Almost eight months after Tavi Gevinson revealed that she would be partnering with Jane Pratt, the founding editor of Sassy and Jane magazines, on her own magazine for teenage girls, Pratt’s involvement with the project has become uncertain.
Gevinson, the 15-year-old blogger behind thestylerookie.com, said that she has decided not to launch her forthcoming Web magazine, Rookie, with Say Media, the company behind the launch of Pratt’s own Web site.
This story first appeared in the August 8, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I would love for her to be involved, but right now it’s something that has to be worked out between her and Say,” said Gevinson Thursday night, speaking over the phone from France. “It wasn’t like Us versus the Man,” Gevinson said about the decision to not work with Say Media. “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 said there hasn’t been a falling out with Pratt.
Matt Sanchez, chief executive officer of Say Media, confirmed that the company won’t be involved with Gevinson’s launch. Pratt could not be reached for comment.
For now, Gevinson isn’t looking for a corporate publisher to help her run the business side and logistics of her launch, but she said she has “hired people to help” with advertising sales and the site’s design. “I own everything,” she said in an interview last week with Ira Glass, when asked about the project.
In March, Gevinson described the then-unnamed Rookie as an offshoot of Pratt’s project. “I had been talking about this magazine that I wanted to start, and she told me that she was starting this Web site and that the magazine could be kind of a branch under the JanePratt.com umbrella for teenaged people — girls,” Gevinson told WWD earlier this year. “It was kind of perfect.” Since Pratt’s Web undertaking, now called xojane.com, launched in May, Gevinson has written one post for the site, “What’s In My Bag: The Locker Edition.”
Over the last few months, Gevinson has been nailing down the details of her undertaking. The monthly Web magazine, planned for September, will not launch with a print edition. Eventually there will be two print editions per year, Gevinson said, “but not for a while. I’m okay with that,” she continued. “I don’t want to be a regular print magazine. I want to be more accessible.”
Rookie, the web magazine, is one of several projects Gevinson, a rising high school sophomore, has been working on this summer. She was in New York at the end of July to meet with publishers about, “Diary,” a book proposal she is pitching with co-author Marisa Meltzer, and she is working on a second book with Rizzoli.