Tavi Gevinson in Lucky- quirk embracing and hurdle tackling

“Rookie's Tavi Gevinson on Her New Book, Love of Beyonce and the Designer She'd Wear for the Rest of Her Life Oh, and she also has an unusual pick for her favorite Disney princess.” / Lucky / Stephanie Sporn / October 2, 2012

We always hear that middle school is about finding yourself and running with your first taste of freedom and self-expression. For me, sixth grade meant showing off my moves to the “Cha Cha Slide,” meeting my friends to sneak into PG-13 movies and most commonly gushing to my best friends about my crushes on Seth Cohen and Stephen Colletti (watch out LC!) Sure fashion interested me, I had matching shoes for all my school polos, but I spent more computer time playing on Icy Tower and AIM rather than fashion blogs.

For eleven-year-old Chicago-native, Tavi Gevinson, now sixteen, reaching double digits meant soaking in the world of fashion surrounding her and using a blog, The Style Rookie, to express her thoughts on growing up, fashion and what happens when the two intertwine. Initially intending to be something personally gratifying, her blog became a viral phenomenon when she was just thirteen. It wasn't long before she caught the attention of Karl Lagerfeld and Karlie Kloss and sat in the coveted front row amongst the fashion elite. Everyone from teenage girls to designers and fashion editors adored Tavi for her raw and lovable personality. Unlike most middle schoolers whose insecurities pique as they become more aware of how others perceive them, Tavi remained no one but herself.

Tavi’s admiration for vintage clothing set her apart from other students. Soon John Galliano flew her out to attend the Dior Haute Couture show, and she even got her own column in Harper's Bazaar, proving just how vast her fashion knowledge truly is. Believing there to be a hole for teenage girls in terms of age-appropriate media free of condescension, Tavi, at fifteen, launched Rookie Magazine. The site features whimsical yet practical columns like “Live through this,” which gives readers personal insight on coping with obstacles like getting rejected from your dream college. In “Dear diary,” Rookie writers open up and share their week’s experiences. A personal favorite is “Literally the best thing ever,” where the writers post about their favorite pop culture obsessions which might include anything from Lisa Frank school supplies to Toddlers & Tiaras. The first print edition, Rookie Yearbook One, was recently released, and it has received major praise. With a heavy artistic influence, Rookie is deeper than Seventeen and less self-consciously cool than Nylon which leaves us at Lucky wishing we had it to turn to when we were teenagers.

We love how Tavi embraces her quirks and tackles the hurdles of awkward adolescence with style and sincerity. Tavi’s charm is her authenticity, and Lucky believes that’s a message girls of all ages can benefit from. Read on to hear straight from Tavi herself:
This is Rookie's first time in print. Do you plan on doing this book yearly, or maybe even more frequently?
Yearly for sure! We haven't thought beyond that for now, though.

Being a teenage girl is real, real hard. (We're old, and we still remember!) Do you think, looking back over the past year, that you've made it easier for some of your peers through publishing Rookie?
Looking at feedback and remembering what it was like to meet readers at various Rookie events, I would say our whole staff and community have. I'm lucky that I get to set the tone each month and oversee everything, but what seriously makes Rookie special is the support among our contributors and readers. Without it, it would be much harder to share the experiences and opinions that are least talked about elsewhere but which end up helping girls the most.

What was it like to be on Jimmy Fallon's show? “Bitchface” is becoming somewhat of an internet meme.
I was very nervous but he was so delightful that I forgot what was going on, and before I knew it, it was over! And I have to point out that I was not first to coin the “bitchface” phrase, though I am proudly credited for the Rookie how-to.

Because this is Lucky: Where do you like to shop? The mall, online, or at boutiques?
Etsy, mostly. Lately I haven't had the patience for the clothing section of thrift shops (and I've learned that no matter how many times I vow to, I will never hem anything, ever) so the pulp fiction novels and records are now my first stop at any secondhand shop.

Do you have any career/life regrets thus far? Anything you would do differently?
I mean, yeah, my face is in an almost constant state of cringing just from remembering things I blurted out earlier that day, but generally I don't have many huge regrets, and when I think back to those I do have, I just can't imagine that I would've known or thought to handle whatever situation differently then, so I don't get too down on myself as long as I feel I've learned something.

You've collaborated with some pretty major people: Jon Hamm, Amy Poehler, Lena Dunham. Who's the one star you'd absolutely love to work with—but haven't yet, (besides President Obama)?
I have a long wish list, but Beyonce is basically ruling the world and my soul right now. I think I watch her "Love on Top" VMAs performance and baby bump reveal (and Jay-Z's reaction) weekly to maintain my faith in humanity.

Say you hadn't decided to start a blog that launched a lifestyle site, book etc. What would you be doing right this second if none of "this" had happened to you?
It's very hard to imagine since my blog was so much a part of how my taste developed in basically everything. I would probably be more involved in extracurriculars at my school like the theater department and choir. It's very hard to say though.

You've sang for several projects in the past. Any plans to pursue a music career/record an album?
No plans! I just like making music with my friends and being creative in different ways.

You signed on to Nicole Holofcener's upcoming movie. What made you want to be a part of it? And do you see your future as evolving in a more behind-the-scenes direction, or as a public figure, or both?
I was very much drawn to the script for the portrayal of female friendships and mother-daughter relationships and the sense of humor, which is sort of subtle and a little awkward and basically everything I like. My character Chloe was endearing to me as well, but I could write a whole essay about that. I think if I do more acting, I'd like to evolve the same way a more behind-the-scenes person would. That was the fun part of shooting—crafting a story, working with and learning from such talented people.

Which Disney princess do you most identify with? No, really.
Probably Lucifer the cat from Cinderella, who is a princess in his own right. I also really love Belle.

If you could pick one designer to wear for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?
Probably Creatures of the Wind. Normally I like feeling like a different person with every outfit but I feel very much myself in their designs. And there's a wide enough range of minimalist and maximalist that it would last me through every mood.

What's the biggest misperception people have about you?
That I am 12 and have gray hair.

You're already a very successful entrepreneur. Is college definitely in your plans? You've mentioned school in California. Have you thought anymore about where you want go or what your want to study?
I haven't looked at specific schools yet but I know I'd like a liberal arts education and probably to design my own major or something that gives me a lot of freedom. I'm just excited to read lots and get to really delve into classes I truly care about and just learn and absorb everything.

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