Man Repeller explores the expansive constellation of things women care about from a place of openness and humor, with the conviction that an interest in fashion doesn’t minimize one’s intellect.
Hi ppl. What you just read is our mission statement, which took 59 e-mails back and forth between 6 members of the editorial and business development teams at Man Repeller to come up with. That sounds dramatic, which is because it is — why in the good name of precision would it take so long to come up with a singular, concise way to describe a brand, particularly, I might add, if one of such 6 brainstormers launched the brand in question?
The truth is, I’ve been reluctant to define Man Repeller. It means so many different things for the different people who touch it. For one reader, it might be a brain break — a way to escape from the particular banalities of his or her day. For another, it might encompass the world’s greatest shopping recommendations on earth (What? They are good!). For another cohort, perhaps it is a place to come and recognize that no topic is off limits for intellectual dissection. Hopefully for all of its users, it is a judgement free zone that allows you to be who you are, pants unbuttoned and all. As a rule, I tend to shy away from concepts, ideals…anything, really, that neatly fits in a box, and I’ve never wanted Man Repeller to fall into one, but the power of focus, particularly today, is such that if you can’t explain what you do while waiting for an Uber, you have a problem. So here we are!
When I launched this company in 2010, I had no idea what I was doing. As a junior studying journalism at a liberal arts school in New York City, I hoped it might open doors when I applied for writing jobs following graduation. What I learned instead was of a dearth I had never paid attention to in women’s media. So much of the prose seemed prescriptive, dishonest, none of it felt like it was talking to its readers so much as it was talking at them. Where were the jokes, dammit! And who decided that in order to be taken seriously in fashion, to profess your love, admiration and respect for the industry, you couldn’t also poke fun at it (and yourself)? But I didn’t set out to solve these problems, I just wanted to be real. So I started writing the kind of stories that I wanted to read: casual essays that read like e-mails from my very cool, very informed and very hilarious friend living abroad in Paris. I didn’t know what she would tell me, but I knew I would be interested because of the passion in her tone, the unintimidating way in which she presented an intelligent thought and how she always seemed to make things feel like they were about me. About me!
Once I discovered there was an appetite for this kind of writing outside of my own interest, I took this show on the road, started to build a team and before you know it, there we were: 59 emails deep, trying to figure out how to succinctly explain who we are. So that’s it: we’re a small but mighty media company with a silly name but very important mission of making women feel more understood and less alone by fostering community and conversation on topics that run a gamut from style and power to culture and identity.
But the truth still remains that in spite of what we do and who we are (a clown car of curious, interested and excited creatives), Man Repeller is amorphous. It can mean whatever you need it to mean: maybe it’s a shoulder to cry on, a caffeine jolt on a lazy day. Maybe it’s a blog that curiously makes baseball caps. One thing is fo sho, tho(ugh): Man Repeller isn’t just a website.
Stick around, learn for yourself. Cheers!