Tavi Teaches Us To Brush Off The Haters, Step Away From Our Computers
There were many reasons we were excited to attend last night’s Advanced Style party, not the least of which was the chance to bump into co-host Tavi Gevinson. More on the party later (spoiler alert: it was our favorite of the week), but first let’s discuss the awesomeness that is the Style Rookie.
Upon arriving at the Ace, we were immediately surrounded by the chicest of ladies (many of whom are regulars on Ari Seth Cohen‘s amazing street style blog) and a refreshingly small number of Fashion Week hangers-on. We admired all of the incredible, original style in the room, and made our way towards the bar when we spotted some fellow fashion writer friends. As luck would have it, Tavi walked over to where we were standing within minutes.
Now was our chance! We’ve been huge Tavi fans for years, and were psyched to finally see her IRL at the Sassy tribute in July. Last night the 15-year-old was swarmed by people, both journalists and fans, and she handled the overwhelming attention with the grace and poise we’ve come to expect from her. When her admirers cleared a bit, we asked if we could chat with her for a minute, and she obliged. We were simultaneously totally in awe of and fully at ease with the talented teen, a girl you would be lucky to call a friend. We especially appreciated when she interrupted herself to declare how awesome the music was (“Um, wait! Sorry, I love this song.”). Yes, the DJ RULED.
As 20-something media folk, we can’t imagine balancing what we do with the demands of high school, but Tavi has no such problem. “I’ve hired an army of five-year-olds to write my blog and do my homework for me. So, really I spend all my time watching TV. It’s great!” she joked. But she does know that the key to not burning out is to separate your work from life? “Honestly, I should probably be more in touch or whatever, but when I’m done working on Rookie for the day, I don’t go on Tumblr or Facebook. I don’t want to work on anything else. I don’t want to stare at a screen. I want to watch a movie or something,” she said. “Wait, can I clarify something? It’s not like when I’m done working with Rookie that I’m like, ‘It’s awful! I hate it!’, but it’s like, you know, you stare at a screen for a while and you want to do something else. But it makes me so happy to work on it. I love it so much.”
That is certainly something we can identify with. The perils of working on the internet! And it’s no surprise that Tavi is a huge fan of Advanced Style — it certainly seems like a match made in blog heaven: “They asked if I wanted to do it, and it felt so perfect. I love this blog, and all of the women are so inspiring. They’re my biggest style inspiration.” Agreed, said the writer of this post who dresses like the 23-year-old version of her 83-year-old self. We told her we were struck by her confidence and wanted to know if she had any advice for teens (and honestly, adults too). “Do your thing! Please, seriously, if anyone has a problem with it, they’re probably not in your way anyway. So you don’t even have to worry about them. And everybody poops! They poop too! So they can’t pretend they’re better than you are.” Wise words.
We then spotted Ira Glass, another Styleite fave who we go to see speak whenever we can. Shortly after we saw him with Tavi at the Sassy tribute, it was announced that he had helped her out with Rookie. “The truth is my wife is helping Tavi put together the website. I got to know Tavi and [her dad] Steve, and I liked them. I was alarmed at the business side of what they were putting together, and just thought, ‘Oh, they don’t have any experience in any sort of media contracts or anything like that, let me step me in.’” That said, Glass downplays his role. “But I have to say, my part in this…I feel like I gave some advice for about a week two months ago,” he added.
And good advice at that! Rookie is seriously impressive, and was immediately embraced by teens and non-teens alike. So what does he wish he knew about about teenage girls then that he knows now? “Honestly, I had sisters, and so teenage girls weren’t a mystery,” he explained. “There were teenage girls in the house. I feel like I understood them, as an effeminate sort of man, effeminate sort of teenager. Teenage girls weren’t a mystery to me ever. And women in general aren’t a mystery to me, as an adult person.” Can we get him to teach workshops or something?! (We’re only sort of kidding.)
In the end, the thing that gets us most excited about Tavi and Rookie was summed up perfectly by Glass: “My interest in Rookie is that Tavi’s a really great writer and really interesting editor, and I feel like it’s nice that somebody would give a shot to something’s that good.”