Teen fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson has decided not to launch her web magazine Rookie under the umbrella of Jane Pratt’s partnership with SAY Media, xoJane.com, reports WWD.
Perhaps our ambivalence toward clothes had prevented us from understanding the full extent of Ms. Gevinson’s genius, but to us this decision signals some serious savvy.
SAY Media is a web publishing company that provides advertising sales services to help SAY “creators” leverage their “influence” into lucrative “brand experiences,” including advertisements created by the creators, SAY told us back when xoJane.com launched. They trade in the slick content commodification that makes people who care about ideas and writing miserable.
From the SAY site:
“Connect is an influencer driven program that syndicates brand experiences across a tailored collection of sites and communities, anchored in conversations and passionate voices.”
“Real voices make brand programs personal and conversational.”
“Advertising is content.”
Maybe SAY Media is the future of getting paid to write. If it is a good fit for any site, its xoJane.com, which is almost entirely voice-driven personal narratives (“Everything we write is an exclusive, because it only happened to us“) that SAY thinks makes readers feel like they can really trust whatever shampoo brand they’re advertising.
Unlike xoJane’s dishy older sister take, its the inexperience that allows Ms. Gevinson to describes things adults already know about with sweetly unchecked emotion and (what feels to us like) revelatory simplicity. She doesn’t sound like a shampoo commercial, not even a subversive viral anti-commercial commercial. She’s more memorable for her insight and her perspective than her voice.
Ms. Gevinson added that instead of partnering with a corporate publisher she’s hired her own design and sales team.
“It was just that I want to have full control, and it’s important to me that we’re independent, not so that we can be indie and ‘down with the Man,’ but because I find a lot of comfort knowing that it’s all in my control,” she told WWD.
We’re extrapolating, here, but it seems like Ms. Gevinson’s Google-driven love of the 90s (which she didn’t live through, as we love to point out) yielded not just a Courtney Love haircut, but a Gen Xer’s suspicion of marketers and a DIYers entrepreneurial wherewithal.
And now that we know she’s such a boss, we selfishly hope she outgrows her interest in writing about clothes. She’s good at writing about other stuff too.
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