The Insider: Leandra Medine
Leandra Medine, a.k.a. The Man Repeller, probably doesn’t need an introduction at this point. There’s the crazy-popular blog she created while still an undergrad at The New School (Prabal Gurung reads daily), the fantastic collaborations she did with Gryphon and Dannijo, and the model status she achieved after walking the Rebecca Minkoff runway this past NYFW. Here, she tells us a book is coming soon, too. —jiayi
Q: So, did you think you’d be doing this for a living?
A: I never thought I would be doing this as a career, but I’m really excited things worked out this way! I studied journalism in college and figured I would probably be working as a fashion assistant at a magazine.
Q: The Man Repeller just turned one. Has your style change since you started it?
A: I wouldn’t say it has changed, but it has evolved—just as the world of fashion does! The Man Repeller was never really about just dressing to repel men, but rather to wear what you want despite what others may think. Rock what yo momma gave ya and wear what you love!
Q: Where do you get your sartorial savvy from?
A: I come from a very fashionable family. Mis padres are quite the chic pair, so they made sure my brothers and I were always dressed to the nines. I have always been obsessed with clothes and have always gone all-out.
Q: Tons of people read your site every day. What’s part of your regular internet diet?
Q: Have you made any exciting recent purchases?
A: Well, I just bought a kick-ass Dries Van Noten turtleneck sweater vest that I can’t wait to rock, even though it is still too warm outside. Buuut, I have no self-control—I’ll wear a sweater in 100 degree weather if I want.
Q: What are some other talents you’d like to share with the world?
A: How about lack of talent? I can’t touchmy knees. Like, really. But I love to write and will be releasing a book soon! And, I can make a mean challah—I’m very talented at kneading Jew bread.
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The Insider: Grace Canlas
Being the Of a Kind fan you are, you should probably get to know Grace Canlas. After moving to New York in June and interning here for the summer, Grace is now a full-fledged employee—employee number one!—dealing with, well, everything. I’m not lying when I tell you there’s a Google Doc that says, “If you have any questions about anything, Grace knows all.” —jiayi
Q: What’s the coolest part of your job?
A: That’s hard. There are a lot of cool parts, but I especially like working with designers and bloggers. There was this one incident over the summer where I was doing an errand, and saw The Man Repeller crossing the street. There was on-coming traffic, but I forced myself to say hi to her. Later on, I had to email her for work and snuck in the fact that the fan who stopped her on the street earlier was actually me.
Q: You’re hip to the blogs. What are some of your top reads?
A: I really like The Food Life and Closet Visit. The Food Life provides a combination of fashion and food, which I think are just the best of the best worlds. Closet Visit is so good—it’s focused on L.A. fashion girls and lets you step into their closets a bit. Anything that has an interview aspect grabs my interest.
Q: You recently gave up fast fashion.
A: It was one of my New Year’s resolutions. In college, I took a class about the social and psychological aspect of clothing, and it was amazing to see the thought process behind a piece. We did a case study on Guatemalan Mayans and how culturally meaningful it was for them to weave and make their own apparel goods. After that, I decided that it would be more meaningful to buy something really special that I could cherish for a long time.
Q: And you also just scored yourself a rad backpack.
A: I stumbled upon this little shop called Mongo in Cobble Hill recently and bought this green patterned, square-ish backpack. It’s made out of reclaimed upholstery—and made by the woman who owns the store. It holds my laptop nicely, which was a huge deciding factor.
Q: You’ve said before that one of your dream editions is the necklace Brook&Lyn made for Of a Kind. What’s the appeal?
A: It’s so distinct. I’m friends with Michele [Osborn, the studio and production manager at Brook&Lyn], and I was actually telling this to her the other day—I feel like jewelry often ends up looking the same, and I love that you can immediately identify their necklaces.
Photo courtesy of Thomas Nash.
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The Insider: Courtney Lewis
If you were wondering who that swoony girl is modeling our Gigi Burris headband—well, don’t get upset, but she’s smart and talented, too. Courtney Lewis is a partner at Hard Candy Shell, an agency that has helped companies like Rent the Runway and Fashism build enticing digital presences and also masterminded the strikingly brilliant, kitty-fueled Cute Roulette. Let’s just say that Courtney has amazing taste in animal videos. Oh, and in clothes, too.—nathalie
Q: What’s a typical Courtney Lewis look?
A: Oh, man, that is hard. My friends say that I like to wear anything shaped like a bag. That said, my summer staple is a pair of high-waisted denim shorts, A.P.C. snakeskin sandals, and a knotted white tank—simple.
Q: What do you think is the key to making a really beautiful, exciting fashion site?
A: I think great fashion sites come down to more than just great visuals. Creating something beautiful is almost the easy part. What’s hard is really nailing the focus of the product and translating that vision into something that people can actually use. Two sites I think are on the right track are Ssense and Svpply.
Q: What fashion sites do you read every day?
A: My favorite is The Man Repeller. Miss Moss is another one of my favorites. I also read Racked, The Cut, The Style Rookie, Honestly…WTF, and P.S. - I Made This.
Q: What’s your favorite Of a Kind edition?
A: I really like the Evelyne Shirt! And the Sulis Necklace.
Q: Now, most importantly: Do you have a favorite Cute Roulette video?
A: Kitten Can’t Jump. Gets me every time.