I’ve been sorting all the hundreds of torn magazine campaigns, articles and images I’ve collected over the last 10 years and came across this one about Tavi Gevinson. The article, published in Elle South Africa probably in 2010 or thereabouts, discusses the young style icon Tavi and her blog which have made the teen so famous.
What intrigues me about this then 13-year-old now 18-year-old girl is her incredible self-assurance and connection to her own identity and opinions from such a young age.
She has gone on to deal with some women’s rights issues as well as feminist discussions it seems, all from the point of view of a teenage girl.
The article reads:
She’s fashion’s youngest muse. With four million readers and 1.5 million hits per month, the 13-year-old Chicago teen’s fashion blog Style Rookie has landed her in the front row at New York Fashion Week and on the cover of LOVE magazine barely a year after she first started posting pictures of her quirky outfits. Tavi Gevinson first caught the eye of Kate and Laura Mulleavy, designers for Rodardte, who took her on as their muse. Next, she was whisked off to New York to act as a special guest at Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang and Y-3’s Yohji Yamamoto’s shows and rub shoulders with It girls such as Leigh Lezark.
Tavi calls herself “a dork that sits inside all day wearing awkward jackets and pretty hats” but there’s nothing awkward about her fashion instincts. She says she uses “fashion as self-expression” and believes that “clothing has the ability to evoke an entire feel, or atmosphere or emotions, or world.” With this in mind she posts videos and photos which she tales and edits herself and smartly discusses the trend du jour with an impressive vocabulary and remarkable fashion insight.
I wandered around Google for a bit reading up about what Tavi has been up to since this article was published and came across an interview she did with Iris Apfel. Totally wonderful! Pretty much the oldest and youngest style icons discuss how they feel about being considered who they are as well as maintaining their integrity in a crazy mass-media driven industry. Here are my favourite bits….
Tavi: It’s inspiring to see what you do, because you do it in a way that is your own. I can see that in your personal style and the work you put out into the world.
Iris: I’m very touched, thank you. There are huge segments of females in society that wear themselves ragged about how they look. It’s very sad. I’ve had heart to hearts with people of all ages, and they are really so unhappy. They don’t know how to put themselves together. They don’t know where to go for advice. They just can’t find what they think they’re looking for. They don’t want to look like everybody else, but they feel they have to. It’s a psychological mess.
But you give hope to the rest of us.
Thank you for that. If they all turn out like you, then mission accomplished.
Aw, thank you. What has been the biggest challenge for you to overcome?
I never think about challenges because I’ve always fallen into things. If somebody told me five years ago that I’d be talking to you, being interviewed and lucky enough to be somebody that people know, I would have laughed and said, “You’re off your rocker.”
A lot of people glorify and romanticize the idea of being an early bloomer: finding success very early and being a child star. But it can also be quite dangerous. You’ve had a very different experience.
What has been valuable to you about being a late bloomer?
Know that it’s just a lot of la-di-da. You shouldn’t take yourself too seriously and believe your own press. You shouldn’t become a diva or think that because people write nice things about you, you’re pretty swell. I’ve been doing this for over 70 years, and I haven’t changed. I haven’t changed my style, I haven’t changed my thinking, I haven’t changed my look, and now everybody’s dancing up and down and jumping around. To say I don’t enjoy it would be lying; it’s very nice to have some adulation, deserved or not…
…I’m very grateful that, at my tender age, I’ve had all this. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise. Most of my good friends are gone. I don’t play cards, I don’t play golf, I don’t like to go to ladies’ luncheons—to me, that’s a fate worse than death—and this gives me purpose. I’m so grateful.
In October. I’m being interviewed at The New Yorker Festival, and then they’re letting us throw a little party for all our teenage readers.
Just keep in mind I’m the world’s oldest living teenager.
I will remember that for sure. What makes you say that?
I always feel like that. I always tell that to everybody. Being a teen can be wonderful.
What do you think is so wonderful about it?
It’s a beginning, and everything is fresh, and you’re learning. It’s like a great awakening. All these things you never realized were around are around, and you can investigate them and experience them. It’s wonderful.
Inspiring, confident and fabulous women. Both of them.