BLS Zine: A Forum Where Fashion Meets Writing

Boston Latin School Zine, a fashion journalism club founded by Tia Hashem (II) and Josie Bailey (II), is one of many clubs that emerged during the pandemic this school year. Both juniors decided to start the club back in fall 2020, hoping to offer an interesting and fun experience that they and their writers would enjoy.

Bailey says, “We put together our interests and realized that fashion was what we were most collectively passionate about.” Many clubs come and go as the original founders leave, so Hashem de- scribes BLS Zine’s ultimate goal as “to unite people in our school who were passionate about fashion and writing […] to create a community of people that can use writing about fashion as a fun and relaxing outlet.” Given the impact of the pandemic on many students’ mental health, writing about lighter subjects that spark a legitimate interest is undoubtedly cathartic.

Clubs at BLS, however, are often too niche, and finding new topics to talk about can be difficult. For BLS Zine, the biggest obstacle is brainstorming article ideas. Luckily, fashion trends are constantly changing, especially with the popularity of social media apps such as Instagram and Tiktok — creating endless opportunities for content.

Another challenge that the club faces is attracting members even though other pre-existing clubs, such as the Argo and BLS Fashion Talent Club, have similar aspects. When asked about how BLS Zine differs from such clubs, Bailey says, “We also like to think that our incredibly talented group of writers focus on nuanced and diverse topics that people have not thought of before reading our magazine.” With the vast fashion industry and its complicated history which spans centuries, there is no doubt that content will be abundant.

Even though the website features more lighthearted compositions, such as Fall 2020 Color Palette and The Evolution of Harry Styles’ Style, the magazine also dives into more serious topics such as the devastating environmental impacts of fashion.

Phoebe Clark (III), a serial writer for BLS Zine, says, “Fast fashion is the largest problem, and a capitalistic sense of consumerism and need for more clothes feeds into that.” Clark wrote Sustainable Fashion, an article which, in addition to acknowledging the problem with fast fashion, also provided alternatives to shopping on websites that depend on sweatshops. Thrifting, a form of shopping that Clark highlights in her article, is a cheap and environmentally friendly way to buy new clothes. It also allows consumers to try new styles without contributing to unnecessary waste.

Whether you are a fashion fanatic or someone who goes shopping once a year, BLS Zine is crafting barrier breaking articles that will interest anyone. Ms. Jessica Blackler, the faculty advisor for the club, says, “I see [BLS Zine] as a safe, beautiful forum for sensitive, creative and open-minded people at BLS.” Given all of their impressive accomplishments despite having yet to meet in person, readers can look forward to even greater content as BLS slowly returns to normal.