We chat to editor Beccy Hill about the new Grace Neutral-fronted Size Issue, ahead of the launch party at Dalston’s VFD on Saturday.
Since the debut issue of Sister launched in 2012, the east London zine has covered serious ground, riffing on the themes of sex, street, and swag in the run up to its latest offering: the Size Issue.
After the Swag Issue's riotous launch party with cover star Girli — and a first hand account of working in a fish factory in Iceland by Bella from Dream Wife between its pages — we wondered how it could get any better. But editor Beccy Hill is back with a jam-packed edition starring tattoo artist and i-D presenter Grace Neutral on the cover, and interviews with the women of Sink The Pink, Michelle Zauner's indie-pop project Japanese Breakfast, and loads more.
Ahead of the launch party at VFD on Saturday night, i-D got the skinny on the Size Issue...
Why did you launch Sister Zine?
I wanted to create a magazine which said you can be a feminist and be passionate about women's rights, as well as being into fashion. It doesn't dumb you down or lessen your values. When I was at university I felt like there was nothing like that available, but things have changed so much in four years with the rise of zine culture, and it's really exciting to see that progression. I also felt like I knew a lot of insanely talented girls who weren't getting the attention they deserved — I wanted to create a female-focused platform for them.
Tell us about the Size Issue — why did you pick that theme?
I feel like we live in a size obsessed society — with everything from your social media following, to your salary, to your dreaded dress size. I wanted to break down the notion of size, and look at it from a variety of angles, which is what I aim to do with the theme of every issue.
What can we expect to find between the pages of Issue 5?
An interview with our cover star Grace Neutral, naturally! I also chatted to the females behind the clubnight collective Sink The Pink; there are some really great opinion pieces (one about a childhood obsession with The Sims by Sophie Holmes is probably my favorite interpretation of the size theme); and some Theresa May bashing by Dave Lunt thrown in for good measure.
Tell us about the launch party?
I'm very excited it's at VF Dalston — I made my DJ debut there last year and it's such a great venue. We've got Ned from Straight Nasty, and Lu Williams DJ-ing, who have both played pretty much every launch party of ours. Artist Angel Rose will be bringing her Cool Universe to the basement in the form of a Cool Booth — you'll have to come along to see the rest!
Please share your three favorite quotes from the zine?
"You want to have a party? Just do it, because there are spaces you can do it in. Just go into an old man's pub and talk to them and say 'Can I have Thursday nights?' Just do your own night if there's not one that you want to go to out there. It is possible." — Amy Zing, Sink The Pink
"I feel a responsibility now that I have this platform to help give other people the voice they deserve, but as far as changing myself so that I'm seen as a role model — I don't do that, I'm just myself." — Grace Neutral
"It's really important to us to make the library a living activist space, to be welcoming, intersectional and a safe space for feminist discussion." — Anna Pigott, The Feminist Library
Sister Zine Issue 5, The Size Issue, launches at VFD on Saturday, September 17. Check out the Facebook event page.
Text Charlotte Gush