My envious tendencies have reached an all-time low. I’m jealous of a 13-year-old.
There’s a tween lurking somewhere around the Chicago suburbs who is being invited to fashion shows left and right. What gives, people? Where are all my Fashion Week invites?
Tavi Gevinson started her fashion blog Style Rookie at the age of 11. She posts pictures of her quirky outfits and sounds off on the season’s trends and pop culture. Since then, she’s managed to pick up all sorts of fame. Fashion editors and designers are digging her enough to give her a column in this month’s issue of Bazaar.
Do you realize the kind of rampant insecurity a 13-year-old fashion columnist triggers in a 22-year-old fashion columnist? Let me tell you, it’s not pretty. The girl is cute and all, but quite frankly she drives me crazy — mostly because when I was that age the closest I was getting to the fashion industry was shopping for Abercrombie jeans at the King of Prussia Mall and feeling really cool about it.
Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the designers behind Rodarte, had Tavi create a video of their recent collaboration line for Target. I barely even know how to turn a video camera on.
Reactions to Tavi’s exponentially rising recognition are mixed. On the one hand, we have all these designers and magazines who are scrambling to get a piece of her. On the other hand, there’s a whole lot of scandal about whether she is actually writing all these blog entries herself. Elle fashion director Anne Slowey told New York Magazine that she was a little skeptical.
“You look at her [Rodarte] video, and the writing doesn’t sync up with the way she talks about fashion,” Slowey said. “When I watched that video it smacked of this ethereal vagueness ... I’m not trying to take anything away from her — her love of fashion, her love of style. She’s either a tween savant or she’s got a Tavi team.”
Thanks for that, Slowey. It’s a relief to know that not everyone is so enthralled with this little girl that I would have to give up my dreams of working in fashion just because I’m already in my 20s.
Honestly, I don’t think the question, “Is this all really being done by a 13-year-old?” is even the point. It doesn’t make that much of a difference to me whether this is her writing or her great-grandmother’s or her neighbor’s. Though for the record, I actually do think she’s the author. Who the hell would give up the opportunity for that level of popularity for a tween? I’m not convinced it would be her mother, either, because I don’t think she would really be that into talking about dying her daughter’s hair blue.
Don’t you remember being 13? We all had a near-obsessive wish for everyone to realize that 13-year-olds knew a lot more about life than everybody thought. Why is it that the second we get older, we automatically assume that anyone younger is some kind of naïve being, completely incapable of understanding anything about the world?
At the end of the day, Tavi does still sound like she’s 13. I don’t think the skill level is really what’s admirable here — it’s the confidence that she’s actually willing to broadcast all this. I don’t know about you, but anything I wrote when I was in middle school is still locked away in a trunk somewhere. Not to mention that I was terrified to wear anything nearly as daring as a leather trench coat like Tavi does.
A lot of folks are worried about this chick being exposed to the horrors of the fashion industry at such an early age, but let’s face it people, there’s nothing more horrific than the halls of middle school. Sitting in the front row at Paris Couture Fashion Week sounds like a walk in the park compared to surviving teendom in the suburbs. In actuality, I think the fashion industry is the safest place for her. They are far more likely to be accepting of her creativity than cut-throat middle schoolers looking for attention.
In the past few years, the fashion blog world has become a roaring presence. Bloggers have become credible news outlets and sources of inspiration. American Apparel regularly hires personal style bloggers as models. Lucky Magazine invites bloggers to be guest writers on their website. It makes sense, really, that blogs have become so reliable. The industry is based on two things: creative personal preferences and fast-paced revolutions. There is no better way to keep up with the speed and quirks of fashion than with blogs.
I can’t decide whether Tavi is a trend — independent fashion blogs tend to have a pretty short shelf life — or if this tween is actually the next Anna Wintour. Surely this must be what editors-in-chief were like at that age, no? If Tavi isn’t capable of taking the Vogue throne, who is?
Now I know I’m not as endearing as a teenager, but Marc Jacobs, if you ever decide to make a line for Target (really, please do) and you need someone to make a video for you, I’d be happy to put aside my homework and help you out. Call me!