The first print issue of 1 Granary, a fashion site turned publication founded and run by a core team of fourteen students at Central Saint Martins, is a nearly 200 page magazine stuffed with interviews from individuals with deep footprints in the fashion world. There’s stylist Kate Phelan, designer Henrik Vibskov, Love editor Katie Grand, and even Sex Pistols bass guitarist Glen Matlock. It also received funding from Commes des Garçons.
But aside from the big industry names that fill its smooth, matte pages — which, according to the founder and editor-in-chief, Olga Kuryshchuk, they contacted by digging into their collective pool of web-savvy tactics like “using Google; going to their Tumblrs, Twitters; meeting them in person; anything” — the magazine’s prime mission is to give the past, current, and future students of CSM a stage upon which they can shine. “Because I’m an international student [from Kiev], I very strongly felt that after leaving CSM there is no help for us to stay in England or to continue our careers in fashion or begin our own business,” Kuryshchuk explained. “There’s a huge gap. We can design, but we don’t really have knowledge of how to start a brand or what to do. [My friends and I] thought that it’d be so great to have at least a platform to at least promote our work.” 1 Granary’s morphed from a simple site founded in a coffee shop in 2011 by two college friends to a fashion destination that has been opening doors and connections for CSM students. The Cut spoke to Kuryshchuk, who’s starting her final year studying fashion design with marketing, about the project.
What made you decide to start the blog?
I had zillions of reasons, from basic things like meeting people. I’ve been able to ask [those I interviewed] questions that I really wanted to know the answer to but couldn’t get in college or in my surroundings. I also wasn’t really sure if I wanted to be a fashion designer, so I tried to create a way to do different things — so I did a lot of styling and art direction. I was also doing backstage photography. In a way, none of us imagined that this would go that well. We were hoping for some information, help from people, maybe some mentoring. This is so great.
Tell me about the decision to make a magazine from the website.
It was a very spontaneous decision for us. The blog already ran for a little bit more than half a year, and we had a few reasons to begin a magazine. One of them was that I personally really wanted to intern at Love magazine, but someone told me that I’d never meet Katie Grand or anyone in the team or take part in a shoot. I’m a fashion designer, I’m not even a [journalism] student, so I thought, No way! I’m not wasting my time on that. Instead, we just decided to just make our own magazine. We knew that we would learn so much. Because the blog went so well, we had so many great opportunities and we met so many great people, but we wanted to go even further of meeting really big names in the industry. We realized that if we had a printed publication, it would open so many more doors for us. It would be on a shelf in the library forever and kind of make all our work timeless.
Who makes up the 1 Granary team?
The blog started from literally two people. Then a lot of our friends started joining us — contributing from time to time or doing constant work for the blog. When we started the magazine, some of the people who worked for the blog joined us. Then we did lots of searching for students in other courses, like fashion journalism, to get involved in the project. Even now we’re trying to expand the team because we want it to be as democratic and open to as many CSM students as possible. Anyone who just knocks on the door and says, “I’m a CSM student, and I want to be involved” can join. We have a rule that we never say no.
As the editor-in-chief, how did you supervise the first publication?
In our team, everyone did a little bit of everything. I interviewed a few subjects, but I also styled photo shoots. For the first issue, we didn’t have any outside help. We did everything by ourselves. We were running around London, getting the magazine to the shop, contacting people, arranging interviews. All the shoots were made from my courtyard, inside my flat, or in school in my studio. In terms of funding, we were really lucky to get the support of Comme des Garçons.
Does everyone featured in 1 Granary have a tie to CSM?
It’s connected in every way, including tutors and professors. We don’t have a course for fashion photography yet, so we got people on the side, but even so, we’re getting more photographers involved. It’s a chance to work with some great people in the industry. But in terms of people we interview, the clothes, the accessories, the illustrations — everything is done by CSM students.
Is there anyone you’re dying to include in your next issue?
M.I.A. She’s our No. 1. If you see her, please tell her, okay?