Don’t let the bikinis fool you, FLORA FAUNA is the badass female-run arts collective infiltrating Denver.
Before FLORA FAUNA was The Socrates group, where profound thinkers Socrates and Plato gathered to discuss philosophy. There was the Bloomsbury Group of Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, and John Maynard Keynes, The Inklings of England with J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis starletting their members, the Stratford-on-Odeon’s group cultivating Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Andy Warhol’s notorious Factory where Truman Capote, Mick Jagger, and Salvador Dali flocked to think, dream, and make creative communion.
Today the concept of artist collectives wilts under the sun of social media and digital domination, but the Denver-based ‘girl gang’ FLORA FAUNA is keeping the tradition alive and flourishing.
The female-run, noncommercial, homemade zine released twice yearly is also “a social networking experience,” says Editor-in-Chief Carlee Henderson, who started the zine as a design passion project after interviewing a zine cataloger in a dusty university library.
“FLORA FAUNA is now a social platform safe space for creatives to come together. In a nation that runs on fast-paced, mass-marketed franchised consumerism, I started FLORA FAUNA to capture a slower, thought-produced market that highlights artistic liberation in avant-garde photographers and designers to new perspectives on Denver’s underground art, music, and fashion scene.”
We crashed FLORA FAUNA’s sunrise pool affair to meet the badass women who bear the FF badge and hold a rapid-fire Q&A with Henderson.
Three words/people that embody the FLORA FAUNA (FF) aesthetic?
Driven, creative, original; Cher, Stevie Nicks, Anna Wintour, (I’m sneaking in Alexander McQueen).
What is the story of FLORA | | FAUNA?
I always felt a strong connection to the power and freedom zines had for people to express themselves freely, without judgment, on any subject. On top of it being a creative outlet with my graphic design background, the zine is really just a reflection of who I am as a person and all of my interests that all tie into one concentrated platform: meeting new people, writing, blogging, layout design, social events, and giving endless compliments.
What is a zine?
Zines are imperative to the creative culture of our society because they offer a voice with freedom of expression and a communal liberation of the self. As a female Editor, I have a voice to bring light to others in my community and support their creative endeavors. We’ve had professional photographers, writers, and designers create free content because they believe in the zine’s mission to help build a stronger more informed society with reputable artistic direction spearheading each issue.
Themes from past FF issues include…?
All themes are tied to the relevancy of our city’s geography as well as the exponential industrialized growth of Denver which stemmed from the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2014. Themes have included ‘Constructing a New Era of Design,’ ‘Holistic Habits in Denver,’ ‘Vivacity in the Mile High,’ ‘The Rebellious West,’ and our most recent, ‘Nature in Flux.’
What does it mean to be in the FF club? By having it be a club, no one’s obligated to create half-assed content. We all do it 150% together because we want to, and it’s taken off like wildfire. Beyond the zine, we host and attend gallery exhibitions, concerts, happy hour meet-ups, etc. We’re all connected greatly to the music scene (how many of us met), so music is a huge part of our culture. We’re teaming up with UMS this summer and can’t wait to cover many of our favorite artists.
Where are you from?
What lured you to Denver?
The city’s energy is intoxicating.
Which local shops/artists inspire FF this summer?
Artist Alyson Khan, Becky Miller of Modern Nomad, artist Kristen Hatgi Sink, Valerie Santerli and Hilary Morris of Rule Gallery, Ashley McCredie of Midnight Rambler Boutique, Madeleine Zinn of Sub Rosa Mercantile, The Ramble Hotel/ Death & Company in all its entirety, leather goods designer Jessica Davis of Jay Davis Bags, and Eleanor Cheetham of Fort Greene Bar which has an outdoor patio perfect for summer nights.
What’s next on FF’s horizon?
We launched the blog on our website that covers the same content as the published issues, to have something in between the Spring and Fall zines. Also dozens of events and collaborations… you can find everything on our website (FloraFaunaZine.com) or Instagram (@__flora_fauna__).
FLORA FAUNA Crew
// Carlee Henderson (Editor-in-Chief)
// Jordyn Timpson (Publishing Director)
// Kate Kirkwood (Social Media Director)
// Jess Draper (Advertising Design Director)
// Lindsay Graham (Professional Freelance Writer)
// Jahla Seppanen (Professional Freelance Writer)
Cherry Creek Lifestyle
// Dana Lapinel (Editor in Chief)
// Chantel Ellerington (Director of Client Relations)
// Ladd Forde (Editorial Photographer)
// Ted Heron (Assistant Photographer)
Location, Location, Location
// TAXI Community
// Amy Kidd
// Sarah Macklin
// Midnight Rambler Boutique
// Nani Nula
// Armitage & McMillan
// Lolo Rugs & Gifts
// Salihah Moore
// Wild Fire & Co
pool party vibes
Left: Team members layout out at Taxi Community’s pink shipping container public pool.
Clockwise: Editor Carlee Henderson @carleeah, Freelance writer Lindsay Graham @lindsaylouise_, Social Media Director Kate Kirkwood @katekirkwood, Advertising Design Director Jess Draper @jessdrapes, Freelance writer Jahla Seppanen @ballabacon, and Publishing Director Jordyn Timpson @demojordyn
“Three words and people the embody the zine’s aesthetic: driven, creative, original; Cher, Stevie Nicks, and Anna Wintour.” (Bonus Alexander McQueen, naturally.)