AVENUE Magazine: The Man Repeller Opens Up

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Photo by Aram Bedrossian

Leandra Medine, the 23-year-old behind the fashion world’s most influential blog, gives the scoop on her engagement, wedding dress, upcoming book and all things fashion

By Carson Griffith

For maybe the first time in her career,
Leandra Medine is showing signs of opening up. The 23-year-old blogger, known to readers of her site as “The Man Repeller,” has followed a strict mantra of being “personable over
personal” that has made her irresistible, if not entirely accessible, to her fans.
But with a recent engagement and an upcoming wedding at the St. Regis, she’s slowly coming out of her Thakoon cocoon.
Over a latté at The Smile in Noho on the Friday before Fashion Week, Medine almost looks like she’s wearing a disguise. Having made her living for over the past two years on the promotion of fashion-forward, often wacky attire, it’s slightly disappointing to find the native New Yorker in an oversized sweater and scarf. But a large, sparkly engagement ring and an “arm party” of bracelets—a term Medine herself has coined—make up for the lack of a tufted skirt with multiple layers or high-waisted shorts.
The Upper East Sider has made time for me in her morning between a flurry of meetings that include styling a Lila Horn show for Fashion Week and working on her popular blog, which garners 2 million hits a month and helped her top Adweek’s “Fashion’s Power 25 list” last September, beating out Lady Gaga, Anna Wintour, Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton.
“I’ve RSVPed to, like, 50 shows,” she admitted, when I asked her for her Fashion Week schedule. Among them are Calvin Klein and Derek Lam, both coveted first-year invites for the blogger, but she did not attend the show of one of her favorite young designers, Alexander Wang. Strangely enough for Medine, she missed the hot ticket taking place Saturday, Feb. 11 to attend her own engagement party.
Donning a short white Marchesa dress at 583 Park, Medine’s friends and family came to celebrate her engagement to her long-term, on-and-off boyfriend, whom she keeps anonymous on her blog and won’t name here. When I asked what he does for a living, she said, “We’re fulfilling all the New York stereotypes, which means . . .” she trailed off. “Finance,” I said.
But getting back to fashion, the open-faced, long-legged brunette will not be slipping into a dress designed by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig for her nuptials. While her millions of readers and 60,000 Twitter followers have waited with bated breath to hear who will be designing her wedding dress, it sounds as if she’s narrowed it down to one hot designer, one she also considers a friend: Prabal Gurung.

This story first appeared in the March issue of AVENUE. For the rest of the story, visit avenueinsider.com.

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