Welcome to the self-made, creative world of hard working, tenacious British twin sisters, Sally A. and Sarah J. Edwards and their—cutting edge yet sophisticated, 100% independent brand BLAG.
Sally and Sarah, were raised in a strict environment in rural England and Scotland and went on to unwittingly change the publishing game. In order to inform themselves culturally, Sally and Sarah spent much of their childhood and art school years secretly relying on a crackling radio, untuned TVs, passed around mixtapes and magazines.
THE XEROX INCEPTION OF BLAG
Started in the 90’s and working solely as a creative teenagers, Sally and Sarah armed themselves with fake id, a camera, typewriter, access to a payphone, one hour photoshop and after asking nicely—unofficially, an art college photocopier. BLAG...in its first guise was secretly born as a Xerox’d ‘zine, heavily inspired by deluxe glossy golden era style magazines. Mixing humorous interviews, posed photos and punchy graphics.
Within months of leaving home for London—with only £20 each, Sally and Sarah built BLAG, putting some of the world’s leading industry execs on their toes and upending stereotypes.
From their teens to early 20’s, Sally and Sarah maintained jobs in the music industry. Sally was one of the industry’s youngest female television pluggers. At 21, she independently represented several musicians, plus all Grand Royal Records artists for Beastie Boys. Her plugging efforts landed debut and some of the most infamous television appearances for musicians including At The Drive-In, Placebo and The Pharcyde to name a few.
Meanwhile, across town—thrown in at the deep end, Sarah was cutting her teeth as a publicist for many high profile artists including Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Foo Fighters, Travis, Slum Village and Muse. Her work included major publicity for Beastie Boys 2 x Grammy Award winning album, multiple platinum selling 'Hello Nasty', Foo Fighters 'There Is Nothing Left To Loose' Grammy Award winning, platinum album, Travis' 'The Man Who' 9x UK platinum album and Muse's debut album 'Showbiz'. She soon jumped to the other side of the fence, when NME editors headhunted her to be their website Hip Hop Editor.
On weekends, lunch breaks and days off, Sally and Sarah modelled for Japanese GQ, German Vogue and Dazed to Placebo’s platinum selling album, Without You I’m Nothing—shot by Corinne Day. Sarah appeared on record sleeves for Ash’s Girl From Mars And Depth Charge’s The Legend of the Golden Snake EP. Sally modelled for Carhartt, Levi’s and The Big Issue’s World’s Greatest City cover. They were subjects by celebrated photographers Rankin and Matt Holyoak.
These shoots inspired Sarah to develop her love of photography.
The girls’ journey with BLAG led them from moonlighting creating cut ’n’ paste style ‘zines to being internationally acclaimed publishers and editors – taking on the majors via many inventive means, all the while bullseye future gazing artists and trends. Sally and Sarah collaborated with go-to design duo Yacht Associates on the first three glossy editions, the designers responsible for groundbreaking record sleeves for artists including Blur. Together, they gave BLAG its unique sense of humour via striking street style visuals, laced with subtle jokes and word play.
The underground began to buzz and soon BLAG the glossy would be distributed worldwide, with calls for copies from as far as Peru. Readers put pen to paper to send them letters from as far afield as Tokyo to New York City, Johannesburg and many place inbetween. Artists like Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, The Pharcyde, The Roots’ ?uestlove and Beck cite BLAG magazine as one of the early publications to give them covers and features. Bolstered by numerous rave reviews in major style and quality titles—finding its unique approach and voice refreshing, BLAG quickly captured a loyal and discerning audience. Launch parties were thrown and attended by supportive artists including: Pharrell Williams, Adam Yauch, Chris Evans, Jessica Alba, Matthew Rhys and Ioan Gruffudd.
Sally and Sarah used BLAG to break down media stereotypes, cross cultural boundaries and put themselves on the frontline to make a difference. They experienced undercover burnout and forged fortuitous friendships.
BLAG covers include: André 3000, 50 Cent, Beastie Boys, Game, Cillian Murphy, Nelly Furtado, OutKast, Kasabian, James McAvoy, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, N*E*R*D, Rupert Grint, Franz Ferdinand, Julian Casablancas, Miike Snow, Slash, Noomi Rapace, Les Twins and Joey Bada$$. Features have included: Daft Punk, The Raconteurs, Amy Winehouse, Justice, MGMT, Phoenix, Malin Akerman, Ron English, Andrew Garfield, Phil Frost, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Helen McCrory, Rizzle Kicks, Janelle Monáe and TroyBoi. Guest contributors to BLAG include: Chuck D, Questlove, Mark Ronson, Scott Weiland, Freddy Rodriguez, Leigh Whannell, Mike D and The Game.
Deeply rooted in music, Sally and Sarah added DJing to their resume. They performed at launches and aftershows for artists and brands including Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and James Brown for their Wembley Arena and Hyde Park shows, to N.E.R.D, Y3 and Pharrell Williams and Nigo’s Billionaires Boys Club / Ice Cream London debut.
WRITING, PHOTOGRAPHY & FILM
Sally developed a reputation as the go-to, ahead of the curve writer. She was hired to contribute major features for titles including i-D, Dutch, Detour, Flaunt, Frank, Nova and NME.COM. Her many interviews included; Hollywood legend Dennis Hopper, to a then up-and-coming in the UK Mos Def and OutKast.
Likewise, Sarah’s photography got noticed and she received commissions from titles including; Rolling Stone, Vibe, Dazed, i-D and NME shooting the likes of John Legend, Pharrell Williams, Wu-Tang Clan, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and The Hives.
Sally and Sarah were approached by art book publishers, Die Gestalten Verlag to create a BLAG book. They collaborated again with design duo Yacht Associates and took BLAG global, presenting their unique humorous approach juxtaposed with striking visuals of musicians and artists from around the world. Pages were packed with a huge variety of subjects from Parisian Designers and Russian B-Boys, to funny and honest Q&As with several of Hip Hop’s most influential artists, paintings, photography and illustrations.
Press reaction to the book was overwhelmingly positive and global: Nylon, Trace, The Times, Blueprint, Sleaze Nation, Echoes, Kiss FM and XFM all leant their support. Sally and Sarah produced major launch parties in London and New York. London’s bill included an early performance by Slum Village, while the New York party saw Public Enemy DJ and was attended by a wide spectrum of celebrities including; Pharrell Williams, Harold Hunter, Ben Lee, Claire Danes and Adrien Brody. Creating a blueprint for BLAG’s diverse and memorable fun parties.
By dismissing traditional advertising and creating ‘sponsored integrated editorial’ with physical rollouts, Sally and Sarah were quickly invited by brand Executives to creatively spearhead national and international launches for them including: PlayStation, Mercedes Benz, Olympus, Motorola, Nike, Nokia, ABSOLUT, Pernod Riccard, and a BLAG capsule collection at Selfridges.
WRITING & DIRECTING
Always eager to expand their creative pallet, taking content off the page, Sally and Sarah began to experiment with commissioned video content, producing and directing documentaries with the likes of José Parlá, Futura 2000, WK Interact and Anthony Lister in collaboration with gallery and art dealers Elms Lesters Painting Rooms. They also wrote and directed a short love story ‘Take You With Me’ starring William Moseley and Chelsea Edge, narrated by Chuck D. Sally and Sarah were also commissioned to create films for Essie Nail Polish on Popsugar and creative work for Mercedes Benz.
FILM & TV
In November 2020, Sally and Sarah announced their expansion into screenwriting. Sally and Sarah — who will work collectively and individually — are currently developing ten film and television projects, of which two are collaborative. The titles cross action, thriller, science fiction, horror and comedy genres.
In December 2020, Sally and Sarah signed with Zero Gravity Management for worldwide representation for screenwriting.
To date the BLAG brand is still owned and operated purely by Sally A. Edwards and Sarah J. Edwards.
BLAG • Brit Informal • Verb • 3. (1960s) to persuade, especially as in “blag in” or “blag into”, to talk one’s way into a party, concert etc. An act of clever talk.
BLAGGER • Noun • 1. A smooth talker, a persuasive person.