Felicia Pennant, Season Zine
Today we meet the last of our magCulture Live speakers. Journalist Felicia Pennant launched Season Zine to celebrate female football and football fans in 2016, predating the current surge in interest in the women’s game. As well as Season Zine, she has contributed to many other titles and is currently commissioning editor at Dazed Beauty. All of which accounts for her winning a PPA New Talent 30 under 30 Award this year.
What are you doing today?
I’m in London and the plan is Season, gym, work, Season. We've got a new issue coming out this month! Number seven.
Who/what inspired you to work in magazine publishing?
I think subconsciously, magazine publishing was always something I wanted to do, History and English were my academic subjects, and my parents had their own publication in the nineties so they got it. I evolved from a bookworm into a magazine worm, when my dad sent me a care package with Vogue and Elle aged 14 at boarding school which opened my eyes to the possibilities of magazines.
But it wasn't until I discovered publications like i-D, Fantastic Man/ The Gentlewoman, and The Green Soccer Journal that I realised the creative opportunities and freedom of entering that space and doing it independently- your way. I laid out my BA thesis from Central Saint Martins as a magazine and I love the process - conceptualising ideas around a theme or specific subject, bringing them, and your passion for them, to life on a page via words and visuals, collaborating with amazing creatives.
You produce something original, considered and detail-oriented right down to the paper stock, that can be kept and treasured forever. Documenting our time, society and human nature away from a screen. In order to learn the different ways to publish magazines and creative content – most of my work experience has been in that arena: from Love, British GQ, 1883, and Tank magazine to ASOS magazine and Dazed Beauty.
Season Zine was addressing women's football long before the current increase in attention for the sport. How do you view that success?
Do you know what? it’s something my mum brings up all the time now that women’s football is becoming mainstream (and she's the parent who's least interested in football- my dad and I follow Chelsea together) and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved working around full-time jobs and with limited resources.
But there's still such a long to go in the bigger picture and so much more to come from us. Season started with the goal to empower and champion women in football – whether they play or not – countering the male, pale and stale state of the culture and exploring the football and fashion's interplay in creative and authentic ways. We’ve platformed a lot of the initiatives and people in this space in the six issues so far and men have been welcome in our space from day one, which is so important for football-related projects like ours.
It’s great that attention has increased, although the bandwagon-jumping is obvious and unoriginal, it leads to better representation and visibility for women. But it does sometimes feels like a lot of this increased attention is surface or conditional- flash-in-the-pan moments around a big tournament or game when issues like racism, pay inequality, and the fact that women are still struggling to find pitches to play on mean the reality is that things aren't as accessible, diverse or inclusive as they seem. We’ve been telling stories along this vein since 2016 – everything and nothing has changed.
The magazine has developed a strong presence and voice; what are your future ambitions of it?
2020 is a new year and a new decade so there are plans and things in the works – two more issues and a new website to start with. We’re rethinking everything- how Season and the culture have evolved and how best to navigate it and stay true to what we do. Beyond that, you'll have to keep an eye on @season_zine, all will be revealed in due course.
How can magazines make a difference in 2019?
On so many levels – from changing the way someone thinks about something and broadening their horizons to educating and inspiring someone to take definitive action.
Words and images are much more powerful on a printed page than a screen. Totally dependant on the topic of course, but independent magazines operate as an alternative commentary that you need alongside with the mainstream media for a more informed picture.
Another way magazines can make a difference, beyond empowering, inspiring and passionate content and in light of recent climate protests, is their production. Recycled paper, printers that offset their carbon footprint, specialist inks – It's something we're exploring much deeper than before with Season.
Who are you looking forward to hearing/meeting at magCulture live London 2019?
It’s a fantastic line-up and it will be great to hear Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Bertie Brandes and Alex Morrison speak. But as Fantastic Man was one of Season’s inspirations, I’m most excited to hear/meet Editor-in-chief Gert Jonkers.
Hear more from Felicia at magCulture Live on 7 November. Check the Eventbrite page for the complete line-up and details.