New voices in fashion

BRICKS magazine
United Kingdom (London)

Fashion has always set out to be bold and original. But real creativity comes from new, different, underrepresented voices.


BRICKS is an independent, queer-led magazine that makes space for emerging talent. It cuts through the ‘Devil Wears Prada’ stereotype of gloss and glamour in the fashion industry, to show fashion through the eyes of marginalised people.

Its covers have included teen drag superstar Desmond is Amazing, transgender activist and model Munroe Bergdof and sex positive musician Brooke Candy; and the creatives and contributors included in its pages are interesting people that BRICKS’ founder, Tori West, met and became friends with during and since her Fashion Communications course at the University of West England. BRICKS’ monthly digital zine Voices interviews artists, authors and activists like transgender performer Travis Alabanza, BLM organiser Liza Bilal and fashion activist Tamsin Blanchard.

Rather than ‘the next must have’ fast fashion, BRICKS introduces us to biodesign (think, skirts made out of mould), the future of fashion (“I think there’s no doubt that we’ll always need clothes, but the question is do we need fashion?”), and initiatives to support emerging designers and avoid environmental apocalypse.

Image: from ‘Biodesign is the newest technology in sustainable fashion’,

The Manifesto edition spotlights emerging talent that is sending a message for a better world: “Do you know the reasons behind why you design or create? What is your message? Do you share it?” Tori writes in the editor’s letter. “We believe that fashion should inspire, motivate, identify and empower. In this print [edition] we selected emerging talent that do just that. You’ll find various published declarations, intentions and motives behind their work.”.

And in Issue 7, Rise Together, the magazine profiles nine young people under the age of 18 who are working together to build a better future – tackling issues from fashion to food. “It was one of my favourite ever cover stories,” says Tori, “because it focuses on collective action rather than self-serving activism”.

BRICKS also includes Self, Arts & Culture, Music and Politics sections, that explore topics including gender pronounsmental health, the experience of being mixed race, and anti-racism.

Image: from ‘Fashioning a brighter future’, (courtesy of Matthew Needham)

Tori describes how it’s important to provide a platform for marginalised people, but also to create a safe space for them in their work. “It was a priority to make BRICKS a safe platform that doesn’t only provide opportunities for these individuals and communities, but offers them a comforting, understanding working environment. I had previously experienced workplace abuse due to my gender and sexual identity, and I always felt uncomfortable in the creative industry as the majority of it is led by middle class, privileged voices. Coming from a low income background, and having been in and out of poverty my entire life, it was difficult to see myself in these spaces – and when I was, I felt like I didn’t belong there. I wanted to have a workspace that not only made me feel comfortable but would help others going through similar things in every walk of life.”

She has been open about the reality of life as someone with a working class background at the helm of a fashion publication. Only 16% of people working in the fashion industry are from working class backgrounds, and the financial barriers to entry are significant. Folding towels in front of the camera, Tori writes: “full-time publishing boss bitch who gets to sit next to Vogue editors at press dinners, part-time cleaner cause girl gotta pay her way… we need to stop believing that everyone has their shit together because their Instagram is well curated.”


Image: Instagram @toriwest

Tori hopes to see major change in fashion media – because new and unheard stories need to be told. “80% of the British publishing industry is run by just five billionaires. We can’t change the narrative if the people in positions of power are the same sort of person that the majority of our population just don’t relate to. How can we expect our voices to be respected and listened to as marginalised individuals if no one publishing us understands the hardships of our experiences?”

AtlasAction: Pre-order the latest edition of BRICKS, and follow the latest content on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Written by

Becca Warner (13 April 2021)


Nature-geek, urban forager and all-round wordy sort. Freelance writer for organisations that care about the future. Often found reading while walking.

Project leader

Tori West, Founder


This project has been selected as part of FashionFutures, a new  content channel that maps the work of people transforming the fashion sector: the designers, craftspeople, social innovators, educators, community leaders and communicators. Atlas of the Future is excited to partner with Makerversity, with the support of The J J Charitable Trust and their network of fashion friends.

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Image: from ‘Our favourite sustainable Black-owned Depop shops’,

Image: from ‘The fashion industry’s failed response to the Black Lives Matter movement’,

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