you’re doing, but it will pay off eventually.
Who designed the tees and what inspired the aesthetic?
Illustrator and mega babe Hatti Rex, who has worked on pretty much every issue of Sister with us. She’s amazingly talented with a wicked sense of humour, and always manages to produce what’s inside my head. We started by looking at a lot of old punk flyers, as DIY is so important to everything Sister does. We also felt like each phrase should look like what it’s saying – ‘flimsy and amateurish’ being the best example I guess. That one’s coming soon!
What drew you to launch your merchandise with Everpress?
We’ve been dying to make merch for ages, but as a small business we just haven’t had the capacity or the upfront funds to do so. Everpress eliminated both of those problems – It literally took us about ten minutes from receiving Hatti’s designs to getting our campaign live. It’s great that we could take complete ownership of the campaign page, like using our logo and writing a custom description as it meant that everything was still in keeping with the Sister style. It’s also pretty handy that you package and post the orders out for us, because it really isn’t about queueing at the post office on your lunch break.
What was the decision to only launch two issues a year?
I wish we could do more than two issues a year, but we all work full time jobs and those six months between honestly fly by, especially as we put on events as well. The reality is, none of us can afford to not work. We have no backers, no investors and no advertisers, so everything comes out of our pocket. It’s hard, but it’s rewarding unlike anything else.
What has been your proudest moment for Sister?
That’s difficult. I get such a buzz every time I see Sister on the homepages of Dazed or i-D, as they’re publications that I grew up completely idolising and referencing. To be honest every time we launch a new issue I’m proud that we’ve managed to make it happen, or when we host an event and I see a room full of people enjoying themselves and networking I think, “We did this!”
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Well, we’ve been talking a lot about Geri Halliwell recently, her 2000 Brits performance was very iconic. I guess right now I’m obsessed with Adwoa Aboah, the Instagram account @everyoutfitonsatc, Victoria Sin and Solange, so if any of them are reading and want to link up, you know where to find us.
What else can we expect to see from Sister in 2017?
Our sixth issue will be out at the end of this month, and then we’ll be doing a zine workshop at Brighton Dome on March 4th to raise funds for Brighton Women’s Centre and celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s first come first served, so get down early to secure your slot. We’re also hosting a summer party, but I can’t say too much about that right now -keep your eyes on our socials to find out more.
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