Of the many publications on campus, the Platform is perhaps one of the most unique.
This publication was originally created in 2016 – later named PackFashion. Since its rebranding, the magazine has positioned itself as the voice for artists and creatives at NC State, continuously reporting on the latest trends and perspectives in fashion and culture every semester.
When asked about the Platform brand, Platform Editor-in-Chief Lily O’Brien, a fourth year student studying fashion and textile design stated, “We aim to be on trend without being trendy. Most of us are Gen Z students at this point, and since we’re a student-run magazine, we want to reflect on that. Part of the rebranding process is finding that aesthetics, you know, very clean, but more colorful. “
O’Brien stressed the importance of having conversations with readers of the Platform, stating magazine editors didn’t want content to be a one-way street; they want to spread and tell stories from community members.
To prepare for the upcoming issue of the magazine, editors usually have three major photo shoots and two biweekly meetings, says O’Brien. Also, the editors are planning a launch party for the magazine’s release.
“For a real magazine launch, fall 2019 was our first semester where we had a launch party, and we had about 200+ people showing up; we had this very fun event at the Imurj nightclub downtown, “said O’Brien. “We got to partner with some brands like Cotton Inc., and they were there too, so it was a lot of fun.”
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the process is different for spring and fall 2020 including limiting people to outdoor shoots and stopping production in person.
“We have to be more assertive now; “We have to take in fewer people on the team this year because there aren’t enough things directly for everyone applying to be able to do it,” said O’Brien. “It’s really a challenge figuring out how to navigate in it.”
COVID-19 has even affected the magazine’s distribution process. Similar to other publications around campus, the Platform has to figure out how to distribute magazines to an empty campus.
“Of course, we used to sell on campus at the end of each semester, after launch,” said O’Brien. “In spring 2020, and last fall so far, we just launched digital. But this is weird because it used to be so focused on magazines and physical products at the end of the semester, and we had to move away from that. “
As a community, the Platform is always evolving. In addition to publication twice a year, the magazine continues to brainstorm new projects, including the magazine’s podcast, which is appropriately named “Platform. “With 14 episodes having been published since October, this podcast is sure to be a welcome addition to the magazine’s treasure trove of content.
Apart from podcasts, the magazine began publishing articles through hers blog Last July, included well-researched profiles and opinions alongside the latest developments in pop culture. These articles can be found on magazine websites and offer an in-depth look at unique topics related to fashion and culture.
According to O’Brien, other future developments for the coming semester are in the works.
“Next semester, we plan to create more content than before. We are expanding our social media a little bit to do more video content, ”said O’Brien. “There will be more content from community members and visual things that you can see. There will be a lot more to it than that on our website too. As far as publication, we try to do our biggest publication, which, of course, means more snapshots, more articles, more illustrations, all bigger and better than ever. “
Ultimately, for O’Brien, the Platform is more than just a magazine or extracurricular activity. He calls his job running it, “one of the most important aspects of my entire college experience.” According to O’Brien, the Platform emphasizes a campus culture that does not only revolve around values and academics.
“The biggest thing I learned was how important it is to have this space to be creative,” says O’Brien. “This is a creative outlet that goes beyond class but elevated to a sense where, like, you can be very proud. It’s kind of made by students for students to let your creativity run wild, and it feels like I produced and helped produce this. “
For more information about the Platform, visit publications website or Instagram.