WONDER WOMEN 11. LEANDRA MEDINE
I’d introduce myself as a passionate woman who lives in New York and loves human connection. Who I am is not really what I do, but they are intertwined. I run a small but mighty media company called Man Repeller. The property’s highest calling is to make women feel better understood and less alone, and we do that through honest storytelling, whether by way of word or fashion.
What are you working on right now that you’re most excited about (aside from growing two humans in your body)?
Thinking through the ancillary opportunities of Man Repeller. I love creative brainstorming, possibly even more than actual execution. So what do we look like offline? Is there a product component? Membership? Coffee shops?
What part of Man Repeller’s success are you most proud of? What was or has been your biggest challenging in creating and leading it?
I didn’t launch Man Repeller with the intention of building a business that was bigger than myself, so I am most proud of its cultural resonance. In terms of your second question, the answer is sort of baked in: The biggest challenge has been leading. Managing a team and an ethos and continuing to remain on your toes, through and through, ready to pivot at any such intersection, is very rewarding but also incredibly challenging.
If you could change one thing going on in the world right now, what would it be?
Currently incurable cancer.
On a lighter note, what are you currently watching, reading, or listening to? What’s inspiring you and bringing you joy?
I don’t watch much new television. I’m reading a book by a doula called Nurture, and I love the podcast 10% Happier.
What are you doing when you’re not working on Man Repeller or in the fashion world?
It is very rare that I am not working on Man Repeller, to be honest.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever given someone else?
Too subjective a question to answer—you can’t know how your advice has impacted someone else, and what I deem the best advice I have given may very well run counter to what the receiver believes.
For advice I have received, my dad has really awarded me with the most profound slivers of career knowledge I have accrued—surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, hire people who are naturally great at what you are bad at, and recognize whether you know how to think thoroughly and rigorously. If you don’t, learn. That last one has been crucial.
Man Repeller starts passionate conversations between women and champions the fact that an interest in fashion doesn’t make us silly or frivolous. It’s feminist and honest and hilarious, and means so much to so many readers. Is there a moment when you really realized or felt that your work was making a difference?
We are in a constant state of realizing what does make a difference and what does not make a difference; that work never ends.
My mission is...to never forget that the most important things are family, love and our collective health.