What do you do when your child gets into a hobby but doesn’t see other children or adults like them? For Rob Hewitt, creative director and the publisher of OH-SO magazine, he decided to do something about it:
OH-SO magazine was founded after my daughter (7yrs Old) took an interest in skateboarding this past summer. We started with the board—we went to a store and looked for something that appealed to her—we both noticed that it was a male dominated selection. She asked me why she couldn’t find something she liked…so began the search to help her find something she could identify with while she immersed herself in the brief history of female skateboarding. Ultimately, this led to the development and production of OH-SO, a magazine that celebrates the global female skateboarding scene. We’ve reached out to many talented individuals, looking to contribute and collaborate along the way, and we will continue to do so to document this journey.
Representation of all people in any community is important and it’s good that Hewitt highlighted the importance of women in skateboarding. So far, OH-SO has 5 issues out featuring stars such as skateboarding legend Mimi Knoop, England’s first female pro Lucy Adams, Leticia Bufoni, and the dynamic duo Sky Brown and Rayssa Leal.
A publication for women, particularly women of colour, is something I can get behind and Seitō is one such magazine.
Initially created as a collection of work “for women and by women”, Seitō (the Japanese word for “Bluestocking”) started in 1911 slowly became a feminist movement. The five women who created the magazine, known as the Japanese Bluestocking Society, or Seitō-sha, were:
- Haru Raichō Hiratsuka
- Yasumochi Yoshiko
- Mozume Kazuko
- Kiuchi Teiko
- Nakano Hatsuko
The Japanese government moved to ban its publication but this only spurred the writers to continue. Feminist Hideko Fukuda wrote this for “The Solution to the Woman Question”:
“Only under such circumstances will real women’s liberation come about,” […] “Unless this first step is taken, even if women get voting rights, and even if courts, universities, and government offices in general are opened to women, those who enter these, will, of course, only be women from the influential class; the majority of ordinary women will necessarily be excluded from these circles. Thus, just as class warfare breaks out among men, so class warfare will occur among women.”
Seitō was a pioneering publication for Japanese women and went onto produce 52 issues and feature over 100 contributors before it folded in 1916.
Head to any half-decent intercity newsagents and you’ll see a wall full of different magazines, glossy and independent, carving out a space to exhibit their culture of interest.
Proper Magazine started out as a fanzine quite some time ago and the indie mag has grown into a website and creative agency. Having worked with the likes of Adidas, Clarks, and Barbour, Proper know their stuff when it comes to clothing brands and related cultures.
The icing on the cake for me, however, is their online store. It contains the usual fare of t-shirts, stickers, and socks but I’m enamoured with the mugs on offer. Yes, I fell in love with some fancy mugs, okay? But they come in all kinds of wonderful colours and my particular favourite is the Proper El Pibe Mug (as I have a soft spot for Colombia after Italia 90 but unfortunately it’s no longer in stock.)
Proper Mag knows their audience well, as to be expected with decades of experience between the editors, Neil Summers and Mark Smith. Having their base in Manchester also helps; a cosmopolitan city with its own rich heritage, away from the clutches of London. Want to know more?