The 14 year-old known-by-first-name-only fashion blogger was a featured speaker at the L2 Generation Next Forum in New York today, where the precocious teenager headlined alongside CEOs, presidents, publishers and even a U.S. State Department head.
The group lectured about the buying and branding culture of the current young 'Generation Y' to a packed room of marketers, retailers, media and other industry insiders who paid upwards of $500 to $1,000 for a seat in the house.
"We're over trends in two seconds," sniffed Tavi, who is known for her Daria-meets-Lisa-Simpson dry wit and unwilting self-assurance on The Style Rookie blog. "Teens want to be cultured, we want to know the story behind a brand. And I want to feel like I'm buying a piece of art to wear," advised Tavi, while the audience eagerly scribbled notes.
Wearing her signature bottle glasses and gray-tinged bob, Tavi worked the stage with confidence in low vintage heels from Beacon's Closet, seafoam green socks with girlish white ruffles from American Apparel, a black sequined shirt dress a friend made for her, a sharp yellow Miu Miu collar, and a green patterned Proenza Schouler shirt.
"Teachers, parents and tv shows are always telling us to be ourselves," said Tavi with an exasperated eye roll. "But what we want more than anything is to belong, to feel like we're in a clique. But I don't mean a cult -- that's creepy," said Tavi to a room full of laughs.
Even though the blogger is spotted in an endless barrage of brand and designer names, Tavi does have a far-and-away favorite.
"Comme des Garçons is what I most identify with. I feel like it really represents who I am."
We couldn't help but wonder: is Tavi buying those designer pieces with her lunch money?
And while the youngster held the audience in rapture for her entire presentation with the kind of savvy that typically comes from a seasoned and much older professional, everyone was reminded of her tender years when Mom escorted her out of the conference before a racy sex industry lecture with Make Love Not Porn's Cindy Gallop followed.
Hey -- at least this time, Tavi wasn't grounded.