Elise By Olsen guests at Land Flag: From Waste to New Materials

THE STATE OF FASHION JOURNALISM

Wallet magazine founder and director Elise By Olsen spoke about the challenge she faced in redefining fashion magazines, at the fourth Land Flag: From Waste to New Materials, a series of meetings on sustainability and our relationship with the Planet, hosted in a special area of the Lyceum at Pitti Uomo.


By Olsen, twenty, explained how her passion for the media began at the age of eight, when she started her first blog and learned to write and code. Thanks to the internet, and social media in particular, in 2012 she found other young Scandinavians who shared her same interest in fashion and her same frustration: the need to feel involved and to be taken seriously. They published a kind of digital magazine that crashed on its first day due to the high number of visitors. The experience taught By Olsen the importance of making herself and her generation heard, going beyond the digital and reconsidering the printed format for a teenage readership.


The international press dubbed her “the world's youngest editor-in-chief” when, at thirteen, she published Recens Paper, a magazine that brought together the voices and talents of her peers. When she came of age, no longer sharing the adolescent ideals of the magazine she founded, she made the decision to quit, publishing Wallet not long after, only in a printed version. As the name suggests, the magazine explores themes of business and the fashion industry in a pocket-sized format.


The magazine was created in response to the current state of the industry, and fashion journalism in particular, according to By Olsen: influenced by brands and sponsors, invitations to events and dinners, and financial perks. This was also the reason why the magazine's ad pages can be ripped out; an innovative way to create a clear distinction between articles and ads.


By Olsen considers this latest publication a sort of thesis, through which she is learning a great deal and which offers her the chance to interview some of the most influential figures in the fashion industry, those she finds most intimidating. Her hope for the future is that her generation will change such a big-business industry for the better.