Over the summer, third year advertising student Ryan Manor felt like something was missing on campus — the university did not have an official fashion-focused publication — and though Manor had no prior experience with running a magazine, she was inspired to start one herself.
What Manor and her friends created was Miha Magazine, a student-run publication that produces monthly content on fashion, arts and culture at USC.
Manor, Miha's editor-in-chief, found joy in devising photo shoots with her friends from an early age. Now, she and her staff continue to embrace and value spontaneity in their new venture. When inspiration strikes, they head out for a shoot.
"Some of the girls would be like, 'Hey, does anyone want to meet here for a photo shoot today?' And people will do that. It's definitely very freeing. People are free to kind of write whatever they want. As long as they just send it over to us and we can clear it for them and put it in the magazine," Sydney Schuester, a third-year public relations student and copy editor for Miha, said.
According to Manor, the idea sprung from a conversation with friends about her passion and an impromptu submission for organization approval.
“I know we have Garnet & Black and Her Campus and fashion boards and stuff, and I think those are all super cool, but I just feel like Miha is so important to me because it's exactly what I want to do in life,” Manor said.
Miha Magazine’s first issue was published on Oct. 28, 2022, with a festive Halloween theme. In its second issue that was released on Dec. 16, Miha's staff worked with Fashion Board at USC and Urban Outfitters for a fashion photo shoot.
Miha aims to create a space where anyone feels free to express themselves through writing and photography, Manor says. Kendell Collins, a fourth-year fashion merchandising and digital innovations student who works as a creative director and model for Miha, says the magazine is fitting for any major and members are granted full creative authority to publish the content they desire.
"There's really no limits to it. You know? Nothing is too much. So we're not afraid to take pictures of whatever we want, just really express who we are and embrace arts and culture," Collins said.
Collins says that Miha also prioritizes creating an inclusive environment that helps people express who they are.
“We welcome everyone. You don't have to be a fashion major, you don't have to be a journalism major. We just want to hear everyone's perspective — let them get a chance to get their voice out and their own values as an individual,” Collins said.
Schuester says one of the magazine’s more important values is its promotion of female leaders.
Miha has been emphasizing women in business and local business owners, according to Schuester. She says that Miha plans to donate profits from future hard copies to a local women's shelter.
One of Manor’s goals with Miha is to have an expressive and emotional feel to the magazine.
“I really like a lot of the more personal pieces we've written. I know Madeline Swentor wrote a piece about auxing into your emotions, and I felt like it was really well-rounded, and it took a lot of quotes from people around campus, which I thought was super cool,” Manor said.
Manor says that she is hoping for Miha to cover more current events and political topics in the future.
“It's gonna be a place where, I hope, we get a well-rounded circle of beliefs and viewpoints and everything,” Manor said.