While the sartorial savvy have known about this pint-sized Chicago-residing fashion follower since she launched her "Style Rookie" blog in March 2008, Tavi mania has recently reached fever pitch, with 29,000 daily visitors (according to The Chicago Tribune) flocking to her site to read her fawning over high end designers and their collections.
This frenzy is in no small part due to Harper's Bazaar appointing Tavi its youngest columnist to date, edgy British magazines Pop and Love over-dressing her to appear on their respective covers and Target tapping the (just old enough to qualify as a teen) flavor of the month to host a video guide of the Rodarte for Target collaboration alongside her "friends," designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy.
Although, we're pretty sure junior high is back in session, Tavi could even be found sitting front row (with her father) at the recent haute couture shows in Paris, blogging for Pop and ticking off fellow attendees -- whose views were obstructed by her giant bow-adorned hat (a gift from famed milliner Stephen Jones, naturally) -- at Armani Privé.
Perhaps it's because the now grayish-blue haired girl has fashion heavyweights singing her praises, was "guest of honor" at a Comme des Garçons party in Tokyo and receives high end fashion freebies left and right that her critics have grown in number.
"It sums up the Haters thing altogether," Tavi writes on her blog of the bow hat incident.
"It is impossible for EVERYONE to be pleased with EVERYTHING. If I wore leather and studs no one would complain, and I'm not sorry for bringing a bit of color into the room. Haters gonna hate..."
Tavi also doesn't sound very sorry about her headpiece blocking others from seeing the Armani show, as she recently told The Fashion Informer that one of her favorite fashion week memories was "... meeting Stephen Jones and him giving me a hat and saying its knocking-people-in-the-face abilities were like old Dior dresses that would knock everyone's ashtrays over when the girls in them would spin." (Well, consider ashtrays knocked.)
Our irritation mostly stems from the absurdity of fashion's biggest players anointing a 13-year-old blogger the next big thing and inserting her into an adult world that she has little business being a part of.
And maybe, at the core, having a 13-year-old seated in the front row and treated as a fashion expert, when she doesn't even have a fraction of the experience the seasoned journalists around -- or now behind -- her possess, is what really gets us.
We think this is the point Elle's Fashion News Director Anne Slowey was trying to get at when she recently told New York Magazine: "People in fashion are constantly looking for the next unique boundary-pushing extreme thing to get excited about, but, you know, it's like outsider art. What am I getting out of a 13-year-old's opinion about fashion? How does that help me distill the collections? What am I supposed to be buying? That's what an editor's job at a magazine is."
Although Slowey soon after tried to take back her statements (apparently nobody likes to look like they're picking on a 13-year-old), we think she hit the nail on the head.
"Unfortunately we live in a culture that sees children as novelties," Susan Stiffelman, a family therapist and author in Malibu, Calif., tells StyleList. "We do it with actors and kids that are singers. But people dismiss the long-term impact on the children."
"It's inevitable that she'll have a crash," Stiffelman says of Tavi. "But it's very unlikely that she has the internal emotional equipment to cope with the negatives and the absence of all of that praise and attention."
Based on her observations of fashion and sometimes witty prose, it's clear that Tavi is wise beyond her years. But we just hope she's mature enough to recognize the fickle world she's playing in. Because, as Heidi Klum says, one season you're in and the next you're out.
In other words, it's sort of like high school.
Note: Despite Tavi recently writing on her blog, "I want to be a part of a discussion that has pinpointed me specifically," within a longer diatribe about "bloggers vs. editors" and a warning that she'll be wearing more big hats during New York Fashion Week (read it all here), the young blogger did not respond to our requests for an interview.
What do you think of Tavi's icon status in the high stakes world of fashion: Is it harmless or potentially damaging? Let us know in a comment below.
And for another celebrity child who may be growing up a bit too fast, check out Suri Cruise's footwear of choice.