Monday, 5 September 2011

Rookie Magazine: style imp Tavi launches an online publication

[Images taken as screenshots from Rookie Mag].
If you're fairly into blogs, you may have chanced upon the brilliant Style Rookie website from Tavi Gevinson, a young suburban American girl with strong views on fashion, feminism and popular culture. Building on her worldwide success, Gevinson has launched Rookie Magazine online to fill the gap of modern, self-aware teen publications that target the outsider instead of the popular girl. This is what the website looked like on its launch day today.

A shot that precedes the editor's letter shows just a glimpse of Gevinson's room (if you read Style Rookie then you'll be aware that she's recently posted about its decor on several occasions - it features a lot of trinkets, a whole section of Lula magazines, and plenty of references to The Virgin Suicides).

So, what can Rookie do that other teen publications can't? Judging by the site, it's going to be a lot more confrontational about the issues that today's young women face - the section with the most content so far is 'Live Through This', which deals with experiential pieces. Most of the other categories, such as Music, DIY, Sex + Love and Fiction have not yet been filled, but it's safe to assume that we will see leftfield or alternative slants on life. You're probably not going to see chart musicians who like to be airbrushed in photographs, or fiction that deals with recurring Robert Pattinson fantasies. I also really like the fact that the Sex + Love category puts sex before love (there are no delusions here that all teenagers want to fall head-over-heels and will be faithful to you for 20 years).

In her Editor's Letter, Gevinson states that: 'Rookie is a place to make the best of the beautiful pain and cringe-worthy awkwardness of being an adolescent girl'. There's going to be plenty of participation from readers, but the team at Rookie are conscious of the 2011-style risks of teens being in the public domain - a note on one page asking for visual submissions reminds us that 'We don’t want your faces in these pictures, though we have no doubt they’re lovely, for safety reasons'. It's clear that growing up in the 21st century is a radically different thing, but it's not necessarily removed from any other period of adolescence, because there are certain rites of passage that we've all gone through and that teenagers will continue to go through ad infinitum; you will always have a first kiss, a first period, a bevy of angry spots on your chin (unless you're incredibly lucky), a period of 'finding yourself', a daunting time of losing and gaining friends, and a few thousand arguments with your parents. The first posts have dealt with 'Great Expectations' - a brilliant article by Sady on being a disappointingly regular teen - and on how to get a quirky and slightly badass new look which is inspired by old films such as Rebel Without A Cause.

It will be incredibly interesting to see how Rookie Magazine develops and how it helps adolescents who would normally feel alienated from 'the norm'. Although Tavi is now the darling of the fashion world, she seems like a good spokesperson and editor for misfits everywhere. I only wish this had been around when I was young.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...