Man Repeller was this extraordinary place we -the fashion enthusiasts- found our hors d’oeuvre to later-on plate our first course. Founded on the solemn vision -and mission- of elevating our day-to-day outfits with the spiciness to create trends woman love but man hate with our unique take in fashion inspired by the one-and-only, its founder Leandra Medine.
Leandra Medine founded Man Repeller in 2010 when blogs and influencers were something merely heard of, something that she probably did not think it would turn into the success that Man Repeller was until the unexpected events that unleashed during this repugnant and malicious 2020. Leandra became part of the negative light of the public eye for various reasons, from not being inclusive with POC employees which burst amid BLM protest this past summer. The news opened a window for others to express -on social media- how the brand had a feeling of only targeting a wealthy white woman. And because the occasion was so rich and convenient, a former intern for the brand shared her terrifying experience of how the MR staff was only a tight-knit of fair skin woman who could afford the latest trends and would -Mean Girl’s style- look down at others who would not. MR became an explosion of former employees who felt mistreated, misunderstood, and an audience whos representation felt left behind and denied. Leandra took a step back and reflected on what was missing, what could be the greater solution and came back after a social media break to announce she would no longer be part of the Man Repeller team. Frankly, this was news that took her long-following crowd by storm, leaving most with the frugal question of what is next for MR.
With Leandra no longer part of the MR team, it is time for Repeller to shine without its crucial key-member.
Leandra never stepped down with the idea of leaving Man Repeller behind and drowning, but rather give this one a chance to evolve from the chaos without her image lingering around. The new and improved team re-dressed the website eliminating the deflection of the male gaze and focusing on female discoveries and earning your confidence. Could this be possible, could the new Repeller be relevant much longer without Leandra, or would this be our renovated home for us, millennials, and a new go-to for Gen Z’s? The answer becomes a rough draft of POV’s clashing online missing the extra spice that its OG -Leandra- would bring to the table. Repeller found themselves trapped incoherently with the unforgiving accusation from those comments back in summer, which the brand -even rebranding- would always be known. From Man Repeller to Repeller, the turnover of our favourites was also frightening. Followers favourite like Crystal Anderson, Haley Nahman and Harling Ross gone, Man Repeller and Repeller were losing touch of diversity, quirkiness, and lots of our favourite reads. With all above mentioned, it would only make sense to say goodbye to a decade full of style; Leandra Cohen announced on October 26 that it was time to let go and move on.
The Old Manrepeller: An Archive of Stylish Mémoires
With the brand slowly vanishing, and archive of stylish mémoires comes afloat with sentimentality. Leandra’s best looks are now going to forever be with us, inspiring the masses to dress recklessly, defying the public opinion, and just being unapologetically confident. From accessories to socks-with-platform sandals, to MR collection drops to the best-in-class articles, this would be one hell of a role model Instagram to follow. Its promiscuous invitation of iconic outfit recipes, major throwbacks, but it does not stops just there, because -this- IG account stills makes us contemplate where did individualism go. Maybe this will become a reminder of what one of a kind content once looked and what is it that we are looking for going forward. In a sea of curiosity, I am still asking myself the same question, what is uniqueness, and how can we achieve it. As I was building that last sentence, my brain jumped into the down-spiral question of will Leandra give herself another opportunity -learning from her mistakes- to once again wow us with new fresh content, with authenticity, wittiness and a fashion-first endeavour?
MR comes to a web/digital end, but its effortless coolness will remain with us.
Man Repeller was nothing I could feel related to for various reasons; I did not grow up in New York -rather- long-distance loving the city. I did not have the monetary opportunities to mimic the inspiring outfit recipes, but I would try my best to do it on a thrift store budget. I cannot even say I felt represented by someone they were speaking of since the Latinx, or POC communities -were- often forgotten in the conversations. What I can tell you is that MR was an inspiration providing tools to recreate a word for oddballs in need of a space of acceptance. That made MR stand out in a sea of people who would often follow trends as a requirement to fit in, leaving behind the true meaning of personal style. MR was the coolest hangout space and the comment threads of opinion that came with each story was something that pointed out how great the site once proved to be.
It just does not stop there MR taught us the unruly breaking the law styling tips. How neck scarves cand also serve as a new pair of sleeves with your strapless top. Taking inspiration from kids clothing should never be overlooked + bucket hats, clashing prints and textures, and more are acceptable as long as it elevates your confidence boost. There was this sense of freedom that had a familiar feeling of getting a wedge potato fry as an impostor with your regular fries. As we close the book on what MR was, we -mentioning again- open a sea of wonders of what is next, what is considered relevant? Coming to terms of a sad au revoir to her marvellous creation must felt like a kick on Medine’s imaginary testicles when the final decision was taking place to a point of no return. For this, we thank Leandra for her 10 years of serving -unapologetic- the fashion industry with Man Repeller.