​Tavi Gevinson: Not so afraid of ambition

Tavi Gevinson isn't a household name -- yet. But she's well on her way. We'll let Anthony Mason make the introductions:

She showed her guest the house she has been in "my entire life."

In her entire life -- all 18 years of it -- Tavi Gevinson has already been a fashion icon at age 12 . . . an Internet publisher at age 15 . . . and a film actress at age 17.

Her room, in her parents' suburban home in Oak Park, Ill., is a cacophony of influences -- everything from Barbie dolls to J.D. Salinger books to 45 rpm records. Her collection includes Frank Sinatra.


"I just want to consume everything," she told Mason. "I'm just a hoarder, basically. What you're really making here is an episode of 'Hoarders.' Sorry!"

But the week we visited, Gevinson was packing up her room to move to New York and the bright lights of Broadway. This September she's starring in the play "This Is Our Youth."

When the Steppenwolf Theatre Company opened its production in Chicago this summer, the Chicago Tribune wrote: 'Tavi Gevinson gives a luminous performance that could easily make her the Broadway 'It Girl' of next season."

Gevinson had never been involved in anything as big as this production. "It's wild," she said. "But I can't really even let myself think about it, 'cause then coming in here is much scarier. I just have to be, like, 'We're just playing on the best playground ever!'"

She was just 11 when she began posting her avant garde thoughts about fashion online, using her father's computer.

Her self portraits, many shot in her backyard, caught the attention of top designers and fashion editors, like Vogue's Anna Wintour, and she was invited to Fashion Week in New York and in Paris.

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A sample of Tavi Gevinson's personal stylings.
Style Rookie

When asked why she started her blog, Gevinson said, "Middle school is hard. I think by the end of 6th grade I'd been rejected by that group, I didn't fit into this group. So it was just kind of, like, 'Well, I can just have this hobby to myself. And by dressing this way I'm completely exempting myself from even being ranked in the comparisons in middle school."

Mason said, "That's really interesting, because so many kids in middle school and even high school want to dress like everybody else, so they feel included."

"It wasn't even like, 'Oh, I want to stand out,'" said Gevinson. "It was just, 'I don't even want to have to think about being compared to that girl or who's prettier. I just need to have no peer.'"

At school she was teased, but not deterred. Mason asked, "Was it girls or was it the guys?"

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