The Issue Magazine is an excellent digital fashion magazine that publishes articles about the fashion industry in Edmonton.
Donnalee Riley, the creative director and the editor-in-chief of The Issue Magazine, shared her inspirations, hopes, experiences, and advice concerning the magazine.
“What originally inspired me to start the magazine was my love and pursuit of fashion growing up,” says Riley. “Although I’m happily working in the marketing world, I still love and believe that fashion can become a stable profession in Alberta.”
Another reason why Riley started the magazine is that many people in Edmonton are interested in knowing more about fashion, but they have no idea where to begin. Many of Riley’s friends and family had no clue that there are fashion events and local designers based in Edmonton. Riley realized that there was a massive gap in getting information about fashion around the city. Therefore, The Issue Magazine was born.
Though Riley is at the helm of the fashion magazine, she is hugely inspired by her team to work hard.
“Lately, what has been inspiring me to strive and work hard as editor-in-chief and creative director has been my team,” Riley said. “We recently hired 17 new team members over the last two months, and seeing their creativity and passion has been such an inspiration.”
Riley also added that her next biggest inspiration is her partner in crime, Trinh Dong, the chief of the community, collaboration, and communications of the magazine. Riley said that she has spent countless late nights planning and editing the magazine with Dong.
“She’s constantly thinking of how we can grow and continues to push us outside of our comfort zones to try new things,” says Riley. “I can honestly say she’s a huge inspiration to me every day and keeps me excited to continue on.”
Every member of the magazine works very hard. “We love implementing any ideas they might think of, and we pride ourselves on letting the magazine be a creative outlet for them to try new things, and learn through doing,” Riley added. “Every day, we are so incredibly grateful and honoured that each member of this stellar team chose us.”
Speaking of Riley’s inspiration in starting The Issue Magazine and working with the members, she shared one of her most favourite journeys working on the magazine.
“My favourite experience so far was a photoshoot we had last September for More Than A Fad, with Kirsten Britta Photography,” Riley said. “The way the whole process unravelled was just magical to me.”
Riley stated that she spent the entire evening with Britta pulling looks and props for the shoots in the thrift store. Riley and Britta held the photoshoot at a barn and wheatfield outside the city, where they shot in the dusk while eating granola bars, playing dress-up, and blasting music.
“I don’t know if it was being in nature or with like-minded people, but this is a memory that can still undoubtedly put a smile on my face,” Riley added. “This was definitely the point where I knew that I loved what I was doing and that I wanted to share this special feeling with everyone around me.”
One of the magazine’s missions is to put Alberta on the map as far as fashion goes.
“My biggest hope for the magazine is to hopefully champion a more prominent fashion industry in Alberta,” said Riley. She noted an absence in a variety of fashion jobs in Edmonton, which she hopes to change with the magazine. “I hope that one day The Issue Magazine can be an office for long-term employment, and encourage other designers, retailers and members in the fashion industry to open up their headquarters in places like Edmonton; and give those with an interest in fashion a shot in their own city.”
Riley stated that the magazine was founded to elevate Edmonton brands and share different success stories of the locally owned brands around Canada.
Still, fashion seems to be a departed industry in Alberta, unless you know where to look for it. However, Riley, who previously pursued a degree in fashion and marketing, offers the following pieces of advice for people who want to pursue fashion in Alberta.
“My greatest piece of advice to fashion pursuant(s) would be to volunteer and network; volunteer work, shadowing, and interning are a great way to get hands-on experience that textbooks might not tell you,” Riley said.
It is no surprise that fashion is a competitive industry. With that in mind, Riley offers the following piece of advice: “The world is a small place, and it pays to be kind, always be goodhearted, and stay out of gossip and feuds, especially because fashion can be a particularly competitive industry.”Anyone is welcome to send a resume if they are interested in becoming a member of the magazine. There is also more information and articles about fashion-related topics on The Issue Magazine’s website.
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