We caught up with the ladies behind Typical Girls Magazine with this exclusive interview in collaboration with Nike. The Brighton dream team gave us some insight to the inspiration behind the shoot which focused on the latest colour drop from the Women's Nike Air Max 98.
The Nike Air Max 98 in White Fossil is available online and instore with limited sizing.
We started hosting small talks and workshops in a pop up show close to where Editor-in-Chief Jamila and Art Director Chani worked at the time. We had one local stockist, Magazine Brighton, and sold most copies to friends and family. We also featured plenty of friends work too! We described it as a ‘living magazine’ because we felt the work we did beyond print was just as important.
With only three issues thus far, you have made such wonderful waves so quickly! What has inspired each issue and could you give us a hint to what you might be working on this year?
It is humbling and exciting to see each issue outgrow the last. In the past we have focused on The Body, Generations and Beginnings. This year we present ‘Typical,’ an inclusive issue exploring the intersections of gender and sexuality in contemporary society. For the first time, we invite people of all genders to contribute work, stories and experiences. ‘Typical’ is due for release in May - we have some exciting pieces lined up so keep your eyes peeled!
You cover many social and cultural issues in the zine. What impact do you hope to make with the Typical Girls platform?
Typical Girls is founded upon the premise of celebration, we seek to create a publication that is wholly positive and inspiring. Here, space has been established not only for women to communicate their individual stories but for others to interact with them.
What's your favorite part about your job?
It’s exciting to have ideas and concepts that we are able to put into practice without limitations. We all have different skills that work well together and allow us to create the full magazine with such a small team. We also get to work with some amazing collaborators and contributors which is always a pleasure.
You are all are doing so well to celebrate the many ways one can identify as female, showing there is no single way to be a girl or woman. What part did diverse female representation play in the creation of typical girls?
Diverse female representation has always been the main objective for us during the curation of the magazine. It was a frustration of lack of honest representation that initially inspired the concept. Showcasing work from a varied group of people is integral to what we do!
Body-positivity and diversity are some of the topics looked at when typical girls was created. Do you feel that young women today are in a better position with reading publications like your own and why?
Slowly but surely I think mass media representations of women are improving. We are having a revival of independent media which is great and inevitably means more honest representation - in this sense, you could argue young women today are in a better position. However, there has been a rise in reported eating disorders in this country in the past year. Whether this is linked to social media or perhaps the fact that young women are more willing to seek help I’m unsure. I hope surge is not reflective of a greater problem.
What is it about the changes in the journalistic industry that makes magazines that focus on women so popular?
I’m unsure if it’s exclusively women’s magazines that have become popular in recent years - if anything it’s other, more niche, publications that have gained more popularity. It’s refreshing to see independent magazines making a comeback we have always loved magazines and now there is something for everyone.
How did you like working with Adama Jalloh for the campaign, and how do you think working with young artists and photographers can help shape media and advertising in the future?
Adama’s work is stunning. We have admired her for quite some time so it was great to meet her and collaborate. It is exciting for us to see artists, like Adama, working on such a professional level - especially at such a young age. Also, we aren’t models so she did a great job of directing us! It is in every media outlets best interest to work with a mixture of artists, young and old, to stay progressive.
With the general increase in awareness of the female sneaker industry, what are your thoughts with regards to the recent influx of female focused sneaker trends?
Trainers seem to have become more high fashion than ever in recent years so perhaps this is why there had been an influx of female-focused sneaker trends. It is not uncommon to see them on the runway now!
You both looked amazing in the recent campaign for the AM98, Adama Jalloh, did an awesome job! What are your thoughts on the Air Max 98 revivals?
The design has so many nice details, they are somehow futuristic, yet also distinctly retro. You usually associate this shoe with wearability but the detailing makes them compatible with smarter looks.
The Air Max series has been going for over 30 years now. Which are your favourite Air Max silhouettes and why?
Probably the Oil Green Air Max 90’s, I love the suede and rope laces. They are quite luxurious but also low-key and understated.
Nike are renowned for being great story tellers and strive to capture the true essence of youth culture, as seen in your shoot for the AM98. Do you think Nike has changed the way we connect with sneakers as females, and why?
Nike events and campaigns are always relatable which is why they work. Last year we did the ‘Londons Fastest’ 5k run under the team name ‘Typical Girls’! We had great fun, it was also great to see Simran modeling the campaign who we featured in our most recent issue. Using relatable, interesting people (such as activist, model, and journalist Simran) to represent Nike are ways of promoting the brand in a positive way.
What was the main message/s you wanted to convey with the AM98 shoot?
With the styling, we were trying to combine in the old and new to give it a retro feel but also keep it modern like the AM98 silhouettes. We, of course, hope the shoes look as fresh as they do in real life!