When you're discussing the scope of fashion bloggers, Leandra 'Man Repeller' Medine is BIG. One of the original noughties bloggers, this New York-bred girl has been kicking around the interwebs for the better part of a decade so she's practically a veteran - if you can call a 27 year old that. With a sharp eye for killer accessories and a flair for writing hilarious posts, Medine is as famous for her savvy street style as she is for her equally sharp wit. After all, who doesn't love a girl who's unafraid to tackle any trend - and just as quick to make fun of herself doing so?
So it's with much excitement that we introduce her latest project: the MR by Man Repeller shoe collection, a line stocked exclusively by Net-a-Porter for its first two seasons (clever). Of course, given it's been 10 years since 'man repelling' became a thing, this isn't Leandra's first time to the rodeo. But this collection stands apart from her other partnerships because it's solely her enterprise and not linked to another brand. Go girl.
Here, we chat to Leandra about the line, going solo and her MASSIVE personal shoe collection (let's just we're insanely jealous)...
Tell us about MR by Man Repeller - why focus on shoes only? As opposed to including garments and handbags?
There are plenty of brands that simply focus on shoes and currently, that's what feels right for this collaboration!
What shoe styles have you included in your collection - and how did you settle on JUST 5?
I was trying to think of the kinds of shoes I am most attracted towards at the start of a new season and how I could make them kind of irresistible to shop.
If you had to pick your favourite child - which shoe would it be and why?
The metallic or velvet loafer - these are always my favourite style of Fall shoe. They look great with socks and miniskirts, are extremely comfortable, and rendered in their fabrics, they provide that kick which I believe makes Man Repeller style accessible (you take a silhouette that everyone can understand and get behind and then think of how you'll make it uniquely yours).
Where are the shoes manufactured and designed?
They're designed over e-mail/Skype, if you'd believe it. So partially New York, partially London, but the shoes are manufactured in Portugal.
Why did you opt not to partner with an existing shoe designer?
Although I love working with designers and having their ideas and my ideas come together to create new concepts, it is a completely different experience to work with an existing designer. The boundaries are bit more regimented, and sometimes this works excellently (example: my shoe collaboration with Superga), but often, I don't want to stifle the ideas and creative motivations of a designer -- they already know what they're doing, and don't really need my help, so I decided that if I were going to set out to develop a footwear collection, I ought to do it as my own.
How long has the process taken?
We started developing the first drop around February and the first samples were ready by May with the launch on Net-A-Porter this October.
You're known for your love of out-there accessories. Did you take design ideas from your own shoe wardrobe/experiences?
The style names are typical MR - funny and subversive. How do the names reflect the shoes?
I think you answered this question for me!
How many pairs of shoes do you own and which ones do you wear most often?
I probably own around 150 pairs of shoes (they are my favourite accessory, they fit all woman, do not exclude and provide for a very healthy dole of escapism if it is needed) and I tend to wear my loafers/slides the most often.
Do you have plans for any other fashion lines?
Not at this juncture, but you never know.
MR by Man Repeller will be stocked exclusively at Net-a-Porter for two seasons. The line is due this week - head to net-a-porter.com to shop.