The following feature appears in the February 2016 issue of NYLON.
Self-published mags have long served as symbols of independence and creativity. Here’s how a few of our current faves came to be.
ZINE NAME: Polyester
RUN BY: Ione Gamble, founding editor-in-chief
BEEN AROUND FOR: a year and a half
NUMBER OF ISSUES: four
AVAILABLE AT: polyesterzine.com, Alt Space Brooklyn, the ICA and South London Gallery in London, and a few other worldwide stockists.
IT STARTED: as a university group project. Gamble was frustrated with the fashion industry’s tendency to “favor minimalism over any other type of design or subculture. As I saw it, the designers I liked, such as Meadham Kirchhoff, and the girls who I admired, like Arvida Byström, were just as intellectual and amazing, but their work was dismissed as faddish,” says Gamble. “I wanted to create a space where these artists and feminists were celebrated. I took the name from a John Waters film. Everything about his work inspired me to embrace my own weirdness—our tag line, ‘Have faith in your own bad taste,’ is also stolen from him. (Oops!)”
AESTHETIC: “We focus on trash and kitsch culture through the lens of the Internet and the female gaze. We love the garish and the saccharine. Nothing is too over-the-top, and with every editorial, I want to show people that what they are presented in mainstream media isn’t the only acceptable way to exist, whether it be shooting stretch marks in the most beautiful, sexy way or exploring how makeup can be both empowering and tyrannical.”
Click through the gallery to read about the rest of our favorite zines.
Zines photographed by kelly shami. Ione Gamble photographed by Scarlett Langdon. Claire Milbrath photographed by Rebecca Storm. Azha Ayanna Luckman and Apryl Lyzette Fuentes photographed by Molly Matalon.