As a young female football fan, Georgina Hunt had an idea. She wanted to bring together a collection of like minded female West Ham fans, putting the spotlight on the passion for the beautiful game that eminates from an all too often overlooked demographic.

Young or old, male or female, football holds no prejudices and this photographic exploration dived straight into that, presenting their passion for the club and how it brings all people together. We were fortunate enough to catch up with Georgina, and she was only too happy to tell us all about the thoughts and processes behind the project, as well as plans for the future…

Before we get into this project, tell us about you as a West Ham fan. Has the club been a part of your life since day one?

Since I can remember Saturday’s were all about football, whether it was my dad playing for the local league or watching/yelling at the tele, we were a family brought up with football. My first memory of a West Ham game was when my dad took me and my younger sister down to Upton Park. I was probably about 8 years old and I will never forget the excitement and thrill of being at a live game. It was when I was at university that my passion for the game and love for West Ham really accelerated when I showed my collection at graduate fashion week which was inspired by the football and community culture clash in Upton Park. 

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As someone who knows what it means to be a West Ham fan, how would you describe the character and personality of the club?

Loud, cultural and iconic. 

West Ham has the attitude and most exciting cultural identity, more than any other London team. We have a rare and iconic fan base. From the ICF casuals in the 80s to the Hawaiian Hammers, and the way we are now shining a light on the female fans, they really show true passion and dedication.  

What about that of the fans, it's very much a real club with an incredibly passionate following, isn't it?

The West Ham fans’ passion for the club is something that makes me feel proud to be a West Ham fan. When we win we really bloody win!  In my generation I’ve had to put up with people bringing the team down because we’re not always winning every week. But to me it’s about the journey, yeah we don’t win all the time and we’ve been known as a mid-table league, but we have our moments and when we do it feels great!

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What inspired you to bring this project to life? Where did it all begin?

I started thinking about who I was attending the games with and how I would love to have some more female mates up for it, or just meet some female West Ham fans that I could attend the games with. It was always my Dad and his mates or my male friends, which was great but would be cool to meet some fellow girls! 

It can be intimidating at times as a female in a male dominated space. The more I thought about it the more I started to think about how female fans are perceived and how I never actually felt 100% accepted. I wanted to showcase the reality of female fans of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures are part of the game and have as much passion and dedication as the male fan. 

Creatively, what did you want to present and did you hit your own brief or objective as it were with this?

I had this image in my head of a sea of claret and blue worn by supporters of West Ham women, inspired by an album cover I had seen. I thought about how powerful and strong the team colours are, and I really wanted to emphasise that. After speaking to the women that came to the shoot it soon became less about the aesthetics of the image and more about the identities of these women, what they wanted to say and their individual stories. 

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Assembling this female cast of West Ham fans, it paints a powerful image – what can you tell us about all those who got involved in this project and their support for the club?

We had no idea what we were walking into that day. We did a casting call online through Instagram and Facebook, which got a lot of shares. Women turned up from all kinds of places on a freezing cold, icy day in March. I can’t tell you how inspiring these women were, their love and support for the club was so passionate and intelligent. We spoke Moyes in or out, we spoke about how it feels to be a female in a male orientated space and the concerns and love of that. We had mother and daughters, best friends, and a lovely pensioner who spoke about how football gives her a sense of safety and community. We drank beer and sang all day, it was an unforgettable experience!   

Where did you do the shoot and how did you feel once it had wrapped? It looks like everyone committed themselves in a big way.

Everyone was super committed on the shoot, it was a real friends and family affair. My sister was part of the shoot and my talented pals and fans themselves, Nick Silvey and Louie Symons shot the women singing, laughing, and discussing all things West Ham. 

We shot in the famous East Ham Working Men’s Club, a club that me and my Dad would visit pre and post-match, and a club that does so much for the fans of West Ham. With the club moving from Upton Park this place has been left a little forgotten to some, we wanted to give them our support and love. 

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There's something very pure about the styling, the tattoos, the various shirts - was that feeling something important to get across?

I think for me it was about breaking stereotypes, so it was all about natural style. We asked all the women to come as they would to a game whilst keeping the claret and blue as strong as possible. 

For all the right reasons, there is being more light shone on the female side of the game, both playing and supporting. Do you think this project epitomises a whole world of female support that is out there that hasn't been showcased before?

I think there are some truly amazing diverse people from all kinds of backgrounds that are into football and we need to celebrate that. Even with more light being shone onto the female game if you google ‘female football fan’ you will still get sexualised images of girls wearing cropped football shirts, it’s just really boring. I hope this project has opened peoples minds to the fact that all kinds of women can and do support football!

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You've produced pieces for the likes of Season before. Is there a follow up for this West Ham piece at all? The lives of these fans are intriguing... 

We are working on the next issue of Season which will definitely have this element of community in it. We will be shooting the fashion editorial at a live game which will be really fantastic and will highlight women going to a game. I would love to extend this project to other teams as well as West Ham, it would be great to see how each team has a different identity, and hear the voices of more women attending football.

Creative Direction: Georgina Hunt
Photography: Louie Symons & Nick Silvey
Assistants: Kara Elliot, Clarissa Ferguson and Lucy Cartledge