Get to Know Team MR: Meet Leandra

  • Hi I'm Leandra and if I don't hold onto my arms they'll fall off which is why I'm doing this!
  • Just kidding, see? Still there.
  • You may be wondering why I'm wearing white socks with gold sandals and a huge ass pleather coat...
  • Put simply, I am trying extremely hard to look like this one model from the most recent Gucci show.
  • Annelise Michelson cuff on right arm, Repossi cuff on left arm. Jewelry by Sabine G and Khai Khai Jewelry
  • Lol! Up next you'll find slides from five of my favorite pieces of content we have published.
  • I actually didn't want to put this in. Elizabeth sort of forced it into the slideshow, but I did really like seeing the response to the first episode of Monocycle because I was suprised at how many people were experiencing the weird burn out fatigue with me. I'm glad we talked through it.
  • Speaking of surprising commonalities, it was extremely satisfying to learn that the story I wrote on my trouble getting pregnant, titled, "A Pregnant Pause" helped other women feel more comfortable squashing the shame around talking about hardships related to conceiving to motivate us to roll up our sleeves and get real about it.
  • Come to think of it, all of the stuff I'm really proud of that we've produced has little to do with the actual story and much more to do with the reaction -- while the Round Tables are generally speaking a favorite installment of mine, the one we ran on white privilege, called "We Need to Talk About Race" is definitely up there as top five most satisfying.
  • On two separate notes -- I love when we get silly, which is why I consider "Men Leaning In" one of our more recent pieces de resistance. "People in Prada" from three years ago was pretty great too. Namely because we put Helga G. Pataki in a rainbow mink coat.
  • And here's one that went live just a few months ago -- "All the People You Get to Be by Simply Wearing Gucci" imagined ten different identities you get to assume by wearing Gucci. Look out for Sanpietra von Gufftenshaefen. This story made Yvonne from our social team cry laughing and I always measure the success of my days by how many people between these four walls are driven to the point of happy tears.
The Writers | March 18, 2016

After you get to know Leandra, meet our Graphic Designer, Emily Zirimis, our Digital Director, Kate Barnett, our Managing Editor, Elizabeth Tamkin, and Quazzy, our Audio Engineer.

In honor of career month at Man Repeller, we’re profiling the team so that you can get a better sense of who does what, how this place runs and who refuses to wear pants. Today we’re introducing you to shins supporter Leandra Medine and sometimes Cohen, which I am so glad we’re doing because I literally have no idea who she is, why she sits next to me or how she got my email address to send me these unprompted answers.

So you’re the founder of Man Repeller. What does that mean you do?

So much stuff that I don’t want to, like try to find a new developer to help us evolve the site (I don’t speak javascript) and put together comp packages for new employees (the only percentages I can work out are those that are off clothes) and set goals when I can barely get my own ovaries to hit their goals, for Pete’s sake!

But I also get to do a ton of awesome stuff, like work with amazing and talented photographers (hi Krista), graphic designers (sup Emily), creative specimens who can pull off ankle bandanas over tights (Elizabeth!), weirdos like our social media coordinator, Harling, and a fuck ton of others (Yvonne! Kate! Quazzy! Jay! How you livin’?), minus Amelia. I also direct our editorial calendar from top to bottom, helping to ideate what each story will look like visually and from a content perspective. That part is extremely fun.

Where were you before this?

In college. I thought I was going to get a job fact checking at New York Magazine. I am terrible with facts/don’t think they matter.

What was your major?

Journalism, but in my senior year I realized that I am much more interested in expositional writing — the sort of cathartic stuff that lets you air out laundry but also helps other people work through their stuff.

College is such an amazing time because your slate essentially remains clean for four years; you get to test out so much stuff and ultimately decide whether it is or isn’t for you without the looming fear of fucking up, or getting too deep into something you’re not sure you want to do. But the reason I’m pointing this out is because it’s never too late to change your mind! Try anything and everything and be relentless about having your business goals align with your personal goals. That = happiness.

What made you start Man Repeller? 

I had an opinion, which I believed was being severely underserved in fashion (trends women love, men hate) and a way of delivering it (honestly, with a sense of humor and simultaneous respect) that I hoped would resonate. It’s never actually about fashion, is the other thing — this is just the language we use to connect with each other because sometimes words and literal conversation don’t cut it. I wanted to make a site that I would feel good about my angry teenage daughter reading, one that I’d also want to read and become part of myself. Does that make sense?

Favorite part of your job?

The super cool fuckers I get to work with, and also all the lunch meetings because I love food.

Least favorite part of your job?

MICROSOFT EXCEL.

What’s one thing that has surprised you in your path so far?

I never considered that I could actually start my own business because that was never really a centerpiece baked into my personal ambition, so it’s been surprising, in a humbling way, to actually be faced with the challenges of running something and what it takes to keep the wheels of a company in motion. The people you surround yourself with, honestly, are like, 80% of it, and that shouldn’t be overlooked.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A woman who is comfortable standing vertically.

What’s one piece of advice you have to give to anyone who wants a job like yours?

Again, check your ego at the door — and I mean that in both directions: whether it’s inflated or deflated. Don’t make it about you, because you won’t be able to succeed if you do. It’s helpful to have a sort of altruistic purpose and in my opinion, it is mandatory that you are building something or doing something for the greater good of someone/thing beyond just your personal appeasement. You drown in your own puddle if not.

What’s one piece of advice to someone who has no clue what they want to do?

Think about what gets you out of bed in the morning and those moments when you don’t want to go to sleep at night because reality is better. What’s keeping you up? Don’t underestimate the stuff that comes easy to you because it doesn’t mean that it’s easy for other people, and believe that your favorite hobby could become a job! We live in such a cool and weird and scary world, and have literally been given the foundational cinder blocks to architect our lives.

But also, don’t be afraid to fuck up because you have to screw up in order to learn and to keep you grounded and humble. There’s really no such thing as a fuck up; it’s a poorly marketed word. If you take the “ist” out of “mistake,”  it becomes “make.” As in MAKE great things.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes. I’m not going to say “don’t settle,” but I am going to say that you should constantly ask yourself if you’re happy enough. None of it is worth it if you’re not.

Finally, tell me one weird thing about you, which will be extremely hard because you are super weird.

I lie and say that I’m allergic to bees to compensate for how I react in their presence.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.

man-repeller-bar-leandra

  • Amelia Diamond

    Hi Loo!!!!

    • BK

      When do we meet Amelia (my favourite Man Repeller)

      • Kimberly Sickels

        When I saw the draft of 4558 dollars,,,rd I accept that my friend’s brother was like really generating cash in his free time with his PC. . His aunt’s neighbor has done this for only 10 months and by now repaid the loan on their home and bought a new Car .

        To Know More Click Here
        ol…

      • Jessica Davis

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        For Details Click Here
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  • Tess

    My question for Leandra: Leandra, you’re throwing a low-key dinner party (or maybe having a lunch date) and you get to invite 3 people, someone dead, someone fictional, and someone famous, who do you invite?

    • Leandra Medine

      David Foster Wallace is my dead person, the little prince is my fictional person and Kanye West is my famous person

      • Tess

        Ah! Excellent answer! I think you’d find me loitering somewhere near in a desperate attempt to weasel myself into that party.

      • Rosie

        Yes, yes, YAS.

      • Mariana

        Can I ask why Kanye? Just curious 🙂

        • diane

          KW does seem a strange choice after an essay about the merits of being humble and leaving your ego at the door!

      • amazing answer. u really hit it out of the park. congratulations.

  • Natty

    do not fear Excel!! it is the best!!

    • Tess

      On a somewhat random note, I really like your name! I’ve never heard of a Natty before (I take it’s a nickname..). It’s really cute and unique.

      • Natty

        Thank you, you are so nice! Natty is one of a billion nicknames I have for my real name, Natalie

  • Rosie

    Leandra – I also *hate* Excel. But I love this interview. You’ve been inspiring me to not give up on my dreams of working in publishing for nearly 5 years now (have you even been a blog for that long? Or am I just your stalker??). I literally included Man Repeller in a research project I did senior year of college about blogging as a profession. A few years and many crap jobs later, I finally landed my first ~real~ job at Our State magazine in NC (www.ourstate.com, if you’re interested!!) earlier this year, working for their digital department. Today I’m celebrating one month of working here! And although I’m not blogging, I never lost sight of what I wanted to do which was (and is) to work and write for an awesome website. And here I am. So thank you for being awesome and weird and just yourself. Xoxox

    • Leandra Medine

      All you, Rosie. Really! Man can only BRING camel to water. Camel must drink.

      • Leandra Medine

        Not that you’re a camel tho.

        • Leandra Medine

          but maybe you *are* a camel toe?

          • Rosie

            HA! Just now seeing these. I think we came to the conclusion that camels toes aren’t even a bad thing anymore (mom jeans forever), so if you’re a camel toe, I’m a camel toe (re: The Notebook).

    • Ironically I left publishing because it was ALL Excel X_X

  • Leandra, question: what’s your #1 karaoke song of choice?

    • Leandra Medine

      The one about Christmas by Mariah

  • (since my name is Bee in one of the Olden languages, I am not here and you are not … allergic 🙂

  • Shevaun

    I also wish I could be comfortable/look comfortable standing vertically. I somehow always end up looking like a broad-shouldered hunchback, which is oh so flattering when my faculty takes photos at events and posts them to the damn Facebook.

  • This is great! I feel like I only know a couple of you since there are new writers, so this is the best. I’m coming to NYC in April. Is there anywhere i’m supposed to go besides Jack’s Wife Freda?

    • Leandra Medine

      I think that about covers it! Just kidding, you should also see the new Whitney. it’s kül

  • Megan

    I one hundy p do the bee thing too.

  • Sarah Bump

    Leandra – I am a JavaScript Developer and huge fan of Man Repeller, sent my resume to careers@manrepeller.com, would love to hear more about the position!

  • This is great. Hi, Leandra!

  • Victoriya Wright

    I adore this blog and look forward to its non-traditional perspective on fashion! Your content is always humorous and completely convincing! I get my daily fashion fix from you! Keep it up! V – owner of RebelVanity.BigCartel.com

  • Good one about the bees! I’ll use it ?

  • Leandra, I love you.

    xx
    http://www.cherry-mag.com

  • AA

    YOU ROCK LEANDRA!

  • Kirby

    Love the first pic it’s like a friendly version of those super intense chef pictures. You just need some arm tatts to complete the look

    • Amelia Diamond

      hahahaha

  • Perry

    I want to contribute as a writer and write weird things. How do I start? softcategory.blogspot.ca

  • Aggie

    Leandra, you’re amazing and I’m so glad you decided that your opinion was underserved! I seriously wish that my next job will revolve around having lunch meetings <3

  • Ché Hot Chocolate

    You’re awesome sauce, Leandra. I think we’d get along quite nicely.

  • Zenaida Luciano

    Hi Leandra, and you looks beautiful. <3

  • Leandra, is it weird that you give me a warm fuzzy feeling because you look like my sister-in-law? It is, it’s weird, I know it. Other than my creepy sentimentality towards you though, you are absolutely awesome and I admire you for what you’ve done with MR. This website is a legit breath of fresh air. Thanks for being you and please don’t stop ever ever.

    Meg @ TheFauxParisian.com

    • Milda Zim

      I absolutely agree about the awesomeness and never ever stopping part :))) well, basically everything except the weird part, haha :))))))))) Leandra- YOU are the one of 3 I would invite to my party!

    • Leandra Medine

      its cool that you like your sister in law that much!

  • Maya Wong

    Leandra. Life or death question: Would you rather eat an english muffin with no butter on it (or any toppings at all!), or walk through a bed of glass shards? The people are dying to know.

    • Leandra Medine

      english muffin pls!

  • Bryanna

  • Kate

    I do the bee thing with my phobia, fish, and say I have a “seafood intolerance” at any dinner parties because I would literally (literally!) weep if I had to eat it. Though I manage to justify it by saying that it’s not lying – it’s just my rationality is intolerant rather than my actual body

  • Holly & Lou, The Boyfriend Shi

    Love this article! Also agree that Excel is the devil’s work
    http://www.the-boyfriend-shirt.com

  • Ana Jurado Mata

    Amazing, some of your words are really necessary right now in my life. An inspiring, amazing women I would love to meet someday. Thanks for being you always. XX

  • Nicky

    I might have had an epiphany when you said to think about what gets me out of bed and what keeps me up at night. I haven’t got a fucking clue what I’m doing after college. Thanks Leandra! I love, love, love Man Repeller.

  • Patricia Valmana

    what gets you out of bed in the morning?? something so simple to ask yourself right? If people would think about it more often and apply it, put in action that motivation into reality we all will be more happy! excellent article Leandra as always, you Rock!

  • I literally want to work for you so badly. You’re my spirit animal. Leandra (or Amelia bc ily) if you’re out there, I would LOVE to meet you / work for you / restock your fridge with all your fave kosher foods. MR4EVER.

  • Omg I just love you so much. I really have been searching the web just to have an idea of how you started. I am trying to BUILD something remarkable as well. Thank you so much for the inspiration and motivation. You’re just too amazing.

  • Celia Bernardo

    Hello Leandra! I am an artist-designer-entrepeneur-nomad-free spirit trying to bring something inspiring and passionate to the world! feel we have a lot in common 🙂 I would love to meet you one day. And I would LOVE to share my work with MR, How could I reach you?

  • Christabel rose

    What a great interview! Your humour is second to none xxx

  • Holly Laine Mascaro

    The last bee fact – AMAZING.

  • Lidia Rivera

    What i needed to read since ive been doing nothing for the last two hours, but thinking if this college degree is really worthy with a huuuuge lack of motivation.