Celebrating 5 Years of Rookie Magazine

Only a week ago, Rookie magazine celebrated its five year anniversary. It’s an online magazine that has sensationally combined fashion, feminism and frivolity to empower and inspire teenagers on social media. It wouldn’t have been made possible if it wasn’t for its mastermind, founder and editor-in-chief.

Tavi Gevinson, 16, at MAKERS event in New York, Feb 7, 2013. Source: Jauretsi

She’s a social media influencer, a writer, an editor, a TED talker (view the 7-minute video here), an actress, a performer and a fashion icon. She’s Tavi Gevinson and she’s only 20.

Before Rookie, Tavi started off as an 11-year-old fashion blogger from Chicago, Illinois. Style Rookie was her first blogging venture where through her eloquently collated thoughts, opinions and ideas, she began developing witty pieces of writing that demonstrated light-hearted honesty and a fearlessness that soon landed her featuring in The New York Times. From then on, she was invited to sit in the front row at fashion week during her weekends off from school.

How powerful is her voice, you might ask?

Well, she and her work have become so inspirational that even during her time as a regular school student, important fashion industrialists and magazine editors wanted to listen to her and she rapidly developed a fan base and readership of her own. Tavi was included in the list of “The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014” by Time magazine which can be read here. Miss Gevinson is one person we have to thank for a spotlight being shed on the importance of fashion bloggers in the fashion industry, right?!

However, it wasn’t until she began to situate her strong viewpoints on current societal issues, feminism and pop culture, that Tavi founded the online magazine Rookie at the age of 15. Each month, the website changes its theme with different pieces of writing, illustrations and photography. Each piece is written and created by one of 90 freelance writers that weave their own magic in relation to the theme. They elaborate on Tavi’s vision and push a message to the audience to accept one’s self and preach confidence. The site also encourages the creation of communities of self-empowerment in our critical world, online and offline.

To help Rookie send important messages to young audiences, Tavi Gevinson enlisted a roll of famous people to contribute to Rookie over the last five years. They include:

  • Lena Dunham,
  • Florence Welch,
  • Charlie XCX,
  • and Willow Smith, just to name a few.

In a 2015 article with the online New Zealand website Stuff, Ella Yelich-O’Connor, or more familiarly known as Lorde, pretty much sums up the importance and impact Tavi’s voice has on young people. She says “Tavi is whip-smart but she doesn’t pander or simplify – she knows how teenage girls are usually overlooked or patronised, and also knows just how much they’re capable of. And that, to me, is the best quality a young leader can have.” You can read more here.

So here’s to five years of Rookie and let’s hope there are many more years of it that Tavi Gevinson will grace us with. I want to know if anyone knows of other young women that have a similar vision as Tavi? Let me know in the comments!


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