Teen fashion blogger coming to Australia
She started blogging at 11, now Tavi Gevinson is editor in chief of online magazine, Rookie.PT3M18S http://www.dailylife.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2pold 620 349 July 9, 2013
Seventeen-year-old media trailblazer Tavi Gevinson is coming to Australia next month. She will be a keynote speaker at a Sydney Opera House event and the Melbourne Writers' Festival. She will also conduct a special session in Melbourne for the under-20 audience for which she has found a distinctive and inspiring way to connect.
Gevinson, who lives in Chicago, has been a significant media figure from the age of 11, when her smart and singular fashion blog, Style Rookie, became a worldwide hit.
In September 2011 she launched Rookie, an online magazine for, about and by teenage girls and young women; an eclectic, intelligent, practical and heartfelt publication that embraces feminism and popular culture, takes its readers seriously and knows how to be light-hearted.
Tavi Gevinson in New York. Photo: Getty Images
It has a distinctive look, a clear philosophy and an instinct for both surprise and coherence: recurring elements include a section called Ask A Grown Man, in which the likes of Jon Hamm and Thom Yorke answer readers' questions.
At 15, Gevinson was on the Forbes "30 Under 30" list of rising stars in the media. But she's not a conventional entrepreneur - in her first editorial, Gevinson described Rookie as as "a place to make the best of the beautiful pain and cringeworthy awkwardness of being an adolescent girl. When it becomes harder to appreciate these things, we also have good plain fun and visual pleasure. When you're sick of having to be happy all the time, we have lots of eye-rolling rants, too."
Gevinson would like to think that Rookie could be a model for different ways of doing things. She says that when she was writing her fashion blog – and, among other things, getting front-row seats at New York and Paris fashion weeks – "a lot of people were angry that I was offered certain access without having ever 'paid dues' at something like a crappy internship. Usually it was suggested that you don't get to do what you love until you've done what you hate.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Tavi Gevinson visits "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on September 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images) Photo: Theo Wargo
"I understand that I've been very lucky, but I also think that the more people doing what they love, the better. I would be miserable working at a publication I don't believe in. Hopefully Rookie encourages people to consider creating more of their own outlets, filling the void they themselves see in publishing or other industries."
Gevinson, as editor-in-chief, still sets monthly themes for Rookie and suggests a visual identity for each issue: the magazine is updated five days a week, three times a day, with weekend additions. She has been on Rookie Road Trips around the US, meeting readers and contributors. But she is also making some time for herself, and she's not sure exactly what her involvement with Rookie will be in the longer term.
After she finishes high school, she will take a gap year, when she hopes "to travel and spend a lot of time alone". Then she wants to go to college, where she will "probably major in English and take a bunch of weird pop culture classes". She will edit the fourth Rookie Yearbook - a print version of the online magazine - in her freshman year.
Rookie, says Gevinson, "now has enough of its own life for there to be people who in some ways know what it needs better than I do". These include writer and academic Danielle Henderson – creator of Internet phenomenon Feminist Ryan Gosling – who has joined as a full-time editor.
Gevinson will be in conversation at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday, August 18 and at the Melbourne Writers' Festival on Friday, August 23. On Saturday, August 24 she will take part in a special festival event: Rookie Day, an afternoon of inspiration for under-20s, led by a range of local young women involved in art and activist projects. Tickets for this go on sale from July 19.