Tavi Gevinson: A girl of many colors

by Mikayla Baiocchi


At 18, Tavi Gevinson has founded a magazine, earned spots on Forbes 30 Under 30 list and starred in everything from public service announcements to films – all because of her mature eloquence, keen sense of style and passion for all that she does.

Gevinson founded her fashion blog Style Rookie in 2008, at age 11. The blog features lengthy posts of Gevinson in outlandish outfits, along with her commentary on the latest fashion trends. The posts were so well-written that New York Magazine questioned in one article whether or not Gevinson had written them with the help of her mother.

“She waited patiently for people to look at her, then she’d blow them away with her intelligence and fashion knowledge,” said Rachel Sweren, a sophomore linguistics major. “Then you’d be like ‘she dresses and thinks like a whirlwind.'”

Style Rookie also inspired women like Sweren to start thrift shopping.

“I was more of a fan of how she got her clothes,” said Sweren. “Thrifting was a new idea to me, so I was impressed.”

Due to Gevinson’s unique sense of style and illustrative, original voice, Style Rookie began to attract 30,000 views a day. This earned her tickets to New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week in 2010, according to TED. Around the same time, she made fashion-related trips overseas to Tokyo and Antwerp and was commissioned to write articles for prominent fashion publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and Barneys.com. She also styled a shoot for BlackBook magazine.

Gevinson had gained creative respect, but ultimately, she was garnering business respect, as well.

In 2010, when Gevinson was 14, she spoke at a marketing conference in New York City and at Idea City, which the Canadian version of a TED conference, said Canada-based CBC Radio.

But in 2011, Gevinson decided to turn her attention to things other than fashion.

“Lately, I’ve been looking to other places for a creative outlet and for inspiration,” Gevinson wrote on her blog in 2011. “Now I’m more intrigued by mixing fashion with the other stuff I’ve been enjoying.”

Gevinson’s new direction led to the creation of Rookie Magazine, an online magazine which she founded in 2011 at age 15. The site is geared toward a teenage girl audience and covers subjects that span from music, to eye candy, to books and comics, and “everything else,” which is an actual category on Rookie’s website. The content on the site is accompanied by a monthly theme and is updated regularly.

Gevinson has turned her focus to being a voice for teenage girls through her magazine, and has recently begun taking up women’s rights issues. In 2012, she spoke at a TEDxTeen conference about women’s representation in pop culture. She also starred in a public service announcement about women’s rights. Musician Joan Jett was also featured alongside Gevinson in the PSA that urged women to go out and vote.

As if blogging, editing a magazine, and promoting women’s rights weren’t enough, Gevinson recently began an acting career as well. Gevinson voiced a character in the animated short film “Cadavar.” She co-starred in the piece along with Kathy Bates and Christopher Lloyd. In 2012, she also starred in the independent film “Enough Said” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini, according to Gevinson’s IMDb. And she is now taking on Broadway, starring in “This is Our Youth,” opposite Michael Cera and Kiernan Culkin, according to Playbill.

Starting out as an 11-year-old girl with a pension for fashion and writing, hard work and passion have enabled Gevinson to become so much more in just seven years’ time.

If people are interested in trying to catch Gevinson in “This is Our Youth,” they should do so soon because if history is any indication, she will be onto something bigger and better before too long.


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