Her fashion philosophy is simple: keep the looks outrageous and keep the men at bay. Leandra Medine launched The Man Repeller in summer 2010, and in a matter of months, her wry take on fashion made her the darling of the very same industry. She landed a New York Times profile in December, and has since done her share of guest stints (including one on this blog, during NYFW F/W11) and collaborations. The latest of the latter saw her join design forces with Gryphon clothing’s Aimee Cho. We took a minute to ask Leandra about the partnership.
Shopbop: Tell us a little about how this collaboration came to be.
Leandra Medine: When I started blogging last summer, I highlighted a pair of Gryphon sequined board shorts (that I had found on Shopbop—full circle, people!), and that’s when Aimee came across the blog. I referred to the shorts as a party in your pants, literally. I think at the time, brands were still afraid to partner with me because no one really knew what “man repeller” meant yet. The New York Times gave me the fashion okay in December and that’s when the floodgates opened. Aimee was the first designer to ask me to collaborate with her in this capacity.
SB: What was it like working with Gryphon designer Aimee Cho?
LM: Super, super easy. The idea was configured and the sketch was drawn in literally a matter of minutes. I remember popping in right before Christmas to talk about the trench. I’d had an idea in my head about what I wanted it to look like, and it came to fruition pretty quickly.
SB: The jacket you designed is pretty classic—at face value, not a man repeller. How will you wear it to ward off the fellas?
LM: You’re giving it a lot of credit! Swing coats are never quite that appealing to the man’s eye. They look like tents! Chic ones, but tents. If I had a dime for every time my mother tried to buy a swing silhouette and my father refused her and instead suggested a classic, lean coat, I’d be swimming in Alaïa. In any case, I’m really excited to try it out with everything: maxi dresses, palazzo pants, full miniskirts…long johns.
SB: What are three words you’d use to describe the jacket?
LM: Party on yo’back. Can “yo’back” be one word? (Ed. Note: Yes, it can.)
SB: NYFW is just around the corner. Which runways do you expect to be exceptionally man repelling this season?
LM: I’m really hoping Thakoon takes home the gold again. Last fall, his plaid puffers tugged at my heartstrings so hard I haven’t been able to stop buying variations of red and cobalt blue everything the last couple weeks. Also looking forward to seeing how Alexander Wang butchers the male gaze. Rag & Bone, Jason Wu, Timo Weiland. I have a good feeling about my wardrobe.
SB: Is there a single piece (clothing, accessory, or otherwise) you expect to be a regular fixture in your look during fashion month?
LM: It’s all about the arm party. I’m just about my get my hands on a Phillip Lim fur wrap bracelet. So expect to see me hairy. They don’t call me the man repeller for nothing, eh?
Check out our exclusive Man Repeller Jacket lookbook, featuring Leandra, then shop the Man Repeller Jacket.