So look, I *really* like this Man Repeller character. I fucking LOVE characters. She’s herself, she’s her own thing, it’s great. Add to that, her talent for writing and talent for styling and her constantly reminding her readers of how self-deprecating she is and you have an unstoppable force. Add to that- she’s adorable and (shh) likable… Not since Brad Goreski has the fashion world seen the likes of this. In 18 months she’s managed to nudge out hundreds and thousands of budding fashion bloggers and make her way to the top of the fashion blogging scene. She will 100% for SURE (channeling my inner Sylvia Browne) have her own show by the end of 2012.
This girl is all street style, radiates everything young women want to look like. Her core base of readers are young women. Man Rapeller (typo, keeping it) always wears $700+ shoes. Man Repeller wears a 10K watch a Van Cleef necklace a Cartier bracelet. The problem? Her fan base is young and they idolize her and Man Repeller dresses young and street and is a mentor to young women… BUT this target group she’s a mentor for cannot afford $900 shoes, or even $350 shoes. These are the price points she links to, and items she displays on her site. I’ve read comments from her readers who have gone into major debt buying things that she links for them to buy.
I don’t think she should stop wearing expensive things, or stop blogging about them! I want to be a baller and I love wearing my expensive stuff too. I’m just saying that it fucking sucks that a huge base of young girls are going to be putting Thakoon boots on their credit cards, buying $400 sweaters on Shopbop because Man Repeller is advertising for them. (See: They send her $600 shoes and sweaters and dresses to wear and then she links to the items on Shopbop and other sites)
PAUSE RIGHT HERE:
I’m NOT saying these girls shouldn’t be responsible for buying these things and that it’s Man Repeller’s fault. If girls go out and buy them, they are making their own choice. I’m just saying that this girl is in the 1% and she’s blogging for the 99%. We all have choices….
When I see something that feeds this notion that we have to have THESE THINGS that could possibly financially strain us, it agitates me.Trust. I’ve found myself on La Garconne with $600 worth of stuff in my cart (one pair of shoes that were 75% off) I put the expensive cheese outside my cage and crave it every day. (metaphor for expensive stuff, I go for cheese)
It’s just a really fucking weird thing, this Internet world. She has every goddamn right to be wealthy and flaunt her wears, but the group she’s attracting aren’t the ones like her. And I guess we always want what we can’t have? And it’s Internet Psychology coming into play here… have we met a wealthy style blogger? No. So we aren’t used to thinking the blogger chose blogging over interning at Vogue (smart, SMART move BTW LM/MP)
The girls like her (wealthy, stylish urbanites) are already wearing that kind of shit, Man Repeller doesn’t have to show them where to buy it or how to wear it.
Man Repeller is blogging for the mid-western girl who buys Vogue and hits the thrift shop and loves Alexa Chung. And if you can buy all that Wang (Alexander, not dick), God bless you, I’m jealous… but when Leandra (I’m getting serious now, so I’m dropping the character name) advertises for Saks $800+ shoes and become a fashion muse to a fan base that can’t afford it, it’s kinda… cruel? God, that’s so first world of me to say.
In this video, our fantasy girl talks about barfing into a Hermes bag and getting a $1000 coat in the South of France when she was 8
So, fans of Man Repeller, use her for her styling and fashion escapism. Her styling is balls up amazing and can be transposed to any clothing price point. DON’T get caught up in the Burberry lace ups, or start scanning ebay for the Cartier Love bracelet (!guilty!) or the $2000 Hermes bracelet she’s wearing in the video.
Most of us are there to escape into a fashion world we can’t tangibly own, so when she says ‘here, own it’ it’s kinda bullshit. Just yell “BULLSHIT” at your screen and go back to looking the pretty things. Score your goods from Goodwill and find shit that is sewn well at Zara (good luck, kids are shitty at sewing) and put it together yourself.
ps- She did come out with a less expensive line of jewelery (main line items between $98-$312) which is cool… but the big business is now using her site as fishing grounds and the audience is just too young.
First World Problems,
pps- magazinecaroline, good Q. I’m singling her out because she’s the ‘new internet marketing breed’. She’s a human being/mentor to kids BUT she wields the power of a magazine. I just want girls to treat her exactly like a magazine like Vogue etc. rather than a mentor they can click and click and emulate. Unlike a magazine, we’re all three finger strokes away from purchasing anything she puts on our screens. Just don’t be a dipshit. Im a huge fan of Man Repeller (obvs or i wouldnt have written this) i wish her NOTHING buy positives and success. ALL I AM SAYING IS THIS: Be realistic about what she is, she isn’t ‘like you’, a small percentage of people are. She’s the magazine that you oogle, and online it’s hard to differentiate that sort of thing for some people. As someone who has been observing online influence since MR was 9, that’s all I’m saying. And I’m sure she’d agree with my points, but she hasn’t (and maybe she shouldn’t?) address it, so her wealth vs the majority of her reader base’s non wealth will remain the elephant in the blog.