We’re onto day two—and the last day, sadface—of Lucky FABB and it’s still going strong, with a series of lively afternoon sessions kicking off with a very special talk with none other than Leandra Medine, aka the Man Repeller. Unsurprisingly, the conference room was PACKED with excited attendees—or fans, rather—who nearly blinded the blogger, entrepreneur and author with a storm of camera phone flashes.
Leandra’s distinctive and irreverent writing style (not to mention totally genius branding) attracted her legions of fans and followers, so her session, titled "Staying True to Your Voice," definitely resonated with the crowd. During the animated and informative discussion, led by Lucky deputy editor Leigh Belz Ray, we learned some a few interesting things about Leandra and gleaned some very wise career advice too.
- Humor is very important. While Leandra’s inimitable fashion sense may be why we read her site, we have to admit it’s also for her inventively hilarious takes on high fashion, like this one. Plus, as she says, "Comic relief is sort of everything, right?"
- Hold the phone—Leandra does not seek her writing inspiration from fashion anymore! "A year ago, I walked into [Nolita-based bookstore] McNally Jackson and when I walked in, I was like, oh my gosh, this is how I used to feel when I would walk into Barneys," she explained. Spoken like a true writer, as she just released her first nonfiction book and memoir, titled Seeking Love. Finding Overalls. But don’t fret, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t still love fashion. It’s just that "the fashunz" is now officially work for Leandra, not a hobby to get lost in.
- She’s a full-time boss now. Man Repeller has grown to a full-time staff of two, plus a freelancer—and there are more writing voices on the site than ever. And she’s fully committed to growing what originally was a blog into a full-blown "media site." We can’t wait to see how it grows!
- There’s a fine line between honesty and snarkiness. As she put it, "snarkiness doesn’t necessarily infer honesty." Well put, and definitely food for thought for aspiring writers out there.
- She actually trademarked the super-catchy term "arm party," and some major company later tried to co-opt it in an ad campaign. So she sent a cease and desist letter and that was that. Do not mess with the Man Repeller.
- And final fun fact: When Leandra first graduated from college with a writing degree from the New School, she "really, really wanted a fact-checking job at New York magazine." But she never actually applied. Lucky for us, right?