Krista Anna Lewis for Man Repeller
When I started my blog 7 years ago, there was an outstanding young writer starting a website called Man Repeller. That writer was Leandra Medine; Man Repeller has become a multi-media business and in my opinion, a global fashion masterpiece. I follow it – and Leandra – religiously – to this day. In fact, when Fashionista interviewed her in NYC a year ago, I ran to see her and wrote about it on TFIO. So now, I feel like I know her! Leandra spoke to InStyle Magazine about what it means to be an original – her words are so comforting, I happily share them with you. Here is Leandra Medine on dressing originally:
“There’s a quote attributed to Coco Chanel that often turns up on Facebook profiles: ‘In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.’ I’ve read it so many times that in spite of its underlying message—be original—it’s become, ironically, completely unoriginal.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. We’re taught as kids to follow our heart and our gut, not what popular opinion recommends. Only when we’re truly one of a kind, we’re told, will we be destined for greatness.
But is this concept overrated? I’m tempted to think so. To be original, according to the wise oracle Google, is to be an eccentric, unusual person. Continue reading
Leandra Medine (left) interviewed by Fashionista’s Chantal Fernandez Monday night. Photo: Meghan Uno/Fashionista
“ManRepeller is like an onion. You have to peel the layers to see it unfold. It’s not supposed to feel prescriptive.” ~ Leandra Medine
I had just returned from a quick bathroom break and realized with a little horror that the interview had already started. My heart sank for a moment when I heard a voice introduce her, my favorite fashion blogger, Leandra Medine. As I walked up the aisle to my seat, Leandra made eye contact with me and we smiled. She had me from that moment, the pure charmer who is Leandra Medine. Originator of the blog and phenomenon, ManRepeller. Leandra shared her story and offered words of wisdom with Chantal Fernandez at Fashionista’s NYC Fashion Meetup Series.
Leandra talked about how ManRepeller took off unexpectedly in 2010 and how she has been building it into something of substance and aligning herself with solid, talented people since. “I trust my gut.” Leandra talked about believing in the Mickey Drexler (Chairman and CEO of J. Crew) emotional IQ test, a ‘fire-pit-in-belly’ ring through which one connects with the right people.
I was there, in the audience with the college grads and 20-somethings, all looking for answers and fashion advice as they start their careers. I am of course at a different place in my life but I was inspired as anyone, perhaps even more. Because it was not about age, it was not about facts and figures – it was about instinct and honesty and humor and vulnerability and feeling – all things Leandra Medine. I walked away from the interview reminded that everything is possible and one’s career can start at any time. I believe in Leandra’s sentiments when she says, “Everyone gets what he/she wants. You just have to be clear about what it is you want.”