A letter from the editor: Sarah Murray on community & producing a magazine in lockdown

22 November 2021
By Sarah Murray

Read Sarah Murray's editor's letter from the Summer 2022 issue of Fashion Quarterly.

Sarah Murray.

Becoming managing editor of Fashion Quarterly three months ago didn’t quite happen the way I pictured it. It was my dream job, and when I landed the gig, I couldn’t help but laugh when I thought of how thrilled my 18-year-old self would have been to know I’d finally got there, all those years and three babies later. 

I was ready to re-enter the workforce in style. I had my hair cut into a lob, bought a new Maggie Marilyn suit, dusted off my Christopher Esber heels. I left behind my WFH freelance-writer lifestyle and was instantly surrounded by a team of like-minded, fashion-obsessed people, loving the electric burst of ideas that comes with thinking out loud in a group. 

Three weeks later, lockdown happened. Like everyone else, our team was dispersed to work at home in various locations around Auckland, keeping in contact via email, phone and Google Meet. Thankfully, due to this technology, we could communicate, but I missed the sense of togetherness and community you get from working side by side. 


Logistically for us, photoshoots proved the biggest challenge. We had to look to our extended FQ community of photographers, stylists and make-up artists to help us create content in a way we never had before. For our stories ‘Disco inferno’ (page 98) and ‘Fields of gold’ (page 110), hairdresser and make-up artist Sophy Phillips conducted tutorials with the models via Zoom the night before the shoots, directing them so they could do their own hair and make-up on the day. Dream team Karen Inderbitzen-Waller and her wife Delphine Avril Planqueel produced what we fondly began referring to as our ‘bubble shoot’ (‘Faraway places’, page 124), taking on the roles of photographer, stylist, make-up artist, hairstylist and model between the two of them. 

In her feature ‘It takes a village’ (page 68), FQ fashion director Danielle Clausen details the rise of community spirit in the fashion industry and asks: “In an industry that’s traditionally viewed as competitive, closed-off and catty, could the power of community be looked to as the conduit for tackling these big issues?” 

While putting together this summer edition of FQ, I realised it can. Sure, we had to adapt and improvise. We had to think outside the box. We had to work together from afar. But I found that even in tough conditions, connection and innovation can bloom.

The Fashion Quarterly summer 2022 issue is on sale at all good supermarkets, newsagents, and online at magstore.co.nz

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