FFF (Food For Fashion) Zine offers a cheeky retort to the current hyper-stylized food culture, while adding a dash of fashion. (Photo courtesy of FFF Zine)

New Zine Puts a Cheeky Spin on Food and Fashion


AUGUST 03, 2015

Jakarta. When it comes to independently published magazines, there are countless print titles to choose from nowadays. Whatever your inclination, there must be at least one name out there that will satisfy your curiosity on a particular subject: menswear, underground music, slow food movement; you name it.

Stacia Hadiutomo and Zac Bayly, for one, chose to highlight the connection between two seemingly polar-opposite worlds — food and fashion — in their newly launched zine. Titled FFF (Food For Fashion) Zine, the publication is a cheeky retort to the current hyper-stylized food culture while adding a dash of fashion.

“I guess we were responding to that phenomenon of people posting super tasteful pictures of their meals on Instagram. We are not foodies! FFF Zine is definitely the opposite of that,” Stacia says. “We wanted to remind people that food should be fun.”

Both founders were former colleagues at Oyster Magazine, a Sydney-based magazine that covers fashion, music and pop culture. Now Stacia works as an independent art director and designer in Australia, while Zac is the associate editor for the hip men’s magazine Fantastic Man in London.

“FFF is a way for us to work creatively without being restricted by the needs of a client. It didn’t ever feel like work when we were putting this issue together because we were totally free to do what we wanted,” Stacia says.

Passion for print

Working for a magazine had always been a dream for Stacia. After studying graphic design in university, she did a one-month internship at Oyster Magazine.

“As luck would have it, I got my job after my internship there. I became good friends with the creative director and we worked on a lot of projects together. A whole assortment of doors opened up for me,” says Stacia, who started out as a designer at the magazine before becoming its art director in 2013.

At Oyster, she had an influential role in deciding the look and feel of each issue. She also worked together with various contributors, ranging from artists to photographers.

Around the same time, Stacia became a print designer for Australian fashion designer Josh Goot, making an array of psychedelic prints for his ready-to-wear collections.

“I find garments are harder [to work with] because you need to think how it works on a woman’s silhouette. A nice work of art doesn’t necessarily work well on a garment,” she says of her experience at the fashion label.

She no longer works for Oyster, but her passion for magazines encouraged her to start FFF Zine.

“While working for a magazine company, you get a chance to really focus on your job and let other people do theirs. But running your own magazine with only two people behind it, you have to explore other aspects: distribution, promotion and more,” Stacia says of the challenges she and Zac faced when starting FFF Zine. “We learned a lot throughout the whole process.”

Food for thought

The word zine is commonly associated with photocopied pages of grainy photos and hand-scribbled text, but that is not the case with FFF. Its 96-page debut issue might may only have consisted of 700 copies, but it is jam-packed with influential contributors.

For starters, Maisie Williams, the 18-year-old actress best known for her role as Arya Stark in the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” makes an appearance on the cover.

Photographer Michael Hauptman captured her lying on a bed of grass, her brown hair astray, and holding what looks to be oyster shells to cover her eyes from the sun. The main cover line playfully asks, “Arya Hungry?”

Inside, readers can read an interview with the television star, complete with her recipe for brownie in a mug.

“She ended up over-cooking it and sent us a picture. It’s pretty funny. Our zine is about playing with your food — good, easy, delicious, ugly food!” Stacia remarks.

Translating the phrase “food for thought” quite literally, FFF Zine also features recipes, reviews as well as recommendations from a wide variety of tastemakers — mainly those related to the fashion industry.

“When we started talking about making this zine, people were very excited to talk about food,” Stacia says, adding that the connections built from their magazine background helped them find contributors for the publication.

“Zac met Twiggy backstage at a fashion week and when asked about food, she talked about the joy of cooking and making food for your loved ones,” says Stacia, referring to ‘60s British supermodel Lesley Lawson.

“We went to [fashion designer] Richard Nicoll’s studio and found out that his pattern-maker Bella Doyle used to do a cooking course. So we asked her to bake us a cake!” she adds.

This experience culminated in a madcap cartoon strip in the style of vintage sci-fi comic that Stacia herself art-directed.

Tongue-in-cheek esthetic

More entertaining features are abound in the zine’s first issue. Sudanese model Alek Wek, for example, shares a recipe for an African okra stew that her mother used to cook when she was a child.

“It fills your belly and keeps you warm!” she wrote.

The zine also carries a column titled “Why Don’t You?” which pays homage to legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland’s advice column of the same name for Harper’s Bazaar. In it, various personalities offer their gastronomical views.

“Why don’t you stop drinking coffee?” challenged Anna Dello Russo, editor-at-large of Vogue Japan who is famous for her fantastical outfits during fashion weeks.

Not one to entirely skew from the usual ploy of fashion magazines, FFF Zine also includes a fashion spread. But instead of putting new runway pieces on professional models, it features restaurant owners and workers in New York’s Chinatown. All were photographed by Maya Handley and styled in bold pieces by the likes of Prada and Prabal Gurung.

“I think both Zac and I believe that food and clothes are things to enjoy and experiment with,” Stacia explains of the publication’s tongue-in-cheek aesthetic. “We wanted to make something that was a bit chaotic and messy and colorful. We just had fun with it.”

Stacia says that the first issue of FFF Zine has been well received in Japan and Europe, and they are looking to enter the American scene soon. It will also be launched in Jakarta this month in collaboration with Footurama, a fashion community and store.

Asked about her next plan for the zine, Stacia notes that they plan to produce one great issue each year.

“We really put our heart and soul into it,” she says.

FFF Zine will be launched in Jakarta through Footurama (footurama.com) in August. Check out fffzine.com for more information.