Why Fashion's Favorite DGAF Influencer Enjoys Hearing The Word "No"

Repel 'em all.

Repel 'em all.

Leandra Medine has made a career out of wearing whatever she wants, and encouraging other women to do the same as the founder of Man Repeller. But on this week's episode of Girlboss Radio, she takes a super honest dive into the struggles of "overnight success" and the pressure of constantly being in the fashion limelight.

It’s a well-known fact that in addition to being the founder of the cult-favorite fashion and lifestyle platform Man Repeller, Leandra Medine is an alchemist. Few people of earthly composition possess her particular gift of taking a pair of green paints, a black feathered skirt, a down coat and a sheer top and turning it into outfit gold, yet she accomplishes feats in this vein ceaselessly.

It’s an M.O. that suggests confidence, and yet in this week’s episode of Girlboss Radio, Medine gets real about how her penchant for improbably outfits came about: “I’ve always had really low self-esteem, and fashion was a fantastic way for me to hide behind some armor.

"That sounds funny, because I’m so willing to try anything out with fashion, and I’m not afraid to test and explore, but there’s definitely a fundamental difference between not caring what other people think of you and having low self esteem. I just never thought a lot of myself.”

Nonetheless, since it launched in 2010, Man Repeller has developed a cult following that comes for the fashion inspo, and stays for the DGAF sentiment rejecting the notion that women are to dress with consideration for anyone but themselves.

With Medine at the helm, the site has managed to dissect the false binary that fashion is intellectually insubstantial, delivering humorous, insightful commentary not only on clothing, but on the various moving pieces of modern women’s lives.

In this week’s episode, Medine breaks down what it’s like to take a blog to a full-on company with serious influence in the fashion industry, the “curse” of quick success, and the struggle of being peoples’ boss when it’s never what you imagined for yourself. 

On the essential lessons of early trials and tribulations:

“The art of failing and failing fast, and being told ‘no,’ is really important.”

On what makes for good content when content diarrhea is everywhere you look:

“It's anything that pushes you to feel. Anything that you walk away from having a visceral connection with.”

On walking the world as a writer:

“When you’ve been writing for long enough, suddenly you’re no longer living to live. You’re living for the story.”

On what "success" means to her:

“Success is waking up in the morning and feeling super charged and eager for the day—like I am supposed to be here. The earth is not rejecting me. That’s enough.”

Girlboss Radio debuts a new episode every Wednesday, at midnight PDT. Tune in!

Words: Deena Drewis
Photo: Courtesy