(BA) Fashion Business and Promotion student Hannah talks about her inspiration for her final year project which led her to be shortlisted for the 2020 Graduate Fashion Foundation Awards!
BA Fashion Business and Promotion Graduate
Third-year had always felt so far away, and it had felt like we had all the time in the world to decide the creative route of our final independent projects. So when I was faced with a deadline and a lot of creative freedom, I was slightly overwhelmed. Your final independent project is not only the biggest project of your time at university but for me, it was the most meaningful. I wanted to produce something that encompassed my journey over the past three years.
How it all started...
It was in January 2019 that I began posting body-positive photographs and captions on Instagram. Over a year later I have had women approach me describing how my posts have uplifted them and encouraged them to love themselves unapologetically.
I aimed to bring the essence of these posts to life by creating something physical that encompasses everything I believe in, something that could bring other women contentment, empowerment, and self-belief.
Finding a gap in the market...
Through market research, I found a gap in the market - illustrated magazines. I thought about how traditional glossy magazines had saturated the market for too long and how it was time for an overdue alternative. It was this idea that blossomed into Aila magazine.
Aila magazine is a fully illustrated magazine aimed to empower, educate, and encourage young women (anyone who identifies as female) to be the best versions of themselves. Aila contains self-help activities focused around self-love and confidence, articles from other women and their experiences, poetry, recipes, tips, advice, and more.
Aila magazine is real and relatable. Traditional dating columns and glamorous photo-shoots have been pushed to the back of the queue, making way for more important conversations such as the value of friendship and body confidence. We have ditched photography for quirky illustrations, so there's no room for comparison.Since handing in my project, I have sold over thirty copies and have begun building a social media presence for Aila. I never thought Aila would have such a positive impact, but I think that just goes to show the power of personal experience. When you are genuinely invested in a project, others will be too.