Interview with Christen Mooney of Thugpop Magazine

Thugpop Magazine is a new print and online venture that provides a unique perspective on style, art and music through a counter-cultural youthful lens. I spoke with Christen Mooney Editor in Chief of Thugpop magazine  about his inspirations, Thugpop’s origins, the current state of fashion.  He may be only 20, but Christen is someone you’ll be hearing much more about leading up to the inaugural print issue of Thugpop Magazine coming this November.

Introduce yourself and the concept behind Thugpop?

Hi, My name is Christen Mooney and I am the Editor in Chief of Thugpop Magazine. Thugpop is a very lucid name for a movement I’d like to create. Thugpop is a youth driven magazine that caters to the art and fashion audience. Thugpop is in a sense me but yet everyone. Who doesn’t listen to a mix of genres now a days, who doesn’t have decent style now (at least in new york)? Fashion is so mainstream but yet to be new you have to go against what fashion is. By making it very punk and thats what Thugpop is. Changing the way fashion is by youth’s hands. But to give you a clear answer on what Thugpop is it would be “a journal of our art.”

What prompted you to start Thugpop, was it something you have had on your mind for awhile?

Thugpop was first my twitter and instagram name. I never knew what thugpop was going to be exactly but the name stuck. I used to have a blog kind of like Third Looks but you guys are much better at it. But I was just about my inspirations and my ideas. I thought Thugpop was too good of a name for another blog. I had a class where we had to create our own magazine and I’m a really shitty student and the only thing I could come up with in time was Thugpop.  I realized i should use my artistic expression and asked my friends to join me on this journey. My staff which make up 4 of my closest friends (Sean, Amber, Jose, and Henri) they really make sure all my needs are met. I couldn’t imagine Thugpop without them.

Also, a quick note, my dad used to always say I should be an entrepreneur so he made me read books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad at a very young age. I almost feel like I was raised to do this. My childhood plays a very big part in the inspiration for my editorials as well.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump 

On the thugpop site it says ‘The beauty of ones’ youth is the ability to have the freedom to rebel and go against conformity’. Why do you think it’s important to go against conformity at point in time?

Because everything is the same! There’s nothing new being done in fashion magazine right now. Sure some of it is interesting and fun, but what exactly is new. Thugpop is fresh. Some magazine are extremely arty but yet where is the truth in the streets? Then on the other hand where is the diversity in fashion? There is no youth, color, or a breath of fresh air. (I’m talking about magazine strictly with the last statement).

Also youth isn’t doing much change this everyone is being told what they should be doing. Me, I’m doing what I feel like is youth’s destiny. Taking fashion and art more seriously and telling the world what we want. In fashion history it has always been youth who changed what was popular not all these other external resources. Punks were the once to make blue jeans cool, now you feel them on everyone. We should be making history it’s 2013. When will youth have its chance again?

How do you see the content of Thugpop developing over time?

As we work on the website and print simultaneously , we want to collaborate with whoever we want artistically. We have just started to work with brands and putting to gather our merchandise. But right now we’re focused on more writing and even better editorials. Also getting more people involved. I’m going to be outsourcing as far as online goes. I feel like for it to be a youth driven magazine why not let youth contribute and it be a collaboration. Also reaching out to people in other countries is something I’m very interested in, and have already started to do. I love art, and so does my staff so we’re very involved with artists at the moment. So to sum it all up I want more art and enjoyment as we grow.

How has life in New York and your friends here informed and inspired what you have done with Thugpop?

Yes! like i said I couldn’t see Thugpop coming together if it wasn’t for my friends. They make me work harder. They’re on me just like I’m on them, if not more. Jose wants concepts and moodboards when i send the editorial inspiration. Amber wants names and dates. Henri needs pictures. Sean needs confirmation. Its all one big operation between friendships. They’re all also with Thugpop, doing stuff on their own. And what’s more inspiring than you’re friends not being bums. They’re all super inspired and inspiring.

New York: This city is crazy. Everyone knows that. But this city can make your dreams come true. It’s inspiring to be in a city like that.

What is exciting you in the world of fashion right now?

Exciting  designers are J.W. Anderson, Ryan Jordan, and Nicolas Ghesquiere. Nothing much in fashion thats actually that exciting other than those three designers. Everything in fashion is so up in the air right now. Riccardo Tisci is really making a name for himself but thats not exactly exciting. He’s an amazing designer thats suppose to be happening. I’m excited for Thugpop though.

What do you hope readers of Thugpop get from the experience?

I hope they understand what I’m trying to do and say. I’m 20 years old taking on something like this. I have no outside person funding me, this is done solely by myself.  Just appreciate that and the art I’m displaying to you. It had nothing to do with race, money, education, orientation, it’ll just be about the amazing art I created. I also don’t want to just assume they’re going to just react in a “Oh i should like it because its him” . I want to earn their interest. I want to appeal to everyone. There’s a little bit of Thugpop in everyone.

What do you love and hate about living in New York?

I love NY, but I hate pigeons, rats, the M Train, and Soho on Saturdays.

What’s next for Thugpop?

Personally? I plan on continuing to grow professionally. I’m styling a lot more now which feels good. But the magazine will continue to grow by the day. Thugpop Magazine in print comes out in November. The website is up at, follow us on all social media btw (shameless). We’re working on a doing a video series on people who are inspiring, collaborating with other stylist and artist. plus growing in everyway. . We’re very small right now but you’re going to keep hearing thugpop for a while. I’m not going anywhere.

You can find Christen and Thugpop Magazine on twitter and the website HERE.

Photos and words by Rocky Li