Purpose-Based Art

In fashion, the number one sentence that designers hear from the media is “tell me about this piece”.

For 1 Granary, fashion in not just about telling the story of the garment. Rather, it’s about the garment telling their story.

With every photograph, every interview, and every article, many students are working to breathe life into the work. The writers and artists of the magazine do not believe in doing anything structured or ordinary. They believe that every garment holds a deeper purpose. They believe that every photograph must convey a strong message. They believe that every piece of writing must ignite feelings of passion among the reader, and give them a resurgence of energy, reassuring them that fashion is not about clothes. It’s about life.

The hands involved in 1 Granary believe in breaking through fashion models’ unrealistic standards of beauty, showcasing them for their charismatic, expressive, quirky personalities.



They believe in writing stories that matter and stories that give fashion a deeper meaning than simply a needle pulling thread. Many of their articles touch on issues of human trafficking, climate change, sustainability, and defying stereotypical gender roles.



I have loved researching 1 Granary because it taught me that a magazine does not need to conform to the “norm” in order to be successful. 1 Granary is student-run, avant-garde, and brings in over 8000 viewers per day. It’s refreshing to know that creativity is still at the forefront of this commercial business.


Money, Money, Money, Money

It is no “ads-ident” that specific brands market their products in specific magazines. Every brand that wants to buy advertisement space in a magazine performs extensive research to find out which magazines share their same customer base.


1 Granary is a student-run publication. The majority of its revenue stream comes from ad sales and subscriptions. The total revenue is also decided by the sale through ratio, or the actual percentage of magazines sold out of the total amount distributed per location.

As 1 Granary is published out of a college in England, many of the advertisements are from smaller scale brands in the United Kingdom. Some of these include Lulu Guinness, Anna Valentine, and additional advertisements from Central Saint Martens, RCA, Parsons, and Antwerp’s Royal College. The biggest advertiser of 1 Granary is CSM’s famous alum, Alexander McQueen.

Based on an analytical study done by HTMLS Rank, 1 Granary earns approximately $89 USD on a daily basis. There are around 8000 viewers to the website per day and almost  3 million viewers per year.

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1 Granary has a widespread demographic, as its editors come from both the United Kingdom and the United States. This give them a strong foundation for viewer support. They also have gained much of their funds and commercial advertising from famous alum. 1 Granary focuses on spotlighting the “heroes of today” and the fashion designers that are very much like the “girls and boys next door” rather than only talking about globally-recognized designers. For this reason, they mainly pull advertisers who have brands that are in the price range of college students .

By Students, For Students

1 Granary is entirely student-run. These students, however, are anything but ordinary. Their alumni include Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, and Christopher Kane. The magazine has earned immense success, even from its initial launch in 2013. The magazine’s first issue leapt from 1,000 copies to a staggering 15,000 copies by the second issue the following year.

The magazine celebrates the work of fashion design students of the past and present. The magazine is student-run, however the editors do not consider 1 Granary to be a “student magazine”. In an interview with Franceseca Dunn of I.D, editors of 1 Granary said, “It kind of functions as a bridge between education and industry where both can work together collaboratively, just being creative for creativity’s sake.”

Due to the ever-increasing following, the magazine recently began selling print copies, as well. This has helped the magazine increase revenue, however they do have concerns about financing the publication. The editors said that they are hopeful that reaching out for industry support will help them keep up with the costs that accompany circulation in high demand.

When describing what it’s like to be a part of a student-run fashion publication at one of the most prestigious design colleges in the world, associate editor Greg French said, “It’s the first time that the whole student body has been united underneath one roof – the first time that you could walk down the corridors and see every single practice. We relished in the opportunity of tapping into that complete creative spiderweb.”



1 Granary Community

It’s extremely important for a brand’s followers to feel a sense of community. This will increase brand loyalty, ignite passion, and create a strong foundation which will ensure a continued rise in follower numbers.

1 Granary began as a publication only by the students of Central Saint Martin’s in London, England.

However, now the magazine is published by CSM, the Royal College of Art, Parsons in New York, and Royal Academy of Fine Arts’ Fashion Department in Antwerp. This is the first time the four best fashion design colleges worldwide are gathered together.

In my opinion, having CSM join forces with the other three most prestigious fashion design institutes was the best marketing strategy they could have done. This not only expanded their network of followers, but also created a melting pot of ideas and creativity.

Fashion is notably the most competitive industry in the world. So while it may not have been easy for these four colleges to come together for a common purpose, it certainly produces the best product possible.

The magazine also helps to create a sense of community by their strong social media presence. They are constantly posting on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, engaging with their readers and featuring their articles and photography.

A magazine published by the four best fashion design colleges in the world definitely has its pros, but it also has a few cons. The pros are the increased network of followers, increased quantity of writers and photographers, more creative ideas, and the label that many aspiring fashion designers will recognize. The main con is that there will be more pressure on the magazine to produce strong content, as the readers have very high expectations for the magazine and its quality.

Each magazine costs twenty Euro, which customers can access through the app or the website. So far there are three published issues, and a fourth issue that is currently available for pre-order.


Rebels without Applause

No matter whether it’s a musical, a movie, a magazine, or a novel, the audience is crucial to the overall success of the finished product.

1 Granary’s demographic is mainly current fashion students, graduated fashion students, or 20-28 year olds with a strong passion for fashion and the industry itself.

The articles are mainly for those who are beginning their fashion career, or looking to start a career in fashion. Rather than focusing on famous designers, the magazine spotlights those who are not receiving “applause”, but instead, those who have untapped potential to rise to the top.

The fashion industry is one of the most competitive in the world. There is constant pressure to live up to certain expectations, to please others, and to impress an often “unimpressed” audience. It is highly criticized, constantly changing, and known for fostering cutthroat atmospheres in the work place.

What I truly love about 1 Granary, is that the magazine ignores all of those stereotypes. It acts as a voice for the “outsiders” of the fashion world. It challenges the fashion industry for their controversial impact on the environment, uplifts beginning designers who are trying to make a name for themselves, and destroys the notion that models must look a certain way to compete with society’s idea of beauty.

The demographic for the magazine, furthermore, focuses on an audience who actively engages in worldly news. The articles are not cookie-cutter, bubble gum stories. They are deep, investigative stories that look at fashion not only as a business, but as a lifestyle, and a way to improve the world for the better. The writers and contributors of 1 Granary write to an educated audience who understands that although fashion is somewhat about aesthetics, there is a bigger purpose to the art.



Spinning the Fashion (Inter)Web

In today’s society, if anyone wants to make it as a fashion icon, they must have a strong presence on social media. From designers to merchandisers to street bloggers, fashion dominates the social network scene. Even supermodels have gained mass popularity because of their Instagram and Twitter feeds. For a fashion magazine to succeed, it is essential that they create a powerful image on social media.

1Granary’s Instagram is their most popular social media outlet. Even though they have only published 4 issues, they have over 40,000 followers on the site. Their photographs are extremely professional and creative, each averaging around 500 likes per photo. Most of the photographs that are featured showcase the fashion designs or headshot of the models.



1 Granary has only 4000 followers on their Twitter account. While their Instagram page was mainly used to feature designs and photographs, their Twitter page focuses on the articles themselves. The tweets mostly contain links to specific articles published on the magazine’s website. They do not post on the Twitter page as frequently as they post on their Instagram page. I definitely think that they need to strengthen their Twitter because a brand is as strong as its weakest outlet.

The magazine’s Facebook does have a strong following of over 40,000 likes on the professional page. The Facebook seems to focus on highlighting both the photography and the written articles. They also use their Facebook as a way to update fans on new announcements and arrivals. The articles and photos featured are very strong and eye-catching. They were so intriguing and interesting that I could not help but to click on a few of them as I was browsing.

As a person who spends hours daily surfing through Pinterest, I must say that 1 Granary has an excellent page. They have individual boards for different fashion events, fashion designs, famous designers, patterns, and student projects. One thing I think they should add to really boost their following would be to post DIY examples for aspiring fashion designers to use for inspiration.










Sustainable Fashion

When the world first caught sight of the documentary, “The True Cost”, people were left shocked, wondering how we as a society could have allowed ourselves to have been blind sighted by an industry that we thought to be harmless. Prior to the documentary and recent research about the fashion industry’s impact on the environment and poor international labor laws, few recognized the dangers of retail. Out of the 150 billion garments purchased each year, half of them will end up in landfills.

1 Granary published an article titled “Redemption is possible: how to (sustainably) make your clothes last forever” discussing what different professionals in the industry have to say about lessening our carbon footprint.

I have read many articles on sustainability, but I think this particular story offers a new approach that I had not seen. It discusses how most of the research has been done by professionals in sustainability, however this does not offer applicable, time-conscious solutions to professionals in the fashion industry. 1 Granary proposed that fashion professionals arrange an event where they can get together and discuss the challenges they are facing and ways that they can overcome it together as an industry rather than as individuals.

The magazine arranged a discussion with four professionals in the fashion business industry to talk about their struggles with becoming more sustainable, and how they are fighting through those challenges.

The four sources that they chose are very credible. They are all either CEOs, professors, or fashion business owners with over 20 years in the industry.

While the story had strong focus, I think it should have offered links to fashion companies that are ahead of the industry in their sustainability efforts. The writing was strong and the graphics were compelling visual aids, there wasn’t much interactivity. I would have liked more links that offered ways for not only fashion industry professionals, but for fashion students to smarter, better choices with the clothes they purchase.

About 1 Granary

Innovative. Passionate. Simplistic.

These are the words that come to mind after reading 1 Granary. The student-run online magazine is designed, edited, and published by the students of Central Saint Martins, Parson, Royal Academy Antwerp, and Royal College of Art, some of the most prestigious fashion institutions in the world.

If you want to feel so inspired that you are on the edge of your seat silently cheering on the hero/heroine of each respective article, celebrating in their newfound success, then 1 Granary is the magazine for you.

The photographs are professional, creative, and clean. They capture the youthful, adventurous culture of the millennial generation but yet deliver them in a mature, honest way.

In today’s society, especially in big cities, people are full-speed ahead with everything they do. From ordering a bagel to giving a presentation to commuting home, we are rushed. We are focused. We are routine.

What I love most about 1 Granary is that it celebrates accomplishments. Sometimes I feel like we are so busy bouncing from one task to another, one location to another, that we don’t take the time to celebrate our success, no matter how great or small.

The magazine is filled with hundreds of stories discussing everything from fashion to politics to empowerment to issues that matter most to the millennial generation.

1 Granary is very relatable to my generation. While it does spotlight trends, it also advocates against following the grain, encouraging readers to create their own sense of style and embrace their individuality. The writers of 1 Granary openly question social norms in the articles, bringing forth discussions of how the ideal “model body” has generated unattainable standards of beauty among young people.

In the magazine’s “about” section, they say “We realise there’s no such thing as one route to success. Here, we would like to share the journeys of our generation, and learn from the many roads that those who came before us have taken.”


The fashion world is one of the most competitive industries. Will every person who graduates Central Saint Martins or Parsons become the next McQueen or Galliano who went before them? Unfortunately, no. But that does not mean that they should lessen their own accomplishments and constantly compare their success to someone else.

In the midst of the dynamic fashion scene of London, 1 Granary captures the ever-improving, ever-changing, ever-growing world of style and art. The magazine has gained much attention even after only four published online issues.


I hope in the future that more magazines will follow the path that 1 Granary is treading. Rather than always spotlighting the success of designers who are already household names, it’s time we bring attention to the rising stars.