ashion bloggers have become their own pocket of the fashion industry. Blogging operates as a career in and of itself. This is similar to how modeling has become a full-time job — Instagram has allowed models to extend their face time beyond the runway. They market their looks, their style and their lifestyle. Just like models, fashion bloggers have become their own celebrity. Instead of Cara Delevigne, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner we have Chiara Ferragni, Aimee Song and Tavi Gevinson. People look for them at fashion shows, covet their style advice and buy out their merchandise.
I’d like to take a deeper look into one very popular fashion blogger, Leandra Medine, and her blog Man Repeller.
The blog was started 6 years ago, while Leandra was a junior at The New School. She was studying journalism, and the blog was meant to supplement her resume, which she was planning on handing in to New York Magazine and The New Yorker. The name, “Man Repeller,” stems from the idea that women dressing to their own personal preferences repels men, because they are not trying to appear attractive to men, only to themselves.
In Leandra’s case, her personal preferences are very eccentric. Her quirky outfit choices are known to be questionable to men (and to toher people in general), and she doesn’t hesitate to acknowledges this. Her blog and Instagram (dubbed “Manstagram”) are ripe with self-deprecating humor.
This comic approach to her sartorial wonderings resonates strongly with women, and is relevant to the way fashion is portrayed in today’s society. There exists a stigma that having an interest in fashion is superficial. People don’t see fashion and professionalism as compatible and, to quote feminist Chimamanda Adichie, “women who wanted to be taken seriously were supposed to substantiate their seriousness with a studied indifference to appearance.” Leandra mocks this stigma by supplementing her wacky taste with even wackier rhetoric, all the while being a style icon and running a website worth thousands of dollars.
Besides her writing and comic savvy, her outfits, despite being somewhat bizarre, have a certain creativity and artsiness to them that make them actually likeable. It’s the same way you look at a Picasso and think ‘I don’t know what that is, but I never would have thought of doing it.” It may not be something that you would copy exactly, but it does serve as inspiration and definitely encourages one to be bold with their wardrobe.
In terms of blog inspiration, Leandra is definitely one whose footsteps can be followed. She did everything she could to be noticed – tweeting, Instagramming, posting videos on YouTube. If you aspire to rise among these blogger-celebrities, Leandra’s lesson is to take every opportunity to wedge yourself into the industry. Spread your brand across all social media platforms. Don’t be shy about it, and definitely don’t be shy about your style.
“Don’t be something for everyone, be everything for someone” – Leandra Medine
Images courtesy of Tumblr, Instagram, The New Trendsetters and Man Repeller.