Here we are with another Speaking to the Media Q&A! This time we chatted with Andreya Klobucar, editor-in-chief of Toronto indie mag Mimp, PR gal and all-round creative. Andreya discusses the inspiration behind the magazine she started in high school, the types of stories she loves to tell, and some of her favourite local shops to aide her impeccable style.
Give it a read!
You started Mimp at a young age — like, high school young. Walk us through what inspired you to start a magazine. Is there anything you would’ve done differently?
My friends and I grew up in the Tumblr age alongside platforms like ‘Rookie’ (by Tavi Gevinson) and the resurgence of the art zine. We’d spend 11th grade photography class curating inspiration on the internet and we often talked about what it would be like to have a platform of our own. With journalism school in my sight, we knew we needed a portfolio piece or somewhere to publish our work. My friend and I spent a few hours after school at a Starbucks concepting and collaborating on this idea, thinking of ways we could celebrate and feature the awesome women in our everyday life. I don’t have any regrets, but I’ve learned through this magazine that I prefer to take my time on creative projects and make sure that they are ready before I send them out into the world.
Mimp has evolved since its inception in all aspects, from design to content. What part of this evolution are you most proud of and why?
I really didn’t have a concept for the magazine when it started, other than this idea that women needed a space where they could truly see themselves reflected — not just visually, but emotionally and creatively. The magazine was born in a pre-Elaine Welteroth media landscape (as she single-handedly reinvented Teen Vogue) and it was very difficult to find a place we belonged.
I’m most proud of how we evolved the concept of our magazine over the past three years. I feel as though I’ve done everything backwards but I’m happy with where we are now. We took the definition of Mimp (a pucker/the shape your mouth makes before a kiss) and turned it into a metaphor about transitions, growth and liminality. My “first kiss” was always this incredibly scary and exciting thing to me as a young, never-been-kissed teen.
Since then, I’ve realized that for me, the way I feel in the moment before a kiss is not unlike how I’ve felt before stepping on a stage, or walking into an interview — confident, fully myself and ready for anything. I wanted to learn more about that girl who lived so freely in this “in between” — in moments before impact — and extend the time I had with her. This idea translates to our fascination with “the process.” In today’s world, we’re so focused on a final perfect result, but we hope to pull back that curtain of vulnerability to encourage people to celebrate their process (as messy and unprepared as it may be).
A peruse through Mimp’s content tells us you value pensive and reflective storytelling. One of our recent favourites is “Mapping Motherhood,” where the interviews conducted are equally as meaningful as the images taken. What kinds of stories do you aim to tell through Mimp? What are the driving values you want to put forward through this platform?
We want our stories to reflect the world we live in and the people who live around us. We want anyone to be able to open the magazine and see themselves. This is why it is extremely important to me that we have a roster of contributors with diverse perspectives sharing real stories. We are always striving to get closer and closer to this goal every day.
What are your thoughts on the Canadian media landscape right now, especially for indie mags? What are some opportunities or wins you’re noticing? Which other indie mags are you loving right now?
The Canadian media landscape saddens me from both sides (as a journalist and PR professional). So many publications have been shutting down over the last five years or merging. Those still around seem to be hanging on by a thread. We need more publications. Indie magazines are on the rise which is really exciting. Data from our audience suggests that Gen Z is looking for tangible ways to connect with art and media outside of social media (giving us hope that print is still alive). I love Feels zine, living hyphen, Ramona Mag, Ephemera, Shameless Mag, CRWN, Gal-Dem, Kinfolk, Darling, The Gentlewoman, Lula — there are so many great mags!
Can you explain why Mimp was founded to “defy traditional media standards”?
It’s important for us to showcase women authentically and encourage our readers to embrace their imperfections. We refuse to retouch our images and also encourage our writers to be radically vulnerable. We hope we can be part of the movement to dissolve societal beauty standards and just general expectations for women. This is hardly revolutionary, but we want to keep pushing that there is no one way to be a woman or to be beautiful.
In addition to your beautiful prose and writing skills, you’re also a major style inspiration. What are some of your favourite brands and designers right now?
I definitely wouldn’t call myself a major style inspiration because I never really felt like I had much to say about fashion. I remember how inauthentic my interview for an intern position at Elle Canada was trying to come up with designers to talk about. I’m more interested in the stories clothes can tell than where they are from.
After writing that out it seems incredibly pretentious, but the truth is most of my items are thrifted. However, People’s Product, Soft Focus, Mejuri and Mary Young have always had a special place in my heart.
If you could interview anyone for Mimp, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My Baka. I’m writing about her now for my Editor’s Letter of the Cycles issue. I just really wish I could have known her. She was an incredibly strong woman.
Photography: Lyssandra Cassy
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