Currently a fashion writer on sites like StyledOn and Jewlr, founder, writer and editor of The Man Repeller, Leandra Medine is not turning anyone off from her new blog with her killer eye and snarky fashion commentary. Having attended Jewish Yeshiva high school in Manhattan and currently finishing up at The New School (home of Parsons The New School for Design), Leandra’s impeccable taste, as Man Repelling as it may be, is enviable and oh-so-worthy of Big Jewcy acclaim. I caught up with Leandra and talked to her about her style, her inspiration and the art of Man Repelling.
CG of Jewcy: What inspired you to start The Man Repeller? We love it, it makes us laugh. How did it come to be? Une histoire s’il vous plait…
LM of The Man Repeller: A friend and I were at Topshop and there’s this one section that pretty much should be namedThe Man Repeller. My friend picked up this pair of shorts and was like,”these are disgusting, who would wear these?” and I picked a piece and was like “this would make someone never want to have sex with you again,” and it just kept going from there until I finally thought – let’s start a blog.
I do not see you as a Man Repeller yourself, in fact you are quite a lovely lady. Are you positive your clothes repel men? Any evidence to prove a woman cant score a man in a harem pant? Especially since even your straight man friends get manicures with you… Come to think of it, a man asked for my number the other day while I was wearing a harem-pantedjumpsuit! Thoughts?
LM: The opposite stand is definitely present too – guys can think “oh, she really doesn’t care what we think, that’s pretty cool” or “she’s wearingthese huge shorts or pants and she looks great in them.” But I think all women, including myself, man repel – and that’s just fine.
What’s your favorite man-repelling piece in your closet?
LM: This vintage Galliano emerald green, velvet blazer. The sleeves are so big it needs a whole section in my closet. Its like a velvet explosion on the top of my body. I have some trouble wearing it out of the house but I wear it around my apartment just to look at myself in it. I did wear it to Paris fashion week though…
What show did you see when wearing it?
Are you wearing anything that’s reeling in the boys lately? We won’t tell anyone if you’re secretly wearing lady things on the side…actually, we may.
LM: Well actually today I’m wearing a white, flirty mini floral dress. I puta picture of it up on StyledOn… so I am not always Man Repelling.
I love the fact that you are turning man-repelling into a verb, I may just use that. What designers do you look to for inspiration? Both to repel and attract men?
LM: For the site, I typically use shopping sites like OAK, Shopbop, La Garconne and Net-a-Porter to get images. Butnow, with what’s going on, street style blogs in general are full of people just man-repelling. In terms of designers, if you’re looking to man repel, I’d say Rick Owens, Comme des Garconnes, Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen. If you’re looking to attract men, I’d suggest … Guessand Bebe?
I did not know we were considering those brands designers…
LM: I know but I think that all of fashion right now is man repelling, except the conservative, classic fashion houses. Like anything from Ralph Lauren Collection is not a man repeller. Valentino isn’t either, same with Carolina Herrera. Really trendy stuff is generally aggressive, though. That’s why I think the blog’s gotten so much attention, it’s so timely which is why I think itscatching on right now.
Well, what’s next for The Man Repeller? For you? What else are you working on?
LM: Well right now Iwrite for two other sites other than The Man Repeller. I write for StyledOn and Jewlr Magazine as well. As for Man Repeller, it won’t onlybe fashion. There’s man repelling conversation, behavior, so much to work with that we do every day. For example, It’s not attractive for a woman to sit on the subway and read Why Men Love Bitches, like that’s a serious repeller. Women do things like this all the time and call it “being myself,” and its fine.
So you’re like the Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker, of fashion?
LM: I’m not trying to be the Patti Stanger of fashion, its just that I know that to men I look ridiculous when I get dressed, so my attitude is not “this is what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it,” it’s “this is what we’re doing wrong and its ok.”
Tell us your secrets. How have you made The Man Repeller so popular in such ashort period of time? We’re listening and taking notes. I mean, you’re Nylon Magazine’s blog of the week! That must feel amazing.
LM: It’s crazy, but all of the attention has been coming to me! I think it came from Refinery 29, since in the first week of me posting, they posted about it. Nylon picked it up recently toput me in their weekly newsletter, which was great, and other publications have been getting in touch. I got approached to turn it into a book, which would be ideal if I could feel like I had enough content for it.
That’s so exciting! Well I’d put you on my coffee table…
LM: Thanks! I think it’s just that people don’t want to readgood reviews all the time, that’swhy Perez Hilton and Jezebel are so successful. Not many people critique highfashion but I think it’s just that I do not mind comparing Anna Wintour’s hairstyle to Dora the Explorer’s.