Leading up to the next edition of the Gladstone Flea on August 3rd, we’ll be profiling some of the local vendors whose work will be featured at the market!

WORN Fashion Journal is an independent alternative fashion magazine based in Toronto that includes Tavi Gevinson among its legion of well-earned fans. We spoke with publisher Haley Mlotek about how the magazine got started, what young journalists can do to break into the industry, and why you should visit the Flea! 

SDTC: How did WORN get started?

Haley Mlotek: WORN began as a side project for our Editor-in-Pants, Serah-Marie McMahon, while she attended school in Montreal. WORN ran as a side project for three years before Serah-Marie decided to move to Toronto and pursue it full-time. Since WORN began, we’ve started an internship program, a blog, been featured in some of our favorite magazines, newspapers, and websites, and had the opportunity to work with some of the most incredible Canadian and international talent.

SDTC: What’s your favourite piece that’s ever been in the magazine?

HM: This is like picking a favorite child. I seriously love every issue equally. I do have a soft spot for Issue 9, which was the first copy of WORN I ever purchased. In the current issue, I love Jenna Danchuck’s interview with jes sachses. Our Managing Editor, Gwen Stegelmann, has a column called “Everything I Know About Fashion (I Learned From My Mother)” which is always amazing. 

SDTC: What advice would you give to young journalists, photographers and designers?

HM: Work. Just work. I mean, obviously be nice and get out there and meet people etc. but there’s nothing as important as producing a constant stream of quality work. I do think it’s absolutely necessary for young journalists, photographers, and designers to get paid for their work, so I think it’s important to make sure you’re balancing your paid work with your free work. Sometimes the free work is what builds the best portfolio, but you can’t eat a good portfolio, right? Having a job that supports your basic needs without leaving you too burned out to produce creative work is essential. I also think educating yourself is necessary, but that doesn’t mean going to a traditional school – reading and teaching yourself about the history of journalism/photography/designing, as well as the contemporary field, will give you an important sense of context and a source of inspiration. Oh, and find a person who has the career that you want and ask to take them for coffee/to hear their life story.

SDTC: What’s the best reaction/story/experience you’ve ever heard in relation to the magazine?

HM: I liked when The Globe and Mail called us ‘Fashion Nerds’, because we definitely are. 

SDTC: Why should people come to the Flea?

HM: Because it’s the best! The Gladstone is a beautiful hotel, and the Flea is always full of some of the best local and independent Canadian businesses. It’s the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Find WORN Fashion Journal at the Gladstone Flea on Saturday, August 3rd from 10 am ’til 4 pm at 1214 Queen St. W. To subscribe to WORN, click here.