We chatted to Chris Hodge, Senior Fashion Lecturer at Northumbria School of Design to get his thoughts on how magazines play an important role in his work.
Christopher Hodge is a senior lecturer in Fashion Communications, a BA (hons) degree programme at Northumbria University. His course deals with fashion journalism, photography, PR, styling, design, filmmaking and digital media. In fact, apart from actually making and selling the clothes themselves, Christopher’s course covers everything that we, as consumers, will relate to. It’s no surprise therefore that when it comes to how we see and hear about fashion that magazines play an important role in his work.
“I have to admit that I’m a bit of a magazine junky” says Christopher. “I buy far too many… topics covering mainly menswear, fashion photography and design. My favourites are Hero, 10 Men, Arena Homme Plus, Love, Fantastic Man…the list is endless.
When I left school I continued my studies via an art foundation course. It was a really good way to explore different areas of artistic practice. Photography was the section of the course that I found most enjoyable. Consequently, I made the decision to become a freelance photographer. To be honest it was a case of turning a hobby into a career. I’ve always been interested in fashion so it sort of went hand in hand that I ended up doing fashion photography. I love it and still enjoy freelance photography alongside my regular job as a lecturer. I’ve worked for many of the UK’s leading fashion companies and have also helped stage shows and even organised the choreography.
I then saw an opportunity to pass on my knowledge and enthusiasm by becoming a lecturer. I joined Northumbria University in 1999 and still get a buzz out of daily contact with students and hopefully helping them on the road to a career in one of the many varied areas of fashion.
The one area of my life which I always look forward to in my role as a lecturer is the regular interaction with students. I like to keep everything as current as possible. I would encourage anyone who is interested in latest ideas and what could be a really good guide for future fashion trends, to buy i-D magazine. I strongly recommend it because it really does provide the latest insight from what’s on the street and bang up to date.
It’s only when I look back that I realise magazines have actually played an important part in my life. As a child I was always being bought magazines by my parents. My mother was an English teacher so she was constantly encouraging me to read. Reading was…and still is… a big part of my life.
That’s why I think the Unique Group’s Comic Club is a terrific idea. It gives children access to reading material which isn’t a school book. They can read something because they want to, not because they have to. A huge percentage of kids only read set texts as part of their school course work. Many of those books are from a totally different generation and don’t relate to different gender and ethnic backgrounds. I suppose it’s one reason why I’m fascinated by creative writing because I like to produce something which is relevant to now…today…the 21st Century.
Magazines are able to evolve and address both broad and niche interest. They can appeal to either a large or small demographic.
And, as anyone will find if they go onto the Unique Magazines website, there are thousands of magazines out there. It doesn’t matter what your interests are and what standard of reading material you are looking for…light or heavy…there is a magazine for you.”