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All the beauty behind SEASON, a unique zine about women, football and fashion

Interview with Felicia Pennant, editor-in-chief of SEASON

All the beauty behind SEASON, a unique zine about women, football and fashion
Interview with Felicia Pennant, editor-in-chief of SEASON
All the beauty behind SEASON, a unique zine about women, football and fashion Interview with Felicia Pennant, editor-in-chief of SEASON

The easy way to say it is that SEASON is the ideal magazine for football, fashion and good stuff lovers. But SEASON is way more than that. It’s in the first place Felicia Pennant’s idea, she’s the founder, to give credit and dignity to a rising movement, still underrated by most people. It’s her unbelievable taste and work ethic which can be exciting. SEASON has reached its second release, entirely realized for UEFA Euro 2016, and it gets a clearer and more defined identity every day. In the last issue, for example, among a brilliant article about PSG’s brand success, there’s another one about Off-White and Umbro collection and many other stories which help to watch at the relationship between women and football in a more clear way. So we’ve decided to talk with Felicia herself, whom helped us to dig deeper into SEASON’s world.

How did the idea of the football-fashion crossover was born?

When I did my final year thesis at Central St Martins entitled "From Beckham to Balotelli: Shoots, suits and metrosexuality" in 2012-2013. It revolved around the suits so-called ‘metrosexual’ footballers wore and I came across a fascinating book "The Fashion of Football" by Paolo Hewitt and Mark Baxter which chronicled footballers’ and football fans’ style and fashion involvement from the 1960s until the early 2000s. I decided I wanted to pick up where the book left off and address the fact that there were no women in it. I was meeting women like me who were into football and fashion and I felt there was an audience for this crossover and message.

Women football is something becoming bigger and bigger. Do you think the integration of football elements in fashion can help in this sense?

Maybe but I think more visibility and support in mainstream media and from brands for the women’s game, as well as more acknowledgment from the male game would have a bigger impact.  Women’s matches are barely shown on TV and if they are, they don’t get the same wall-to-wall publicity as men’s matches do. I spoke to Paris based model and player Marine Reed Brissonnet during Euro 2016 for SEASON zine issue 2 and she felt similarly. Fashion and football already go hand-in-hand because footballers are influencers who start fashion trends and fashion brands partner with footballers to tap into their fan base and worldwide recognition. Consider David Beckham and his much copied hairstyles, numerous fashion editorials and campaigns he’s starred in. Or Cristiano Ronaldo, Freddie Ljungberg, Andriy Shevchenko, Kaka and Andy Carroll’s appearance in the Alexander Wang for H&M campaign.

In your bio-description is stated « SEASON aims to kick off a dialogue acknowledging how modern football and fashion play into each other». Which of the two do you think could be more helpful to the other?

Maybe helpful is the wrong word because I don’t think they need to help each other but the connection between the two usually generates more publicity than usual which is mutually beneficial. Fashion’s involvement in football is more documented than football’s involvement in fashion and that’s where SEASON comes in. I interviewed British Vogue’s Fashion Editor and Brighton fan Verity Parker for issue 1 and she put it best, telling me that working in fashion and being into football ‘keeps everything quite fresh. It’s quite nice to think about other things other than fashion and in my opinion the most interesting fashion people have other stuff going on.’ Fashion editors reference football and terrance culture in their shoots and fashion designers reference football in their menswear and womenswear collections. Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 17 collection included Pelé prints and Stella Jean reinvented the football shirt and captain’s armband for Spring Summer 2017. Check out @season_zine on Instagram for other examples.

For sure in Italy – but I assume it’s happening also in UK – classic football brands are living a kind of vintage moment. In your opinion, what’s the most positive aspect of this movement?

Discovering the vintage kits and the great shirt designs of the past. Like Arsenal’s ‘bruised banana’ away kit from 1991-1993, West Germany kit in 1990 that was also by adidas, and Umbro’s England kit from 1990-92 was great too. The issue 1 feature Why we're not wearing ladies shirts considers different reasons why this is happening and recent shirt designs are definitely part of it. They are less experimental overall, with some exceptions, and contentiously low cut.

There are a lot of incredibly beautiful editorial in your magazine. How did you manage that aspect of the job?

There are 1-2 editorials relevant to the overall theme in each issue and I work with fantastic emerging stylists who bring them to life. Rickardo Mattocks-Maxwell and Fleur Bellanger executed their shoot concepts beautifully and creatively keeping SEASON’s fashion, football and female focus in mind. All the other imagery is commissioned or sourced to accompany the copy then SEASON zine’s amazing designer Natalie Doto lays everything out.

In the first two SEASON’s cover there are two girl on their back. Will it be a must of Season cover also in the next issue?

Yes, we’re making back shots of female fans in their shirts on the cover our signature. Kind of like the i-D magazine wink. I think it displays the fact that women engage with the game and express their support in the same ways that men do. Although these images are clearly women, male fans can have long hair and jewellery too.

How are you going to choose the topic for your issue?

We’re already have one and some really exciting things planned. The Issue 3 theme is LOVE- documenting the different ways female fans demonstrate their love for football and how it influences their self-love, style and relationships.

What’s your favorite football brand? If you have any…

I don’t and give credit where credit is due. If we’re looking at recent football shirts: I’m a Chelsea fan and I really love the all-over lion print and V-neck of adidas’ 16-17 strip. Puma’s Arsenal shirts home and away and Manchester United’s home kit aren’t bad either. At the Euros, France’s slick strip by Nike was the best.

What I loved from SEASON what the perfect balance between amazing layout, very stylish photo but also very interesting article. For example: the piece on the PSG style over… Man UTD was really a thing. How did you manage to find the right balance?

By keeping the theme and the audience in mind. I’m always thinking about what aspects are important to spotlight and represent. Obviously we can’t cover everything in 72-74 pages but between me, Natalie and SEASON’s contributors;  we try to express our points in honest, witty, and aesthetically pleasing ways.

If you would identify the next fashion football trend, which would it be?
Probably beauty from a woman’s point of view. Expressing your support via makeup and beautifying yourself at the same time.

In your opinion, is there still a lot of work to do for gender imbalance in journalism?

If the goal is total gender equality then yes. I feel visibility and changing mindsets of both men and women is crucial. I don’t know about Italy but in London it seems like there are more high profile female football journalists and broadcasters than ever before. From Gaby Logan to Helen Chamberlain, Lynsey Hipgrave, Kelly Cates and more. I’ve done sports journalism training myself and women are outnumbered but there woking hard to make their mark. However stories of sexism do come up and sports isn’t always the first choice for women entering journalism.