A quick disclaimer: we hate to idealize. No, really: even though we have the tendency to get flowery on everything from the mundane (grilled cheese) to the extravagant (hand-beaded couture that requires upwards of 10,000 hours of work), we get it—it's a crushing amount of pressure to live up to.
But when someone's resume ranges from interviewing Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons at age 15 to penning ELLE cover stories at 18 (oh, and founding, running and publishing her own online magazine with an annual print yearbook whilst still in high school), it's hard not to take notice and, uh, consequently feel really bad about how you spent the better part of junior year (reading YM and stealing your parents' liquor, natch).
When Tavi Gevinson first captured the rapt, undivided attention of the fashion industry (yes, said attention included requisite snaps alongside Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour) with her Style Rookie blog before even graduating middle school, it would have been way too easy to just sort of... ride things out. Instead, she traded front row seats for pursuing a passion project that was all her own (literally—she eschewed big-name publishers in favor of help from Anaheed Alani and Ira Glass) and, on rookiemag.com, covered everything from collecting vinyl and cult films to panic attacks and masturbation. For every alarmist article in the New York Times or The Atlantic conflating this generation's preoccupation with something as innocuous as selfies with the apocalypse, we're pretty sure that if Tavi's any indication, we're going to be just fine.
Meeting us at her Lower East Side apartment one afternoon before a performance of her Broadway show, This is Our Youth, Gevinson gave us the grand tour of her place, which she shares with photog and fellow internet sensation Petra Collins. We sorted through her wardrobe together, from her "wonderfully corny assortment of Susan Sontag items" to the pleated lip print skirts gifted to her by Miuccia Prada, leather gloves handed down by Winona Ryder (who, in turn, received them from Audrey Hepburn) and gold CHANEL boots that were a present from Stevie Nicks. "I owe so much of my brain to so many people," Gevinson explained. Friends, high places, you know the deal.