For over a decade, not one but two student-run fashion magazines have captured the look and outlook of Tritons on campus. Ever-evolving in form and format, the magazines change as steadily as the students who make it their own every year.
Fashion Quarterly has had perhaps the most dramatic transformation over the years, beginning very much in a newsstand vein and morphing through a variety of conceptual leanings in the years since.
In its current mode, every issue of FQ (as it’s known for short) feels like an experiment, a reinvention of itself, and an exploration of what “fashion” entails. Former editor Zach Roberts ’19 explained the reasoning for the shift last year in an interview with The Guardian campus newspaper: “We’ve been slightly turning away from fashion and abstracting ourselves to general visual culture, so art, photography, and fashion is involved, but it’s not the main thing. […] It’s flipping fashion on its head.”
And as for a stated mission, “FQ’s chief aim is to tap into the often-unrealized creative energy that exists within UC San Diego, to push the boundaries of what a ‘fashion magazine’ can be.”
Their motto, “create the content you want to see,” applies to their print magazines as well as online offerings, which is where both magazines seem to be investing heavily. In the days before the coronavirus, both Fashion Quarterly and its fellow campus mag Trend had lively Instagram and Facebook feeds, posting behind-the-scenes shots of their photoshoots on campus and around all parts of San Diego, as well as recaps of magazine launch events and previews of upcoming issues.
Trend Magazine aims to uncover what students at UC San Diego are thinking and feeling as well as what they’re wearing. They keep a finger on the campus pulse, asking not only “What do students like to wear?” and “Where do they shop?” but also, “How do they feel about themselves?” Over time, answers to such questions can come in the form of poetry and art in addition to the original interviews, articles, and photography.
Past editor-in-chief Tanya Zhang ’15 remembers Trend as a crucial part of her education. “I really leaned into creative extracurriculars and orgs that celebrate the arts. Without Trend, I wouldn’t have learned many of the skills I needed to build and grow my business.” She is now in the apparel industry as the co-creator of Nimble Made, a size-inclusive brand that focuses on slim dress shirts for men.
Likewise in the pre-corona days, Trend was known to organize pop-up shops on campus, where student artists sell their work, and the magazine offered curated clothing picks from local thrift stores. Trend also taps into the fashion scene off-campus too, via local bloggers,
models, and fashion designers.
It’s all part of a larger effort to nurture a creative community, where artists of all kinds come together for feedback and collaborations. “By building a space for creatives,” they say, “We hope to empower and inspire students to push the boundaries of art and fashion as a means of communication.”
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