The other day we had a chat with Leandra Medine of Man Repeller about the window display she made for Maje. The conversation left us wondering: Just how did she manage to turn her blog into her livelihood?
Business of Fashion‘s Vikram Alexei Kansara sat down with Medine to discuss her blog and what has made it so successful. First, she talked about how the idea for Man Repeller was born:
“It’s about trends that women love and men hate. I was with a close friend of mine, Rachel [Strugatz]. Man repelling was something that we had already uncovered and been talking about. We’d go to Topshop and I’d try something on and she’d be like, ‘That’s really man repelling,’ and I’d be like, ‘I know, it’s great.’ That day, I thought, ‘This is a brilliant blog idea.’”
And brilliant it was; even though it was started several years after blogs like The Sartorialist and Style Bubble, it’s become equally well known (it’s responsible for the term “arm party”, now an established part of fashion folks’ lexicon) and very lucrative. As a result of her online fame, Medine has been tapped for many a collaboration — Dannijo, BaubleBar, and Michael Kors, just to name a few — which she says account for about 60 percent of her business. She also gets a tidy sum from advertisers.
But what has given Man Repeller staying power? Business of Fashion points out that Medine is hilarious, and marries high fashion with a rare wit for some seriously unique entertainment. But, Medine notes that, for bloggers, “the biggest fight is to stay relevant and innovative. Things get stale very quickly, especially on the Internet.” So she talked a bit about what she hopes Man Repeller will become in the future to keep from fading into the background:
“My big push is turning Man Repeller into a major destination. In my head what I imagine is a cross between Vogue and Jezebel, because Jezebel has the wit and the quirk and the fun that you want and Vogue has the image-driven, glossy, exclusive, chic aura. I want to start producing big stories that are interesting, funny, compelling narratives from smart women. What I’m hoping to do is start hiring writers who can share that point of view. I’m going to do it slow and steady.”
She’s already off to a great start — Medine recently signed with Creative Artists Agency, a talent agency that will help her realize her full business potential. And she’s writing a book (!), published by Grand Central Publishing and due out September 2013. Looks like she’s going to be doing some great things in the near future!