NEW YORK - Megan Morgante spent most of her teenage years flipping through fashion magazines, scanning the pages for the latest styles and trends.
Morgante Fashion, who is majoring in advertising and communications at Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, was often left feeling somewhat discouraged because she didn't see a reflection of herself in any photos or articles.
"Photoshop and retouching is used so frequently in the industry that it gives young individuals a very unrealistic goal that is unachievable," Morgante said.
That's why Morgante published her own magazine, called NOEMI, named after her grandmother. It is work of art that represents women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and backgrounds, she said.
What you'll probably notice right from page one is that every photo is left untouched. The magazine's models, who are all carefully hand-picked, can attest.
"I was like, 'OK, this is going to be a little scary but you just have to do it because opportunities like this don't happen all the time,'" model Molly D'Amato said.
"I feel pretty good that the pictures taken of me are 100% me," model Maeve Johnston said.
The magazine's first issue was published in October but it didn't quite go off without a hitch. Morgante said her work was rejected by many industry experts. She is also mainly a one-woman show, aside from her photographer Michelle Mercede.
"With Megan, it's usually every time we've shot, she's styling it, she's planning, there's a vision, very clear," Mercede said.
However, at the end of the day, seeing her unique vision come to life is all the more rewarding, Morgante said.
"When I get those emails from people saying, 'Thank you—this was needed in the industry and this is relating to so many people,' that's when I know it's all worth it," Morgante said.