Hannah Taylor – Fierce independent publishing

September 28, 2017

She is Fierce is an independently published magazine run by Hannah Taylor, created to offer positive role models to young women – and to showcase their creativity.

Hannah started the project in Edinburgh after graduating with a Masters degree in magazine publishing in 2015, feeding her “obsession” with beautifully designed and printed magazines, and her need to “create something meaningful”.

She is Fierce is focused on the creative industries and in welcoming contributions from women of all ages, “creating a safe space, free from advertising, celebrity and mainstream influences”.

As a single mother to an 11-year-old girl Hannah feels “very protective” of how young women are portrayed in the media, particularly with the development of increasingly extreme reality television shows.

“Since the beginnings of reality TV, we’ve seen production companies stoop lower and lower in order to keep ratings. We’ve become accustomed to seeing pretty shocking stuff on telly, all of the time.” she says. “Big Brother, Geordie Shore and Ex On The Beach portray women in the worst light possible by encouraging their young ‘stars’ to behave badly.”

“This is the media that’s influencing young people. Casts of shows like this have taken the place of traditional role models,” Hannah adds, something that she’s fighting against with She is Fierce. “We’re giving women the brilliant, talented and creative role models they deserve.”

The magazine has printed two issues so far, with four planned for 2018. Hannah is also developing Noisy Girls Club live events to “bring the magazine to life” with workshops on weaving, print-making and embroidery, plus live music and talks from inspiring creative women.

“People are invited to take part in workshops, hear talks from established artists, sell their wares, listen to tunes and generally hang out, making new friends and hopefully good connections that will inspire them to be more creative,” she says, with proceeds helping to support the print magazine. The first event will be held in Edinburgh on Saturday 30 September 2017.

Image courtesy of Neal Gruer Photography 

Hannah’s own design influences include former Vogue creative director Grace Coddington and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. “My Mum and Dad used to drive me and my big brother along the King’s Road when we lived in London to see the punks hanging out,” she says, describing Dame Vivienne as “the perfect role model for young creatives”.

“Design is everywhere and it’s considered by everyone, even those who aren’t creative themselves. It can be functional, educational, beautiful and sometimes pretty horrid,” Hannah adds. “Design keeps people curious, happy and intrigued.”

She sees V&A Dundee as “an exceptional asset to Scotland” that will help raise the profile of designers living and working in Scotland.

We are very proud to welcome Hannah to V&A Dundee’s Design Champions, as a fierce, independent publisher of a beautiful magazine that is fighting to inspire young women – and to help them unleash their own creativity.

To find out more, please visit the She is Fierce website.

(Main image courtesy of Laurie Lee Leather.)

The V&A Dundee Design Champions are inspirational designers creating high-quality work and helping to enhance people’s lives, or champions of the power of design to improve the world.

We will announce 50 Design Champions in the run-up to the museum opening on Saturday 15 September 2018.


V&A Dundee’s Design Champions project is working with Dezeen as its media partner.

Dezeen is the world’s most popular and influential architecture and design magazine, with an audience of 2.5 million unique visitors each month. 

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