Nassia Matsa

Image by LCF alumnus Andre Ticombre

Nassia studied MA Fashion Journalism at LCF. Her 'foodie comic' FAQ FOOD won social enterprise funding from UnLtd. and she has partnered with city law firm Simmons & Simmons to launch a publishing company, this_is_hardcore.

Why did you choose to study MA Fashion Journalism at LCF?

Since I was young, I had a particular interest in magazines and the importance of this medium in cultural terms. I started to collect them when I was eight, leaving me with a big collection of magazines! MA Fashion Journalism was the perfect course to gain further insight into the publishing industry and develop my aesthetic skills, seeing fashion as an art and a business, rather than just superficial trend reporting. Being part of the University of the Arts London was a unique experience, as you are in the most creative environment in London interacting with the best of the next generation of creatives, not only in the fashion spectrum but in all arts and creative businesses. The support and advice from lecturers is the most important benefit you enjoy as an LCF student, as they are not only academics but are active within the fashion industry.

What inspired you to create FAQ FOOD?

I wanted to create a magazine that does not exist in the market; that itself is risky, as the market exists but is not tested. As a student having an extremely 'gourmet' mum to spoil me, as all mothers are keen to do, I found it hard to keep up with her standards while at university. I had zero experience and little access to equipment - as students move houses quite a lot. I noticed that there is no platform that makes home cooking easy, fast and fun. So then I mixed my favourite 'ingredients': zine culture; the punk aesthetic - due to the music I am listening to; comics; quirky young illustrators that have not been published widely; parties; the East London vibe and my friends cooking. To make matters even more eccentric, the special edition of the magazine is edible, making FAQ FOOD the first magazine about food that you can actually eat - it tastes like either strawberry or bacon, you decide.

What has the funding you won from UnLtd. helped you to do?

UnLtd. Fund is the reason that FAQ FOOD can be published. Having the recognition of such a large institution is a big honour, filling myself and the FAQ Crew with motivation and excitement for what is about to come. In addition, having the chance to see the FAQ FOOD Crew expanding by seeing the prestigious city law firm Simmons & Simmons become my partners and directing me to establish my own publishing company is beyond what I could have ever imagined for FAQ FOOD and myself personally. We are in a phase where FAQ FOOD is getting revamped, ready to be launched in early 2014.

Tell us about your publishing company, this_is_hardcore.

We are still working with Simmons & Simmons, which was a great early 'Christmas gift' as part of the UnLtd. Fund, to establish this_is_hardcore publishing, to be launched within the next month. Our main focus with this_is_hardcore will be independent, alternative magazine titles that are quite new to the market. FAQ FOOD is going to be the first title and on the plans are some exhibition catalogues for fashion exhibitions in Milan. We have only just started, so there is much work to be done.