#NewYorkTimes profile of 16-year old Tavi Gevinson, fashionista & inspiration for teen girls #girlspiration

Tavi Gevinson – The Oracle of Girl World – NYTimes.com.

(Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images)

What an inspiration!

At only 16 years old, Tavi Gevinson has already created a hugely successful webzine Rookie Mag, given a TED talk about her thoughts on feminism, “appeared onstage at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the nonagenarian fashion icon Iris Apfel, and sang a plaintive Neil Young cover for the animated short film “Cadaver,” in which she voices a character opposite Christopher Lloyd and Kathy Bates”. As well, it was just announced that Tavi will be acting in writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s new film.

At the end of July, The New York Times wrote an in-depth feature on Tavi, which outlined her rise to fame, her current tour promoting Rookie Mag and her views on life, fashion, 90’s nostalgia and growing up. Some highlights of the NYT article include:

“… Rookie, the online magazine that Ms. Gevinson started last fall. The magazine grew out of Ms. Gevinson’s blog, The Style Rookie, which she started at the ripe age of 11. Writing in a spunky, discerning voice, Ms. Gevinson shared ruminations on everything from Proenza Schouler to gym class, and posted unsmiling self-portraits taken at her home, in Oak Park, Ill.

Then, in a whirlwind so sudden it now seems inexorable, Ms. Gevinson became the darling of those she’d revered, like John Galliano, Miuccia Prada and the Mulleavy sisters. Soon she was warping through the celebrity rinse cycle: sitting front row at fashion week, interviewing Rei Kawakubo in Tokyo and drawing praise from Lady Gaga. She even garnered some backlash from old-timers, including a Grazia editor who complained at a Dior show that her bow was blocking the runway.

By the time Teen Vogue named her “the luckiest 13-year-old on the planet,” in 2009, Ms. Gevinson had appeared on the cover of Pop magazine and starred in a video for Rodarte’s Target line. Later, she was profiled by both The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. With her thick glasses and dyed blue-gray hair (Tavi was sometimes mistaken for an outré granny), she was a petite tastemaker.

But all little girls grow up, and Ms. Gevinson wasn’t content to remain a novelty. In late 2010, she announced a new project: an online magazine inspired by Sassy, the Nirvana-era teen magazine that folded in 1996. Sassy’s founding editor, Jane Pratt, nurtured the venture, and within six days of its start Rookie broke one million page views.”


…”Despite her V.I.P. connections, Ms. Gevinson maintains an impressively normal lifestyle. At the start of each school year, her father warns her teachers about her extracurricular pursuits. “Some of them seem kind of resentful that I miss a lot of school,” she said. But others are covert Rookie fans, and besides, she gets her homework done. “She struggled a little bit early on,” said Jay Lind, her freshman English teacher. “She couldn’t keep coming in saying, ‘I’m a fashion blogger, do you mind if I turn this in two weeks late?’ But I think she figured it out.”

Ms. Gevinson still gets romantic about the usual 10th grade stuff, like how her 16th birthday was “the best day of my life.” In a way, her rites of passage are essential to Rookie’s authenticity: it’s a place where teenagers can channel their own adolescence through hers, whether she’s extolling the cult sitcom “Freaks and Geeks” or decrying Hollywood’s standards of beauty.

In reaching out to young girls like herself, Ms. Gevinson seems to be positioning Rookie as a kind of antidote to what they are reading elsewhere. In a recent interview with Racked, she criticized one of her competitors, Seventeen magazine: “I feel like if I followed their articles about boys and truly believed it was as important to do certain things or avoid certain things as they say, I would probably go crazy. Sometimes their ‘embarrassing’ stories are literally about boys finding out that you have your period.””

Read the full profile on the impressive Tavi Gevison on The New York Times.


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