When I finally became a fashion stylist in 2017, I realized the industry is still failing models of color. Working at major fashion events and repeatedly seeing some models weren’t selected because of their skin color; Black models’ hair was treated by haristylists who are untrained or unable to look after natural, afro hair.
Soon after, I decided to create Allen & Houston Magazine, a safe place where we can combine our creativity. Your support since 2018 gave me the confidence to learn what a magazine business is, how to graphic design, and constantly self-learn & improve. I have learned so much from every featured artist, and each of your journeys inspired me to work harder. To support Allen & Houston Magazine, I decided to balance working multiple jobs at once; by day prepping and slicing meat in a kitchen and by night designing each page of the issue release. By the second year, you motivated me to find ways to expand social perceptions, inspire true empathy, while empowering one another. The magazine has shifted from fashion to become more focused on mental health.
2020 has made me realized further that the problem of diversity, discrimination, and prestige vs payment isn’t just in the industry, but it’s deeply rooted around us. To me, diversity is people with different backgrounds, beliefs, identities, and cultures working together in harmony despite conflicting opposing views. This has been a really difficult decision but I have decided to close Allen & Houston Magazine. My work doesn’t end here though. My passion for humanity, creativity and mental health will continue to grow, but in a different way, so this is not a goodbye. My goal is to continue to support those who are struggling to find their voice, just like I have before. My goal is to make it a norm to compensate creatives for their work.
Nothing is impossible; your love and support has shown me that; no matter the cultures, languages, distances, views, or creative styles. Each of your stories and work has made a connection with the person next to you, who has felt seen through your words. All published digital magazines, including the very first release, will remain on the website to read online, for free. A selection of the print version will still be available to purchase if you would like to collect a copy.
I’m forever grateful for each featured creative, the readers, and all of the supporters! I am humbled and proud for all the opportunities to share my beliefs for the fight for our future. When we are confident, we are able to combine our skills, knowledge, experiences, kindness, and empathy for others to work towards a brighter future.
Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do. I believe in you.
Thank you for inspiring me,
Issie Wing @issiewing
Founder of Allen & Houston Magazine