INTERVIEW : TAVI GEVINSON

Tavi Gevinson is starting to become just Tavi — like Cher. She could be a Bob and would still be THE Bob. She’s just insanely special, and we were head over heels honored to collaborate again with Tavi and her team at Rookie for Fashion Week this year to celebrate Rookie’s one year anniversary and the launch of their new book, Rookie Yearbook One, at Ace Hotel New York. Bob took some time out of her creative hurricane to talk to us about what Rookie means to her, trying to relax and what the future holds.

You’re living an unconventional life for a teenager — absorbing and experiencing stuff way beyond the confines of what high school can offer. If you were to invent a Rookie school, what would the curriculum be like? How do you think elements of that could be imbued into normal, every day high schools to change the lives of teenage girls, boys and everyone else?

I’m not comfortable even theorizing about How to Change the Schools of America, but Freaks and Geeks and Daniel Clowes’ work each blessed me with a sense of appreciation for human misery, and that outlook certainly changed what I get out of my school experience. Also, one of my teachers once told a story about his dad taking him shopping at Wal-Mart when everyone else in his school wore Ralph Lauren polos. He was horrified by the prospect of someone from his school seeing him there and him feeling embarrassed, but realized that in order for one of his peers to see him at Wal-Mart, they, too, would have to be at Wal-Mart. High school is terrible but learning is good and people are interesting and we’re all in Wal-Mart together.

Rookie has had a couple of articles that mention transgender, gay, lesbian and queer folks, but not a huge amount of content. The magazine is “for teenage girls” — does this ever feel clunky or ill-fitting when you think about reaching a trans, queer or gender variant audience of young people?

We’re always looking to expand the definitions of what girls can do and be, and looking for readers to share their stories through Rookie as well, so while our first year has meant a lot of figuring out who our audience is and what they would like to see from us, it doesn’t feel clunky at all to welcome all kinds of people into Rookie. Supporting girls also means sometimes questioning what it means to be a girl (or a boy), and we’ll keep on doing that.

How do you make time to daydream, create, space out and do nothing/everything with such an insane schedule? A lot of people don’t have to learn that skill until they’re much older, and most of us still struggle to figure it out, present company included. Do you think “success” ever takes a toll on your creative life or your psyche?

For each day I have different time units, like Hugh Grant in About a Boy: school, Rookie, friends, relaxing, my own creative projects, etc. I usually have to sacrifice at least one of these units on a regular school day. I’ve learned that I prefer the stress of trying to do everything I want, to the stress of wondering if I should do everything I want. I’ve also learned that it’s better to just do things all the time than sit around and think about how much shit I have to do and what to do next.

I asked S.E. Hinton a similar question when I interviewed her for Lula, not about her schedule specifically, but about the downsides of success in general. She said simply that success didn’t feel like as big a burden as no success would feel. My life is very stressful, but a lot of it comes from expectations I have for myself. I don’t feel like I got talked into anything or signed up for something I didn’t know I couldn’t handle. The fact that I even get to do all this and people will look at it is an extreme privilege, so it’s stressful, but I’m not complaining. I don’t really feel like my “success” takes a toll on my creative life or my psyche because all the projects I do that technically make me successful are my creative life and psyche — they’re creative outlets and places for me to express myself.

Tell us about some of your hopes and dreams for Rookie in year two.

I always want us to be bigger and better and all of that stuff, but it’s too scary to delve into the details right now.

Photograph of Tavi by Emily Berl for The New York Times


A sneak peek at our Rookie 1st Year Anniversary Party at Ace New York. It was wicked boring — like, look at these people. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Photo by Alyssa Laurel Ringler

A sneak peek at our Rookie 1st Year Anniversary Party at Ace New York. It was wicked boring — like, look at these people. Zzzzzzzzzzz.


Photo by Alyssa Laurel Ringler


A stack of vintage fabrics at Andrea Aranow's archives — Andrea has been collecting fabrics all over the world for six decades, providing inspiration to every fashion house on god's green earth, and building a truly stunning wealth of textiles. We have spent many hours softly patting stacks of perfectly folded fabric squares and gazing into the eyes of vintage Japanese futon fabric swatches as their hues shifted almost imperceptibly in the thin light allowed into Andrea's studio. Stay tuned for an interview with Andrea about her life, the fashion world and her very beautiful obsession, coming soon.

A stack of vintage fabrics at Andrea Aranow's archives — Andrea has been collecting fabrics all over the world for six decades, providing inspiration to every fashion house on god's green earth, and building a truly stunning wealth of textiles. We have spent many hours softly patting stacks of perfectly folded fabric squares and gazing into the eyes of vintage Japanese futon fabric swatches as their hues shifted almost imperceptibly in the thin light allowed into Andrea's studio. Stay tuned for an interview with Andrea about her life, the fashion world and her very beautiful obsession, coming soon.


Let bitchface reign supreme tonight.


This Wednesday evening, we’re celebrating one big year of total brilliance, lots of Rit dye and innumerable fake emeralds at Rookie's school dance-themed first year anniversary party for Fashion Week at Ace Hotel New York, hosted by Editor in Chief of the World, Tavi Gevinson. There’ll be readings from Rookie Yearbook One, gluten-free cupcakes from Babycakes, Dry Soda, a full bar from The Breslin, DJs and Confetti System frilleries all about. Wear your gnarliest letterman jacket, greased pompadour, shiniest gold tooth and sweetest snarl. RSVP here, and we’ll see you on the dance floor.

This Wednesday evening, we’re celebrating one big year of total brilliance, lots of Rit dye and innumerable fake emeralds at Rookie's school dance-themed first year anniversary party for Fashion Week at Ace Hotel New York, hosted by Editor in Chief of the World, Tavi Gevinson. There’ll be readings from Rookie Yearbook One, gluten-free cupcakes from Babycakes, Dry Soda, a full bar from The Breslin, DJs and Confetti System frilleries all about. Wear your gnarliest letterman jacket, greased┬ápompadour, shiniest gold tooth and sweetest snarl. RSVP here, and we’ll see you on the dance floor.


Backstage at SUNO's show at Milk Studios by Anton Lombardi

Backstage at SUNO's show at Milk Studios by Anton Lombardi


Bill Cunningham shines on at the SUNO show at Milk Studios in New York last night.

Bill Cunningham shines on at the SUNO show at Milk Studios in New York last night.


Spike Jonze and Carol and Humberto’s moms joined us in the lobby for a special Opening Ceremony Q&A yesterday at Ace New York. Humberto and Carol answered the inquiries of fashion and design students with stories about building what has become an indisputable icon in the fashion world by sharing what they discover and feeding their friendships all over the globe with enthusiasm and fierce love — “Our store is here for people to discover things, and we never want to lose that.”




The evening gave way to a bacchanalia of K-Pop makeovers, draconian up-do’s, 42Below Vodka-induced karaoke and delicious Korean desserts and street food, as well as a book signing for OC’s commemorative ten year anniversary tome.





Keep an eye out here as our Fashion Week adventures continue to unfold.

Spike Jonze and Carol and Humberto’s moms joined us in the lobby for a special Opening Ceremony Q&A yesterday at Ace New York. Humberto and Carol answered the inquiries of fashion and design students with stories about building what has become an indisputable icon in the fashion world by sharing what they discover and feeding their friendships all over the globe with enthusiasm and fierce love — “Our store is here for people to discover things, and we never want to lose that.”

The evening gave way to a bacchanalia of K-Pop makeovers, draconian up-do’s, 42Below Vodka-induced karaoke and delicious Korean desserts and street food, as well as a book signing for OC’s commemorative ten year anniversary tome.

Keep an eye out here as our Fashion Week adventures continue to unfold.


Today at a Q&A for fashion and design students with Opening Ceremony founders Carol and Humberto and filmmaker Spike Jonze in the Ace New York lobby, we learned that Carol and Humberto first forged their lifelong friendship on their way to a Weird Al Yankovich concert — that is, Carol caved after a strong campaign from Humberto convinced her it would be great. For ten years, they’ve been doing the same for us — finding cool shit, loving it hard and sharing it with the world, no matter how weird or off-beat it may at first appear (and remain). They are both human fountains of joy and openness and being their friend and neighbor is beyond inspiring.

We’re very honored to host the Opening Ceremony team again tonight in the lobby for Fashion’s Night Out in honor of a full decade of effervescent brilliance and beauty from Carol, Humberto and their best friends, as they sign their new book and oversee a few hours of K-Pop-inspired chaos including makeovers, karaoke hosted by Solange Knowles and high concept manicures to celebrate their new country of the year. See you tonight.


The New York City Garment District is the site and heart of the catalyzing embers of the Labor Rights Movement. On the eve of this year’s September Fashion Week, we salute these fearless and righteous ladies who risked everything and paid a dear price to bring us the weekend, and this day of rest.

The New York City Garment District is the site and heart of the catalyzing embers of the Labor Rights Movement. On the eve of this year’s September Fashion Week, we salute these fearless and righteous ladies who risked everything and paid a dear price to bring us the weekend, and this day of rest.


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