Tavi Gevinson is ready for her closeup.
In the wake of the cult seventeen year old writer, editor and Millennial jealousy magnet’s recent Cole Haan campaign which projected the increasingly elegant, mature, and self-assured vision of the pint-sized publishing prodigy we first came to know as a precocious pre-teen fashion blogger with an endearing penchant for grandma accoutrements, Daria references and large bows, the Rookie Magazine editor-founder, DIY media mogul and captivating keynote speaker continues her mature streak in a decidedly grown-up editorial for the December issue of Sydney-based fashion bible, Russh Magazine.
Thanks to Russh, the editorial shot by Nick Hudson and styled by Paul Bui – who also conducted the interview – is published in full along with an exclusive excerpt from the interview.
Is it weird being interviewed when you’re usually interviewing other people? It’s weirder interviewing other people, especially Lorde (from last night). She’s 16 and we were talking about the annoying questions people ask you when you’re young. For instance when you go on an early morning talk show and they say – “Do you feel sixteen?”.
I hear you’re also a big fan of Stevie Nicks. What is it about her that resonates with you? There are so many different female artists I admire. I love Patti Smith, Yoko Ono, Billie Holiday and Taylor Swift. They all reflect different parts of me. But Stevie is the one where I’m like ‘that’s me’. She’s particularly important because I can be very sensitive and neurotic, and not particularly in an endearing way. I take everything super personally and I dwell on things. But she just takes those things and turns them into these beautiful songs.
What was the moment that prompted you to stop solely focusing on fashion and talk about other topics? I think it evolved naturally as my interests shifted. In middle school my blog was my refuge as it was a bad time for me. I would get bullied for my outfits, and then I would go to fashion week and be photographed in them – it was really weird. But then I really liked high school. I remember writing “the weird girls at the back of your classroom have become more inspiring to me than a fashion magazine”. And my favourite fashion magazines are the ones who do remind me of that girl. But this is a common pattern in people who find any degree of success at a young age – you find yourself searching for some kind of sincerity later on. So for the past few years with starting Rookie, there’s been a bit of that. You just want something pure.
I love Rookie. There’s not much online or in print that is similar to Rookie. Did you find a gap in the market and try to fill it? Or is that something that just unfolded again, through your own interests? It’s both, but it’s mostly the first one. Because it all feels perfectly natural, it feels like what I would want to do no matter what the landscape looked like.
I saw the film Enough Said last night. I thought it was very funny. This is your acting debut. You seem so much more confident and assured than your character Chloe. Where did you draw that character from? Well one thing I liked about fashion was that you can use an outfit to channel a different part of yourself. So for Chloe I didn’t feel like I had to look too far. Especially because it was my first time on a film set and I did feel shy – the way she is. And I was a little nervous – the way she is. I was also going through a weird time in my life because the book was about to come out, Rookie was a year old, things were just getting to a new kind of level. It did make me want to draw back a little bit. I think that helped.
Any plans for the future? What do you want to do before you’re 20? I want to go to college in New York and I just want to continue to do what I’m doing, try as many different things as possible.
Russh’s December/January issue, covered by the resurgent Catherine McNeil, hits newsstands next week.
Tavi Talks Lorde, Growing Up And DIY Publishing In Exclusive Sneak Peek At Russh’s December Issue
Tavi Gevinson is ready for her closeup.