Nestled between rows of Brooklyn warehouses, The Bell House provides an inviting, yet intimate atmosphere. Its rustic wooden floors, up-styled lounge chairs and folksy hanging lights guide attendees into the main venue. On stage, a talent show with a variety of performances includes singing, hula hoop dancing and the fine art of “speed pizza eating.”
Rookie Magazine’s “Yearbook Two” launch at the New Yorker Festival on Oct. 6 featured appearances from Eugene Mirman, Annie Clark, also known by her stage name St. Vincent, Petra Collins, Dev Hynes and Tunde Adebimpe.
Rookie’s talent show also embodied the spirit of the magazine itself — confidence for girls to be themselves during their teenage years, when the pressure to fit in is palpable.
This dynamic of intersectionality is an integral part of both Rookie’s “Yearbook” publications and its online presence. Tisch junior Sandy Honig, a photographer for Rookie, said diversity is liberating.
“I like working for Rookie because I can shoot what I like, and they don’t make me compromise with my work,” Honig said.
Rookie staff stationed themselves at side tables to sign copies of “Yearbook 2.” The book itself contained pages of striking photography spreads, articles on love and the DIY music scene, prose of personal testimonies, exclusive interviews and contributions from Judy Blume, Lena Dunham, Grimes and Mindy Kaling.
From the eccentric fashions of bell-bottom flare pants, Beetlejuice-inspired striped purses and grunge babydoll dresses to the constant smiles and the laughter heard throughout the crowd, an energy and, as Rookie Magazine might label it, good vibes, spread to everyone.
“I think the best part about [working at Rookie] is the other girls who work here,” Honig said. “I met a lot of them for the first time at this event, and I get along with them so well. They’re just amazing people.”
Tavi Gevinson founded Rookie when she was 15 years old. Originally, Gevinson launched her project as a fashion blog titled Style Rookie, but she evolved her online following into a full-time publication. By expanding Rookie, Gevinson was able to begin incorporating feminism, media culture and advice sections with her love of fashion. The online publication updates three times a day, five days a week.
The launch not only celebrated the hard work of Gevinson and the contributors of the publication, but it also encapsulated a hope for the future of youth — the promise of empowerment and inspiration for teenage readers.
Hannah Treasure is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]