With alumni like Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Christopher Kane, there’s no denying that Central Saint Martins is one of the greatest art schools in the world. Proving just how great, current students have started up 1 Granary, a seriously impressive biannual magazine celebrating the life and work of CSM students both past and present. With a highly acclaimed first issue featuring the Sex Pistols, we couldn’t be more excited about the release of the second next week. Now available worldwide, 1 Granary Issue Two features interviews with the likes of Christopher Kane, Ai Weiwei and i-D alumnus Simon Foxton, alongside the CSM graduate collection shot by Nick Knight. We spoke to the creative minds behind the publication, editors Greg French, Sara McAlpine and Olya Kuryshchuk, to discuss creative freedom, Louise Wilson and the unofficial 1 Granary mantra.
What can we expect from Issue 2?
That it's better than Issue 1.
Your print run has jumped from 1,000 copies to 15,000 - congrats! Were you expecting that?
We decided to increase the print-run because of the response to Issue 1- we sold so many copies that we don't even have issues for ourselves anymore! We weren't expecting so much press back then, considering we didn't know anyone in industry and just fired off emails to anyone whose address we could get hold of. Also, jumping to 15,000 copies brings our price down... we are students.
Do you ever worry that it'll be hard to break out of the 'student magazine' category?
That's the whole point of the magazine! We hope that it will always be a student-run magazine, because the print edition and the website exist as spaces for them to be creative without the need for what they produce to be commercially viable. We're well aware that this is a saturated market - the shelves of Soho are creaking under the weight of new titles - and that people don't need another publication put together by professionals. The unique thing about 1 Granary though - we hope - is that while it's run by students, it's not necessarily a 'student magazine'. Just look at the work Nick Knight and Simon Foxton did with us. It kind of functions as a bridge between education and industry where both can work together collaboratively, just being creative for creativity's sake. I think people in industry realise that too, and hopefully they find it refreshing...
What's one thing that Issue 2 teaches us about the following people:
Simon Foxton: luxury isn't about money. It's about time. (And that being afraid of flying doesn't have to hold you back)
Christopher Kane: it's the people who don't care that count.
Craig Green: you can't get anywhere without making a mess- may as well embrace it and chuck paint up the walls.
Ai Weiwei: could've also made it as a hair stylist.
Hamish Bowles: dropped out of art school, and still came out on top.
Lee Swillingham: that if all else fails degree wise, you'll leave CSM as a good guitarist.
Louise Wilson played an important role in issue two. What did you learn from her?
Don't be afraid to approach anyone. That's one thing. Before we met Louise, we had no idea what to expect (well, we did, you've heard the stories…), but she was incredibly kind and supportive. One of the most important things we learnt from her was that you need to trust in your own opinion as much as you do the big names. It's easy to convince yourself that your ideas could never live up to those of the fashion 'Greats', but who's to say that's true? You have no reason to doubt yourself.
How are we going to deal with funding cuts to creative education?
In all honesty, we have no idea. We can only hope that reaching out for industry support makes things a little easier. Although, how about more people start thinking of investing in arts education?!
Does youth bring creative freedom?
We have 40-year-old students at CSM... Ask them!
Is there a 1 Granary mantra?
If you don't ask, you don't get.
What was it like on print deadline day at 1 Granary HQ?
A bit of an anti-climax. Just to click 'send' isn't quite the groundbreaking finale we'd had in mind (doesn't mean we won't make up for that though...).
If Issue 2 was a piece of music, what would it be?
Lil Kim’s back catalogue. Just don’t ask us to pick one song.
Issue 2 in emoji form?
Always the aubergine.
If people were to take one thing away from the issue, what would you like it to be?
Same as our 'unofficial' Issue 2 motto: if you don't ask, you don't get... so just ask. Especially if you want to work with us (and that maybe we're worth giving jobs...!)