S1E5 Fernanda Ondarza Dovali, Founder of Glitch Fashion Magazine

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Fernanda Dovali and Mark Abouzeid on “Walking out of Lockdown”

Mark Abouzeid welcomes Fernanda Ondarza Dovali, a recent fashion design graduate and innovator behind Glitch Magazine. Fernanda talks about losing her smell and taste to Covid, launching a hybrid fashion initiative and how social distancing will impact the fashion industry.

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Fernanda is the Founder of GLITCH Magazine a hybrid print/online publication that aims to help recognise new talent in a highly competitive industry, inspired by her own experiences.

“When I first started studying in 2015, I started off as a Fashion designer at Marangoni and found myself constantly looking for a team of people; photographers, makeup artists, hairstylists, models, you name it, in networks like Facebook groups for Creatives looking to collaborate. And at times even amongst my university friends. I had little to almost no budget to produce the high-quality work to meet my course requirements, but most importantly the high-quality work I wanted and knew I could achieve. It was only until 2018 that I started developing GLITCH, where my goal was to create a platform that would help showcase and promote new talent to the highly competitive industry.”

The current approach is working collaboratively using Quarantine as a driving force to get creative. While many have stopped doing what they’re good at and love to do because of the no contact rule, Glitch’s creatives we aim to use it to their advantage, and encouraging others to get creative!


Every week, Mark Abouzeid reaches out to freelancers, artisans, creatives, culture protagonists and every day people on how they survived lockdown and what the ‘new normal’ means to them, personally and professionally. In an intimate conversation between friends, Abouzeid asks them about the future, what changes they will make to adapt and how they intend to rebuild.

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Director: Mark Abouzeid
Producer: Real Lives Channel on youtube

Interviewer: Mark Abouzeid
Editing and Postproduction: Mark Abouzeid

Creative Commons Stock footage:
Woman Washes Hands – Cinesim Media
SFDPH Wash Hands Spanish – SFGovTV
Wash your hands, grab your hand sanitizer, keep Corona and other related infections away – #CapitalFmKenya
200129_01_Medical_4k_005 – Videvo
200314 – Work Life_Hand Sanitiser_04_4k_003 – Videvo
WASH Your Hands Mr Bean! | Bean Movie | Classic Mr Bean – Classic Mr Bean

Music from http://www.Epidemic Sound.com:
“Safehouse (explicit version)” – Iso Indies

Thank you to Zoom for webconferencing and recording.

Copyright Mark Abouzeid, 2020. All rights reserved.


Mark Abouzeid 0:23
Afternoon. I’m Mark Abouzeid of Walking out of lockdown. Today I am very pleased to have Fernanda on the valley, a fashion professional and founder of glitch. There are some people that are born with the DNA for something. And the first time I ever collaborated with Fernanda, it was in Florence in the middle of Casa de La Repubblica, we are collaborating on a photo shoot, and I wanted to capture the culture of this sense. I just kept watching her because she was in front of one fashion window after another after another. And I think it’s interesting that at your age, you’re also going to be the one that’s pushing the fashion industry already. But first, let’s go back to the beginning of the year. Um, you know, what was going on? What were your expectations? What were your goals for the coming year?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 1:24
Well, I was primarily finishing University. So working on my dissertation, it was my final year. So working on my dissertation and my final project, so that was the end goal, get the grades, build the perfect portfolio, find the internship that would get me towards my career pathway. So that was really the angle and then, yeah, little by little, I started ticking those boxes. And, you know, this pandemic actually led me to find in the chaos like the creativity to launch my own magazine, which was actually in my final project at universe City.

Mark Abouzeid 2:00
Okay, I know you’re interning at Conde Nast. Are you fully employed there?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 2:07
No. So Conde Nast was. The college was the university that I was in college, Conde Nast. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I did intern for Tatler, which is publication of Conde Nast for a bit. But no, right now, I’m interning at a influencer marketing company. So I’m doing that remotely right now. But at the same time, I’m working for well with my own company with glitch magazine. And I’m also involved in Corona test center. Seeing up in London right now. So really, so three dogs. Yeah, yeah, that’s what I’m doing. Right.

Mark Abouzeid 2:43
That’s a lot to talk about, too. Um, yeah. Let me ask you, because there is a significant generational difference between us but also different points of view and different ways of reacting to this. Yeah. was your reaction to and I mean more emotionally, psychologically of this because we’re seeing different ages have different ways of dealing with this. How did this hit you? Yeah.

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 3:12
Um, well, at the beginning I had like a few weeks before the lockdown started in the UK. I was I hit like a point in my life where I felt like everything was falling into place. I had an internship, I moved into new flat with a flatmate. So I left living with my sister, she like moved into her relationship with her boyfriend. I found a boyfriend of myself and everything was just coming into play for me. And they had offered me to get hired with the internship that I’m in right now. at end of March. So I was just so excited to just start my life. And then yeah, this whole thing happened. I had to stay home. I couldn’t do any of those things. I couldn’t reach out to my sister who I’ve moved out from and then be with my boyfriend and be with my family at all. So it felt a little too much at the beginning. I felt like I was strong enough to deal with it though because I have been living outside of my own family home for a while. So like having contact with the people that I love most was easy for me or at least I felt so. And until later on, I realized how much contact with people that you you really miss, like just even just like knowing someone is around. Like you don’t even have to talk about anything just knowing that they’re there. I really, really struggled with that. And even though I kept busy doing my sports, which gives me the endorphins that I need, and you know, doing things for my internship, I still I didn’t have like the emotional headspace for, for dealing with though, with the lockdown as I should.

Mark Abouzeid 4:51
Yeah, I think it’s very difficult, especially as you say, you just got everything in line. We all at least have work. We’ve had careers we have some idea how to adapt to these things. Millennials were just at the point. And now the entire rules have changed. How do you see that? How do you feel about that?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 5:13
I think it really just comes down to the person’s character and like their own upbringings, I find that it doesn’t really come with, with age or with like, really the place you’re, like you were brought up and or anything is more like the family that you were brought up with. Because, yeah, some people are more emotional than others. Some people like to be alone independent, and we’d rather you know, sit at home, watch Netflix and just, you know, have no contact with the outside world, which, you know, I’ve had those moments where like, I would just, you know, not want to go out when I had the chance to go out and I had the control of being able to go outside and I found myself so many times, having to stay indoors for my own safety for other people’s nowadays. And just Feeling like all those times that I could have been outside, I didn’t So, and I’ve spoken to other people like some of my friends that they deal with it very differently. they’re okay with being inside their cane being undergirds or introverts and stuff like that. So it just depends on your character, I think,

Mark Abouzeid 6:15
hmm, had you already started working on glitch before this happened? Or was this partially a result of being in lockdown?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 6:26
No, I wasn’t I had worked on it on my second year of university, so it was already something that I had put together, presented I even like printed copies to give to directors that I would meet every so now and again. But I never got to the point of thinking, Okay, I’m going to launch it. I’m going to do this, I have the time to do it. I’m going to go and Companies House and register my name. There was a lot of fear in whether like, I would, you know, fail in it, not know how to do it, not have the resources of doing it, doing it on my own. Because it’s just me, and I have like my family helping here now and again. But so I launched because I thought, I’m a creative myself on that home, I feel good when I create things so good when I’m working on lunch. And I’m sure that a lot of other people are feeling the same way. Even people that are, we’re just about to graduate and have their final collections on the runway or whatever is whatever it is that they’re studying. And they can do it, they have to present it from home. So I took that opportunity to launch my magazine digitally, even though like I want to have it in print, and just started contacting as many as many creatives as I could tell them my story told them how I started as well how I’m in the same position as they are and they’re all into it. They all bought it. They all like the idea of it and yeah,

Mark Abouzeid 7:50
you’ve got a very good start. Um, you know, it caught my attention, obviously. Um, and I think it’s gonna catch a lot Have people’s attention at first I wasn’t sure. I like the intro. I liked the teaser, but I wasn’t sure where you’re going with it. But now when I see the things you’re posting people’s sketches people, and Okay, you also caught me at the right time because I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that my way of getting through lockdown was actually discovering Project Runway. And really literally watch every season of Project Runway Project Runway all stars and Project Runway Junior elastically enough, probably because it was so devoid of any real world. And yet, there’s, there’s, it’s like, yeah, looking behind the scenes. So I was able to see how people make and that’s why I think I’m also interested in what you’re doing with glitch, because I’m more interested in seeing the inspiration, the development, the pieces that things like that, then the final product and its direction. That’s important. glitch or where do you see this going? What is your, your bounce? I mean, I,

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 9:05
I definitely have a business strategy in it. But right now, in order to achieve that, you know, set goal business strategy I need, like funds. So right now I’m kind of just trying to work with what I do have and just, you know, reach out to people as much as they can if they’re interested or not. It doesn’t really matter. I just I just keep going ahead with the, with the strategy of just trying to sell them glitch.

Mark Abouzeid 9:31
Mm hmm. And from an editorial perspective, what’s your main focus? Are you wanting to get into articles also do being more like a classic fashion magazine or much more like it is now the creatives and that part of the process or both?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 9:46
So, I mean, I’m not saying no to writing. I’m very much open to people’s opinions in written form. I’m trying to make glitch more of a visual magazine. So more like Nish High Five magazine less like with a lot of articles. But I do like the introduction of interviews with people, because I think that’s one thing that the industry lacks. So the whole purpose behind glitches finding new talent. And I think that new talent, so recent graduates are freelancers that are just starting their career, they lose the opportunity for people in the industry to learn about them, and they just see their work. They may be just either working, they’re like, Oh, it’s not good enough. It’s not industry standard, but they don’t listen to them describing it. So there’s that connection that we are building those bridges for the industry and like the academics or the starting amateur creatives to reach that goal.

Mark Abouzeid 10:43
Interesting. You choose to go for the desire to go for print, for many reasons, one, a year age in terms of technology adoption, in terms of devices and things like that, but secondly, because even what you described sounds much more like an opportunity for video and podcast. Yeah, then articles which, you know, as we’re finding and I know from history as a been doing feature articles for over 25 years, they’re still expensive. Over time, it’s still expensive to produce good quality feature articles. I’m not saying podcasts are less quality, but there’s more of an acceptance that it’s a discussion to get a feel for a creative or whatever. Why the desire for print in today’s day and age.

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 11:38
So that was exactly what my dissertation consisted of. So it was like, why how does print coexist in a day in a digital driven era with millennials and Generation Z consumers? So that was my entire title on my dissertation, and I did a series of interviews where I found that people like the tangibility Print. So it’s just the collectible of it the being able to just know that you have it there and you can grab it and look at it and it has a more engaging effect than it does when you have a digital magazine. You just flick, flick the images, you just see it, maybe you do, maybe you save it, but having an imprint is you just feel like, Oh, I’m special. I put money into this. I put value into this. I also put time into flicking through it at home. So that was the whole

Mark Abouzeid 12:29
Yeah, I think there’s a very big point there. You know, I am. I’m digital and fully versed digitally. I enjoy many things. I read thousands of pages a week on an iPad. But I have books, and I have magazines because of the passive aspect for the magazines. You know you’re walking around your house, you’re just thinking you’re vague and you see it again. You pick it up. That never happens with a digital magazine. That never happens with the digital book. In fact, more often than not, honestly, I think my consumption of digital magazines is singular. I’ll read out once I look through them once, maybe go back to it, as you say, but print without doubt. So I do understand that I think there’s, there’s a strong validity to it. I’m wondering if there’s a model, which instead of and maybe this is what you’re, you’re talking about, instead of being one is the lesser version of the other print or digital Yeah, that they actually somehow have a sim BOC. That makes sense.

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 13:38
Yeah, that’s so that’s another the conclusion of my dissertation was all about introducing a new publishing model. So what I call the hybrid publishing model, so it’s getting the qualities of print and digital and merging them together. So the idea is, once I do launch imprint, I will have like a VR code on on each page where people can engage through an app and try on products from brands that I advertise or have access to the portfolios of the new talent that we’re scouting, so it’s a more engaging connection. Yeah. Obviously, in order for glitch to be futuristically, let’s say, valid, you know, in the day and age of digital, you know, advancements, we do aim to completely go digital, but that’s something that we’re trying to step away from right now. As you know, the the meta is to value print as a medium.

Mark Abouzeid 14:33
Yeah, and I think I’m trying to remember which was the show magazine was a big, that would just come out with a different version, every time and it was really about the collectible. Ya know, and I agreed with that. I understood that if the print magazine is something you want to have, you want to keep that adds special value. I see that. Okay, so um, What was the hardest thing for you in lockdown?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 15:06
Um, I had a lot of like, ups and downs and very ups ups and downs downs like with, you know, not sure about where my career was going, whether I was gonna, you know, be able to come out of lockdown with a secure job. That’s really like one thing that’s really in my mind right now it’s my career so I’m very career driven. And so it was, yeah, that was just consistently on my mind is this internship gonna take me anywhere in the future. And yeah, just not living in the present, not making sure that I was taking the time to get to know my new flatmate who’s not my very close friend or taking the time to reach out to my family because I have I don’t have that much time to do in the week or the weekends because I’m doing my everyday busy life. So was really like the moment that hit me. I was just very, very low on thinking about the future and the what ifs.

Mark Abouzeid 16:06
Um, is there anything that you did in lock down that you wouldn’t have done? Other than obviously start a new magazine and little details like that but important stuff now? Is there anything you did during Lacan that helped you that you probably wouldn’t have done a normal life? And you and will you continue it?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 16:25
I think one thing for sure, I started reaching out more to my family. So my family, most of my families in Mexico or in the States or Canada, so I definitely realized that I have to stay in contact with the people that matter to me the most, that you know, will no matter what will always be there for me. And so yeah, I just, I did that and I think knowing how good it has done to us as a family, I’ll definitely continue doing that. After lockdown. Just schedule a weekly call or monthly or whatever it is every month. Just But the whole family I don’t know how to do that. Um,

Mark Abouzeid 17:03
okay, um let’s say Today’s the first day of the end of lockdown. You get to your front door you can go anything you can do anything. What is the first thing you want?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 17:17
I think I’ll probably go to Hyde Park and just you know, lie lie on the park without being scared of having anyone near me or a dog coming by me in case I you know, pass the virus to though or anything like that. Take off my mouth covering no hands on enticer I think that’s what I would do. I would just enjoy the nature and just just be outside with myself.

Mark Abouzeid 17:43
Yeah. Is there anything that scares you about lockdown ending?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 17:47
I did actually have the virus. So I saw I actually lost my sense of taste and sense of smell. So what scares me after lockdown finishes is that I still don’t have my sense of taste and sense of smell. It’s been like almost two months that I don’t have that. So I think I will go back to my normal life. But those two components that makes me human, I still don’t have so it worries me a little bit in that sense.

Mark Abouzeid 18:13
What was your experience of it? Was it it? Did you get it very seriously? Or were you more of one of the ones at home? And what was your experience? Oh,

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 18:22
so I didn’t notice it as quick as I wish I had, um, the I’m not sure that there was anything I could have done to avoid it at that stage. But I started getting like, feverish like my, my body started hurting. So I started feeling a bit feverish. I just thought, um, it’s probably nothing, you know, it’s probably all in my head. I’m thinking that I’m probably just warm or something that happened for like, maybe three or four days. And then I started feeling really tired. I couldn’t finish any movie. I couldn’t finish like reading any books. I would just feel very exhausted. That was maybe four Three days after the fever was gone, and then all of a sudden my friend and I started going for a vegan diet. And she said, Let’s buy this vegan cheese. I had a taste of it, and I said, oh, wow, it tastes like nothing. Maybe it’s just because it’s vegan cheese and it has no flavoring. And no, it was simply because I lost my taste or smell and, and said, yeah, it was really bad. Are you? Yeah, I think it’s affected me quite a lot. I mean, I mean, okay, food. It’s really nice to be able to smell and taste food, but even like just your perfume or like, I don’t know, anything that you put to like wash your clothes like you really miss that, like very simple things that you really do need.

Mark Abouzeid 19:48
What are your feelings about how? Let’s back up. I mean, for those people that don’t know obviously, you spent a lot of your life in Italy, your family in Mexico. sicko, your people all over the world. You’re multicultural. You’re an international by anybody’s standards, but you’ve been in London now for what? Four years, five years?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 20:10
or years,

Mark Abouzeid 20:10
four years. How do you feel about how the English reacted to lock down versus maybe your Italian friends versus maybe your Mexican family?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 20:24
Um, I think we were stubborn and yeah, we reactive way too late. I mean, I remember when it first started coming in the news, I was constantly like putting hand sanitizer, being careful and everything but nobody else really gave it a second thought to it. They were still going outside still meeting people still touching everything without a care as you would on your normal day to really think about it. Um, but yeah, I think it got very crazy. There was I feel like it was maybe a week week when lockdown was just announced and that people went crazy and started buying as much food as they could as many supplies as they could in the supermarkets. I even heard someone got mugged of their like toilet paper. It was. It’s insane. It’s like,

Mark Abouzeid 21:17
I don’t understand this toilet paper thing. I mean, really, and maybe it’s having lived in too many countries with the days it’s the last thing that crossed my mind. It’s like pause Yeah, I went for the pasta, the espresso and the olive oil because I live in Austria. So if the borders closed, I might not get my supplies of that. But toilet paper never crossed my mind, but it was wiped out here. There were people getting angry with each other for toilet paper.

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 21:43
Yeah, I definitely think that the UK messed up. They should have reacted way ahead. I mean, seeing how it affected Italy was so sad and so like, heartfelt like I really felt for them. I contacted most of the people that I still talk To ask them like if everything was okay, it’s like, I’m thinking of them like, but, I mean, thankfully they’re okay. But yeah, they really did have it hard.

Mark Abouzeid 22:10
Yeah, I must admit from my point of view, I was really proud of the times we locked down here on the first day of that the Italians did even though Austria didn’t in contact with families with little kids, and actually being very positive and actually enjoying the experience. And of course, as you know, in Italy, there’s always the one who’s got to do a polemic. And so I actually got some fun watching the mayor’s trying to explain to people why they couldn’t do that in a very Italian. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like, what do you there’s a mayor who’s sitting there and he’s like, these illegal hairdressers. Who’s gonna see your hair. He’s like, the coffin is closed lady. Just the Italian way it was very funny. It was very light it was whatever. Um, what are your feelings? And and I think this is especially true in London because London is a very intimate place if you like yeah, if you go out if you do things it’s hard not to touch and be touched by people it’s just you know, people are moving there’s a lot of bustle. What How do you think social distancing over the long term will impact the culture or do you think it they actually won’t be able to do it?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 23:33
I’m not sure I think I mean drawing it to myself and I’ve said this a lot to to my friends. I’ve told them that. It really shocks me how one person in China who had bought soup and got this whole thing spread out. Out of all the people that could have gotten it, I got this. So it makes me think like, you know, I am always touching everything in the tube. I sit down and I touch the seat or I see something on the See, and I wipe it out so that I don’t have to sit on it and things like that. So it makes me think once that goes back to normality, I’m going to be so conscious of everything I touch. I probably am for the rest of my life gonna have hand sanitizer in my pocket all the time. But that’s just me. I don’t think a lot of people in the UK will have that mentality. I think they’ll just say, Oh, it’s gone. Just go back to the same thing. Go back to being dirty, if you want to call it that way for lack of a better word.

Mark Abouzeid 24:28
So the way you saw your future and your life four months ago, yeah. And the way you see the world, and even your ability to control your future, how has that change?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 24:44
I’m not sure I feel like I definitely feel I have more control over. over what comes my way over. Yeah, my future I would say now that I have the time to, to analyze it more to be within myself, but

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 25:00
I’m not sure how much

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 25:03
as a person it would have changed if this hadn’t happened because I feel like I’m very controlling person I write I like to, in a good way in a good balance a very controlling person so I think that it wouldn’t have varied so much. So without the condemning company. Definitely as I said, one thing that I will forever take with me is just being more hygienic, being more aware of my surroundings, being more aware of whose hand I shake or who I hug or things things like that, you know,

Mark Abouzeid 25:38
do you think it’ll in or how do you think it’ll impact the fashion industry and I both mean on the front end, but also just as much in the back end. If you think of fashion shows, if you think of the way we put things together. You know, it is one having worked fashion shows, I know it is one of the most intimate things that exists for a very intense period of time. Do you think it’ll have an impact either from what the what the customers need to feel comfortable or in terms of how the industry functions?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 26:10
Yeah, I think definitely the industry is going to have to dive deep dive deep into personalizing the experience for consumers a bit more, maybe even like, Fashion Week is not gonna happen anymore. It’s gonna be all behind the screen. Although the exclusivity that comes with going to fashion week, I’m not sure how the industry is going to handle that. Because if everybody’s able to attend the show, then where’s that exclusivity that the fashion industry brings into just having famous celebrities or, you know, edit tours coming into the fashion shows? Mm hmm.

Mark Abouzeid 26:48
What about from a, from a creative standpoint, and this once again, you know, going back to glitch and going back to New creatives and things like this, how do you think this impacts them?

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 27:00
So I would say, it’s gonna break a lot of barriers. I think a lot of the times in my position when I’ve been, you know, trying to perfect, high quality projects for myself, let’s say, I’ve always had to reach out to friends and reach out to other creatives, like photographers or stuff so they can collaborate with me and we can create something wonderful. So, but the one thing that I think that this lockdown is helping us realize is that we all actually can do everything on our own. We can actually set up a magazine our own on our own, and we don’t have to wait for someone else to come and help us. So I think that the important thing that’s gonna come out is the organic content that you can do from home. A lot of brands I’ve seen are collaborating with models, or they’re sending them pieces of their brands, or new collections and they’re taking pictures at home of them. And I think it’s a breaking that barrier between the viewer and the Round making that connection a little bit more personal. Yeah, less than having like a beautiful editorial with like, very made up models in an amazing atmosphere around them. So it’s not very real very end up. Yeah, it is definitely is going to inspire a lot of people to start doing their own things, which is good, but it’s not good for the people that are higher up that you know, have built this image that everything has to be perfect. And I don’t know. From like a class standpoint, you have to be a certain person to be able to, to talk to me or to attend to this or to see this type of content. Yeah, definitely. We need to close the book and just start fresh, I think at this point. Break it up, break

Fernanda Ondarza Dovali 28:46
it up. I got a bit of a bank to make me a safe house. She got out. I got some get some packs up in the greenhouse. But let us pull it up. I’m with the gang who took a shot off the rebound.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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