One great thing about the New York restaurant scene is that there are always ladies to watch whose personal style is more unique than the next. One of the ultimates is Leandra Medine, creator of hit fashion website The Man Repeller, a blog that celebrates the idea that much of what us ladies love to wear is naturally “repellant” to men. Us girls may not like to admit it, but usually if you sit down and analyze some of the contents of your closet, you’ll realize what Medine says in this interview is true: “Every woman has a bit of Man Repeller in her.” Does this mean the big, baggy boyfriend jeans I wore to Boom Boom Room the other night may not land me the hot date? It’s a possibility. Either way, man repelling is something to celebrate, as is the irresistible girl behind the concept.
Turns out one restaurant you can usually find Medine is at Jack’s Wife Freda, where we photographed her in an outfit we’re kind of obsessed with. Between candy striper shorts, glasses of Sancerre, and a killer kale salad, we played, shot and chatted with one of fashion’s ultimate IT girls.
The New Potato: What would be your ideal food day?
Leandra Medine: "A banana and almond butter sandwich for breakfast, Jack’s Wife Freda’s Kale Greek Salad for lunch and Lovely Day’s pad thai for dinner. I might have a spicy tuna roll for a snack around 5pm."
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TNP: What was your “man-repelling” dinner-date outfit for today and why?
"I think it’s important to clarify that I never deliberately get dressed in a “man-repelling” outfit. If I were to do that it would completely detract from the most authentic version of my personal style, which I really don’t want to do. The outfit I chose, I chose for a dinner date because it’s somewhat flirty — without smacking you over the head with femininity — and features red stripes which bring to mind reminiscences of a candy striper. The shoes are slightly difficult because they untie often but the way I see it, if your date can’t even wait for you to tie your laces, his fuses are way too short."
TNP: What’s your drink?
"A glass of Sancerre."
TNP: How do you start your day on a good note?
"Well, I’ve recently started doing this new thing where I won’t check my phone until I’ve brushed my teeth, washed my face and read a little something. It seems like a really effective way to keep your mind as fresh as it feels in the first ten seconds of having woken up."
TNP: What’s your afternoon snack?
"Caramel rice cakes."
TNP: What’s always in your fridge and why?
"Eggs and green apples. Neither require very much preparing."
"I don’t like to dub any destinations favorite. It romanticizes the location and I fear it may pigeonhole me into never forcing myself to see the rest of the world."
TNP: What won’t you travel without?
TNP: What are your vices?
"Brie cheese — and I pick my eyebrows pretty violently."
TNP: Who are your other favorite “Man Repellers?”
"Every woman has a bit of Man Repeller in her so if I had to choose…my mom, my grandmother and my close friend Rosie."
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TNP: If you could pick one other person in the world to switch closets with, who would it be?
"The assumption is that a woman’s closet is catered entirely to her, no matter what is or isn’t in it — so I’d prefer to just keep my own and know that I love every single bit of its contents.
TNP: Five things you’re loving right now?
"I am loving: Lemlem sarongs, graham cracker flavored Sixteen Handles yogurt, David Sedaris’ book Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls and my dad. I’m really, really loving my dad right now."
TNP: If you could have a dinner party, with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook (or order in)?
"Diana Vreeland, Woody Allen, David Foster Wallace, George Saunders and Lena Dunham — I’d order in pizza from Rubirosa."