Tavi the 13-year-old blogging sensation seems to be the line in the sand for fashion editors and bloggers alike at the moment.
Is she a teenage savant, or team Tavi as Anne Slowey from US Elle put it so eloquently?
And why are fashion editors sitting up and taking fashion advice from 13-year-old girls?
The issue has raised questions on children in the media, exploitation and the fashion packs obsession with eternal youth. Bloggers all over the world have thrown their hat in the ring, because Tavi who started her blog when she was 12 has managed to attract the attention of some very serious fashion heavy weights.
Last night I sat down with Scott Schuman to talk blogging while he is in town to spruik his latest book, ‘The Sartorialist.’
"The thing with teenage fashion bloggers, is that they’re little girls trying to be 30 year old fashion editors. You can’t grow a blog without original content or by pulling images. It’s just not enough."
Schuman meets me with a blank look when I mention his children in relation to his thoughts on young people gaining so much media attention. Perhaps the topic is ‘off limits,’ but it’s an interesting notion to consider the opinion of one of the worlds biggest and most recognised fashion bloggers.
"It would be more interesting to consider the dynamic of who her friends are. I mean, what do they think of this girl who dresses all crazy?" he tells me when I quiz him on just why fashion editors seem obsessed with the likes of teen blogger Tavi or 8 year old The Littlest Dandy.
"I have the freedom to shoot what ever I want. I can provide original content and have complete editorial control over the images I create. These kids don’t, I think that editors are just finding something to write about with an interesting angle. Children blogging!"
Considering the state of flux that mainstream media is facing at the moment with advertisers moving dollars online, and readers changing their viewing habits, it’s a question worth posing to the man behind what Time magazine selected as one of it’s top 100 design influences.
"I get requests for people to use my images, and I’ll let them use one or two, but you’ll never be able to grow a blog or make it a real business if you can’t inspire people. Tavi will never be able to grow without original content."
For those not in the sartorial know, Schuman started his blog 4 years ago on the streets of New York to showcase what he saw as every day people with great style.
"When I worked in the fashion industry, I always felt that there was a disconnect between what I was selling in the showroom and what I was seeing real people (really cool people) wearing in real life," his biography tells us.
Fast forward to 2009 and the launch of ‘The Sartorialist,’ a compilation of Schuman’s most memorable photos from his travels over the last 4 years.
"What still inspires me? Colour, posture, attitude or the light can inspire me. For me it’s more about the photographs and the feeling I’m trying to create, most people wouldn’t believe that it’s not always about the fashion."
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