leandra medine knows it’s about fun, strength, flexibility, and a weird shoe
We know Man Repeller Leandra Medine is the funniest girl in fashion, but she’s also one of the brightest.
Since the internet revolution, fashion blogs have risen and fallen with such frequency that although bloggers are eternally perched in the front row, only a handful have managed to stay there. Although their audience dwarfs most major publications, with exception of a few standouts, the bloggers themselves can still struggle to be taken completely seriously in the editorial world. With this in mind there is a touch of irony that Leandra Medine, The Man Repeller, was one of the first to capture and hold our attention completely. Because despite her thoughtful editorials and perfectly imperfect styling she's far from serious. Her site and light-hearted approach to the industry has showed an uncanny ability to win over everyone who comes across it, and transformed her into a global fashion mega star—albeit one who isn't worried if she has something in her teeth.
Later this month she'll be in Australia for Brisbane's cultural festival Resort. But personally, we couldn't wait that long.
There has been a lot made of your influence—larger than Anna Wintour etc—is that something that you think about when you're putting together posts and/or getting dressed?
?I think it's very ambitious to say that anyone is larger than anyone else—especially when the entity in question is such a seasoned institution and force within the fashion industry. But as far as my putting together posts and getting dressed is concerned, I try to keep it very, very authentic and local always.
Has the site's success changed your style at all?
?I don't know that the site has changed my style so much as my growing up has. I launched Man Repeller when I was 21 and I'm now 25—I feel like I have tested so many identities which, no doubt, I'm not done trying on. We'll see what comes next.
Much has been made of your approach to fashion, do you feel fashion is sometimes taken too seriously, or does it deserve to be intellectualised?
There is very big difference between taking something seriously and intellectualising it. Fashion deserves to be intellectualised for sure—it's a multi-billion dollar industry that can frequently serve as an escape from the perils of real life, but also expresses art and emotion in an aesthetically appealing and fascinating medium. It might be taken too seriously, but then again who's to say what's right and what's wrong when it comes to art.
As someone who is frequently presented as the face of the blogger wave, is there a lot of pressure to continuously be building views and bringing in those large numbers?
I've never really thought of it like that. If there is pressure to be building views, it's only because I'm putting it on myself. I want to be challenged to think flexibly and every time a new view is put out, it's met with an equally interesting retort.
What's been your biggest learning in bringing in/maintaining readers and developing a dedicated audience?
?Honesty is very important. So is enthusiasm. Readers can tell when you're tired. And it must remain fun—when it doesn't, you lose everything.
In your opinion, what city has the most exciting fashion identity right now?
Frankly, Paris still serves as a very important and revolutionary informant for the way fashion is going to be consumed. New York might be the city that functions as the digestive.
What's your go-to outfit?
?High waist jeans, black skinny belt, striped shirt, double breast blazer and some version of a very weird shoe.
Are you always aware of what you're wearing, or are there roll out of bed, put on the closest clean thing moments?
?I think I'm SO aware of what I'm wearing that I might be able to trick myself into thinking there are roll out of bed moments. In reality, there are not.
We spend so much time focusing on yesterday's fashion icons, right now who is creating a persona you feel that we'll be talking about in 30-years time?
?It's so hard to say in this expansive era of abundant personal style and stylists, but I think Jenna Lyons and Emmanuelle Alt and young new designers like Rosie Assoulin and Vika Gazinskaya are really distilling what it means to be in fashion right now.
Is there any style/look that continues to evade you/you've always wanted to nail? Personally all white always looks more sanatorium than Bianca Jagger on me.
?I would love to exude the swagger of Jane Birkin. What's so impressive to me about her style is that it's not about clothes at all: her attitude informs the outfit, not the other way around, this is something we've become completely devoid of understanding in 2014. Style equals attitude, not clothes.
How do you think bloggers and online journalists will need to adapt/evolve to continue to maintain this position in the industry?
The same way print journalists and editors did, which is to continue to excel and put out good work. Darwin said only the strong survive—I believe this to be true.
What are you excited about right now?
?A new series we launched on Man Repeller called The MR Writer's Prompt. We've been having community members submit stories for publication on weekends and they've been such a delight to sift through.