Two generations: Gevinson and Pratt’s new website, magazine
Tavi Gevinson is 14 years old and is already launching a website and magazine with former Sassy and Jane Editor-in-Chief Jane Pratt. A well-known blogger and big-time fan of Pratt, Gevinson fell into the partnership after receiving an email from Pratt 11 months ago. Pratt had noticed the photos Gevinson had appropriated from Sassy on the teen’s blog, Style Rookie.
“I had been talking about this magazine that I wanted to start, and she told me that she was starting this website and that the magazine could be kind of a branch under the JanePratt.com umbrella for teenaged people — girls,” Gevinson said to WWD. “It was kind of perfect.”
Pratt’s website, titled “JanePratt.com,” launches next month and a counter website and magazine for teenage girls, the result of the partnership, will be introduced come summer.
“Everything I’ve done in my career has been about gathering strong voices and making them more mass,” Pratt wrote in a statement for the website of her financial sponsor, Say Media. “This is the perfect fit. It feels like the technology has finally caught up with what I always wanted to do.”
Gevinson is a fairly big name in the world of the Web. Feted by famous designers such as Anna Wintour, her blog can get more than 50,000 unique visitors in one month. Pratt, on the other hand, has two magazines and two TV shows under her belt, all launched and then pulled.
JanePratt.com, taking inspiration from Jane and Sassy, will center around original writing with personality, perhaps with the tag “Slutty, Selfish, Self-Absorbed,” in a play off Cosmo’s “fun, fearless female.” It will be structured with the typical categories of women’s mags—beauty, fitness, fashion, etc. – and will revive some components of Pratt’s previous magazines, for instance a confessional reader write-in column and fun photography such as Makeunder and Dopey Model Poses.
“She’s kind of going for the girl that is fortysomething and doesn’t feel fortysomething, which is a lot of women in New York. I know I can attest to that,” Jauretsi Saizarbitoria, a friend and former co-worker of Pratt’s, told WWD. “The person is not accepting the fact that they’re turning into an old person.”
Some critics have expressed doubt whether Pratt’s Web experiment will find success. She may have wooed fans with a style that worked in the past, but can she attract readers in today’s climate?
“I read that it was going to be called JanePratt.com, which I immediately rolled my eyes at because I don’t think she’s a brand name anymore,” said Anna Holmes, founding editor of Jezebel, to WWD. “There’s a significant portion of the younger generation who doesn’t know who she is.”
Collaborating with Gevinson may be a move that majorly pays off for Pratt. The teen has muscle to spare, plus has attracted a great deal of fascination from the online fashion community, an interest that only seems to grow.
“I think Tavi is kind of standing up and saying I’m down with Jane, she’s totally got cred, she’s got integrity and that’s going to give Jane a lot of horsepower,” Saizarbitoria said to WWD. “That type of integrity doesn’t just come from nowhere. As much as Jane has equally earned it, it helps that Tavi is standing beside her saying it.”
More a magazine than a blog, Gevinson’s as-of-yet-unnamed website will include commentary, photos, creative writing and interviews with teens, all centered around a monthly theme.
“Maybe something like teen movies, and then there are tributes through fashion editorials and someone writes about what this movie meant to them and that type of thing and maybe we interview someone who was in one,” Gevinson said.
The print version will be released two to three times per year, in accordance with the fashion seasons and be written by teens for teens.
“It will be targeted at teenage girls,” Gevinson said. “I think we need our own thing. I seriously think ‘how do we keep the adults out of the comment section,’ not in a mean way, but it’s not really the point.”