A Teesside University academic’s magazine that started as a passion project has gone on to gain a national audience.
Abigail Dennison, a School of Arts & Creative Industries fashion lecturer, launched Sunday Girl magazine, which secured television presenter Laura Whitmore as the cover star for the last issue. The next edition of Sunday Girl is due to be launched next month with special events planned in Middlesbrough and London.
The fashion lecturer started developing the magazine while she was studying in London. She then secured a meeting with distributors in the capital which resulted in early issues of the magazine being sold in iconic department store Selfridges.
Abigail, 29, who grew up in Stainton village, said: “When I returned home to Middlesbrough, I was determined to nurture the magazine further. I am positive and see nothing as a challenge.
“Sunday Girl began with the idea of intellectual girl talk and fashion, with content on current affairs, politics to feminism and health issues. Securing Laura Whitmore as the cover story for our last edition was just the dream.
“I email publicists all the time, not always really expecting a response – but then Laura Whitmore’s publicist got in touch, asking to work with us. The timing was perfect, as Laura was about to start presenting her own Sunday morning television chat show.”
Abigail attended Stokesley Secondary School and then Stokesley Sixth Form. She has experience working for Vogue and Cosmopolitan magazines and draws from industry knowledge to inform her teaching.
Abigail added: “I was working solo on Sunday Girl for the first six years of the magazine, and it was difficult during the pandemic to keep inspired and generate content. My deputy editor Milly Hutchcraft came on board a couple of years ago.
“When I met Milly, it was a match made in heaven. She was a long-term reader of the magazine, from the very first issue. Actress and writer Nell Hudson also recently joined the team as contributing editor.”
Abigail and Milly recently successfully bid for grant funding through Teesside University ’s Launchpad FUEL programme. This offers support to fledgling businesses created by students, staff and graduates.
Abigail continued: “We want to keep Sunday Girl based in this region, no matter how big it might get. The magazine provides a space us to work with talented creatives from across the region, while our launch events are a celebration of womanhood and provide an opportunity for our readers to network, connect and feel inspired.”
The Middlesbrough launch event on Sunday, October 15 will feature a panel of inspirational speakers, including sustainable fashion trailblazer Jade McSorley and a week later, a launch event will be held in Market Peckham, in London. Abigail has also been involved in this year’s Festival of Thrift, working with Teesside University fashion graduate Harry Tribe and fashion students to promote and celebrate sustainable fashion.