Don’t miss this week’s Stylist, a special issue guest edited by Deborah Frances-White to mark International Women’s Day. Download the digital edition now on the Stylist app, available on iOS and Android.
Our world looks very different from the one we lived in last International Women’s Day, but the trials of the past year have made one thing clear: now, more than ever, we need to pull together to challenge the injustices women are facing globally.
And this week, we’ve handed over the reins to a woman who’s long been committed to fighting for a better world: host and creator of The Guilty Feminist podcast, Deborah Frances-White. Teaming up with refugee charity Choose Love, she’s using this very special issue of Stylist to shine a light on those living at the intersection of the world’s two biggest crises, supporting and amplifying the voices of displaced women.
“Being the linchpin between Stylist and Choose Love is a great honour,” Frances-White says. “I’m thrilled to the brim to be guest editing Stylist – my very favourite magazine – for International Women’s Day 2021. The theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge and I can’t think of a better way to challenge injustice women face around the world than choosing to support displaced women who have had to run far and fast at short notice, to rethink and reskill. This is a time for the sisterhood to gather round those worst affected and empower them.”
She follows in the footsteps of some truly brilliant Stylist guest editors, including Adwoa Aboah, Caitlin Moran and Roxane Gay, but Frances-White had the added challenge of pandemic restrictions to contend with. That didn’t stop her from delivering stellar content, ideas and editorial input in every way she could, though, via WhatsApp groups, Zoom calls, voice notes and finally IRL at our socially distanced cover shoot.
From the off, she was committed to creating a magazine that truly reflects the ethos of International Women’s Day, working closely with the Stylist team to put her stamp on every page. The result is an issue full of heart, hope and empowerment. In it, you’ll find real-life stories of refugee women – including the incredible Syrian swimmer Sarah Mardini, who towed an overcrowded dinghy three and a half hours to the shores of Lesvos – and an in-depth report on how women living in camps are using beauty as an act of resistance.
We also asked five designers, including Rixo and Mother Of Pearl, to reimagine the classic Choose Love T-shirts; Clara Amfo, Maxine Peake and other celebrities share what they want for women in 2021; and we get to know our guest editor a little better through an honest conversation with her friend, Yomi Adegoke.
“In a year when we are all reassessing what we choose to challenge, Stylist and Deborah Frances-White are choosing love,” says editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski. “For displaced women around the world, the pandemic has made a desperate situation even more perilous but amidst the hardship we found stories of compassion and strength, with women at the heart of this push for change.”
We hope this issue empowers you to spur on change for women everywhere; it’s a testament to the power of collaboration and a timely reminder that through small acts, we can make real change.
For more feminist inspiration, we invite you to join Stylist and Deborah Frances-White on Thursday 11 March for The Guilty Feminist International Women’s Day Extravaganza, where she’ll swap her usual venue of The London Palladium for a virtual livestream event on Looped. Starting from 8pm, it’s going to be a night of hysterical comedy, deep conversation and stirring music featuring the likes of Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan, writer Alison Bechdel and comedian Sindhu Vee.
You can purchase a single issue of Stylist magazine for just 99p or choose from the available subscriptions to save money. Download the app now from either the Apple Store or Google Play and select this week’s cover from the list to read.
This issue is also available in print. We’ve temporarily reduced the print editions of Stylist to monthly, and as we know it may be more difficult to get your hands on a copy right now, we’ve introduced print subscriptions. If you subscribe today you won’t be sent the March magazine, but you’re guaranteed to get our special April issue delivered straight to your door. Subscribe here and pay just £1 for your first 3 issues.
Photography: Billie Scheepers