The New Yorker recently ran a piece questioning whether or not 14 year old fashion blogger Tavi will remain relevant when she’s no longer 14. Tavi herself sounded sane and reasonable about the possibility that she might not always be sitting with Karl Lagerfeld at fashion shows. She remarked:
“I guess that’s sort of a worry of mine, that I won’t be relevant anymore, and then I just won’t be able to do things like go to Fashion Week . . . In which case, I’ll just watch the livestreams. The main thing is the clothes.
Other people, like Anne Slowey, sound really, really bitchy. According to the NY Post:
While some fashion folk look to Tavi as an oracle of coolness, others are brave enough to declare this a case of the empress having no clothes.
“She’s been 13 for, like, the last four years,” snarked Ann Slowey, fashion news director at Elle. Her colleague, creative director Joe Zee, questioned “whether she even really writes it herself” and noted that, when it comes to fashion history, “I don’t think Tavi knows what happened five years ago.”
Joe Zee. Anne Slowey. I’m disappointed in you. You are incredibly successful professionals, and you are giving quotes to reporters wherein you snark on a 14 year old girl who runs a blog that she doesn’t even make money off of. It’s not being “brave enough to declare this a case of the Emperor having no clothing” it’s just bad form. However, the fact that these are incredibly successful professionals are even taking time out of their schedules to comment on this – and not just saying “oh, isn’t it sweet, a young girl wants to get into fashion, that’s so cute” seems telling about the influence Tavi actually has.
Jennifer Wright, Deputy Editor of TheGloss is also quoted and she says “I genuinely think Tavi will be the editor of Vogue someday” and then she waved around some Pom Poms that spelt out “Go, Tavi!” That Jennifer Wright, such a nice lady when she’s not a whiny cunt. And besides, Jennifer Wright is correct. Just look at Tavi’s accomplishments.
She’s styled for Blackbook. She reviewed spring collections for Harper’s Bazaar. She knows Karl Lagerfeld.
Would she have had the same opportunities if she’d started her blog at 25 instead of 11? No, of course not. But while it may have started out as a gimmick, its allowed Tavi to build up some very real accomplishments. At the very least, she has one hell of a college resume.
As for her not knowing what happened 5 years ago, well, how terrifying that we live in the Fahrenheit 451 world where there are no books or magazines to fill Tavi in. Oh. Wait. I guess there would still be blogs, wouldn’t there? In any event, Tavi does seem to know what happened 5, 10, 15 years ago if the cultural commentary on her blog is anything to go by.
Besides – time does not stand still (and time is on Tavi’s side). Tavi may not know as much about the collections 10 years ago as Cathy Horyn right now, because Cathy Horyn is 40 years older than Tavi. People are quite correct when they point of that Tavi was 4 when those collections were being shown. However, 40 years from now, Tavi will have a better recollection of what happened in the world of fashion than anyone else in her generation. As for the olds, well, they’ll die and they’ll be dead.
The future belong to funny kids like Tavi who seem to have a passion for something and an ability to present their ideas in an engaging manner. It always has. The Internet just lets us spot them earlier than we used to.