How a Convo With Anna Wintour Contributed To Tavi Gevinson's Disillusionment With Fashion and Other Revelations

Tavi Gavinson just landed a major magazine cover. It's a far cry from her last one of note: last fall's L'Officiel, on which she sported a grey bowl
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Dhani Mau
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Tavi Gavinson just landed a major magazine cover. It's a far cry from her last one of note: last fall's L'Officiel, on which she sported a grey bowl
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Tavi Gavinson just landed a major magazine cover.

It's a far cry from her last one of note: last fall's L'Officiel, on which she sported a grey bowl cut and wore a bunch of Chanel.

This month, she covers feminist magazine Bust and looks pretty normal. She's interviewed by one of her Rookie editors (who happens to be significantly older than her) about the many changes that have taken place in her life and career over the past four years (which, while not long, is 1/4 of her life), from how she first told her parents about her blog, to why her interest in fashion waned (Anna Wintour was involved), to how feminism has helped her in high school, to how she may not go to college.

Read on for highlights:

At 12, she was forced to tell her parents about her blog Style Rookie because the New York Times needed their permission to do a piece on her:

I think I was like, “So, this is something I’ve been doing on the Internet, and I just post about what I like and, blah, can I be in this thing?” They were in total disbelief, because that is just not our world. They didn’t think that their kid would randomly ask, “Oh, by the way, can I be in The New York Times?” They didn’t really know that I was interested in fashion.

Here's how she got her parents to let her skip school to go to H&M the day the Comme des Garcons collab came out:

I just said that I thought [Comme des Garçons] was really interesting and that it meant a lot to me because it was not about looking attractive or looking cool or looking pretty. In retrospect, that must’ve been really comforting to parents who had a kid in middle school, when everyone else has, like, humping parties or whatever. I think my mom said, “Tavi, I think it’s so great that you come home and you do creative things instead of all these kids who are just hanging out.”

On how a jokey question from Anna Wintour led to her disillusion with the fashion world:

Basically, in this blog post, I talked about how I sat next to Anna Wintour at a Band of Outsiders show, and she asked me, “When do you go to school?” I just felt like, When do your models go to school?

I had a really weird moment of feeling like I missed my school and I missed my friends, and there wasn’t any real enthusiasm coming from the people who were there for what was going on around us, even though it should have been this exciting, creative thing. I felt funny about that experience.

In a way, fashion had been this magical thing that I was obsessed with. I was just such a fan. But then I got a little too close to it, and that was kind of saddening.

On being self-conscious in high school:

I remember being really anxious about what people at school thought of me. I worried that my awkwardness or shyness was coming off as my thinking I was above everyone, but then I would worry that if I was more outspoken, [people would think] I was trying to dominate every outlet available to me.

How she balances everything (school, friends, her almost one year old site, Rookie) without sounding like a "tiny businessperson":

I don’t want it to sound like I live in this weird, isolated world where I’m like a tiny businessperson or I’m one of those overachiever kids who you’re kind of worried about. But I have just never really been someone who hung out with friends that much. So it’s not like I would have this super-active social life without Rookie. I don’t like hanging out every day after school. I’ve always liked going home and having time to myself. So that didn’t feel like a trade-off.

She might just take off a year and live in L.A. after high school, and do movies and/or TV:

I think that I will probably finish high school and do a couple of projects that I’m excited about on the side. I love movies and TV, and it seems like that’s the best way to apply all of the aesthetics I’m interested in. I would really, really, really enjoy filmmaking or art-directing. Then, after high school, I think I want to take a year off and live in L.A., because I just really like it there and everything is pretty.

Well, for school, I’d like to stay in California, but I haven’t really looked at schools yet, and I’m a little worried that I’ll take a year off and then just never go to college.

We bet the Mulleavys will be pleased to have a new buddy nearby! You know they're going to hang out all the time. And as for that movies/TV thing--maybe she and Judd Apatow will get together and revive Freaks and Geeks or something. Who knows?!