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Work / Publication

From magazine worshipper to publisher: a chat with Moon’s founder Verity Pemberton

When Verity Pemberton, the founding editor of Moon magazine, was a teenager, her bedroom walls had a similar wallpaper to many other magazine makers. They were repeatedly pasted with ripped out centrefolds. “My brother used to write for i-D and The Face so I was looking at all those magazines from a young age,” she tells us. “I think when you pick up the right kind of magazine it can really speak to you — with Moon I just wanted to be able to make my creative ideas into a reality and also be able to share the people I find inspiring.”

Moon, which just launched its sixth issue, is a fashion magazine if you were to describe it lightly. But in reality it’s more of fashion’s really fun friend, who laughs a lot and has the best anecdotes and also always looks really great. Magazines grew with Verity throughout her career. She made a fanzine at 16 which was handed out front row at Eley Kishimoto catwalk shows for instance and then became a womenswear designer. While at Urban Outfitters she would “concept and style shoots with friends, just for fun,” she says. “We did so many but were looking for ways to show them, and because of my love of print, I decided to create my own magazine.” At first, photoshoots would dominate page space and “the first issue only featured a couple of interviews,” says Verity. Now, “the editorial side has really grown and it’s been fun developing the tone of voice for that. Moon is basically the grown-up version of my old fanzine.”

Despite growing into a biannual staple for many, and despite learning a lot along the way, Moon still embodies the fresh fun of any new publication that hits the shelves. “I always want a shoot to be a positive experience for everyone involved,” is an exact example of Verity’s attitude towards making a mag. Having great collaborators is another factor she contributes to its success, particularly its designer “who has developed a really strong identity and typeface,” and having Ana-Cecilia Guzman as contributing editor. While Moon never focusses on one particular theme for each issue, it hasn’t stopped its growth. “Our readership has grown too,” says Verity, “with stockists from Japan to New York to Vienna. The fact that there are now copies of Moon all over the world will never stop exciting me.”

Due to Verity’s job, inspiration flows naturally. Working across casting, research and art direction has allowed the founder to meet a lot of people, “it’s just who I become interested in at any time,” she points out. A reflection of this is the publication’s latest issue, featuring actress Lola Kirke to Mary Randolph Carter, a publisher, collector and Ralph Lauren alumni. “I guess that’s the main theme with Moon, alongside the known faces we want to celebrate any kind of person who we find inspiring.”

While process is a part of Moon Verity clearly enjoys, mostly operating as a one-woman publishing band, it’s always going to be the finished project that’s her favourite part. “When it’s finally finished and all the pages are immortalised in one book,” she says. “In my mind, you can not beat independent publishing, it’s something really special.”

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