If you're looking for an influencer, they don't come much better than Leandra Medine.
Having founded the Man Repeller blog in 2010 she has since become the go-to woman for a witty take on serious fashion, but one that never trivializes it.
What started as an ode to clothes that 'repelled the opposite sex' (see harem pants, overalls and shoulder pads) is now a full-blown business with staff and a continuous digital output that covers everything from the latest trends to social observations and first-person essays. She's basically a media mogul in the making at just 27 years old.
Her unique offering and admirable personal style has made her hot property in the fashion business. Now, with a number of successful fashion collaborations under her belt with brands including Etre Cecile and Superga, her latest is perhaps the most fitting.
Cue her capsule collection with London-based label Atea Oceanie, a brand that boasts a beautifully minimalist aesthetic with a sporty edge and a fair price point to boot.
Atea founder Laura Myers met Medine a few years ago in Soho House having already spotted her wearing the brand's signature 'Hutton' blazer religiously one summer (Medine's mum had to prize it off of her to give it a wash). A partnership seemed like a 'natural progression' says Myers. 'What we particularly liked in-house was seeing the Man Repeller take on these classic things.'
The capsule collection is exclusively navy and red, a colour partnership Medine is a huge fan of, and consists of true wardrobe essentials – mandarin collar shirts and shirt dresses, a failsafe A-line midi skirt and classic double-breasted lame blazer are just a few of the standout pieces – all of which can be rotated and matched-up to form numerous outfits. Prices range from £155 to £390.
'Most people assume that my style is so outlandish and out there but the reality is I like very classic pieces just rendered unusually,' says born-and-bred New Yorker Medine of her sartorial preferences.
Both Medine and Myers have built up successful businesses at a young age. What would their advice be to women who wanted to take a similar path?
'The number one thing I would say to someone who wants to start a business is if you really can't sleep at night and smack the passion out of yourself then go for it, but if you can live a happy life working for someone else, do that,' says Medine unexpectedly.
'Running a business is incredibly hard, especially as a creative person because you're extricated from the creative very quickly and that is really hard. Obviously I have experienced that first hand. I credit a lot of my issues with fertility to the stress that my body has had to overcome,' she explains honestly. 'But I'm one of those people who couldn't beat it out of me, I always wanted to make.'
Medine has been sharing her fertility issues with her faithful readers over the last few months, writing an honest account of her and her husband's situation to date and also sharing a moving podcast recorded just 30 minutes after she found out that their first attempt at IVF had been unsuccessful earlier this month.
Myers agrees that she too may not have started her own business had she known the realities when it comes to fitting it around your personal life.
Medine though has come to terms with the situation and says she turns to meditation and healthy eating to help her deal with the stresses.
'I'm in it for the long haul. I know that I'm going to be running my business for as long as my business is around and I'm at peace with that now,' she says.
'But the advice that I would give to someone is that you have to be very, very in touch with who you are as an individual. You have to make sure that your personal goals align with the goals you are setting for yourself in your business and you have to be compassionate. Respect yourself, respect your boundaries, don't think you can do it all. Compassion is a character trait that I think a lot of women lack for themselves.'
Amen to that.
Atea Oceanie x Man Repeller is available now at Boutique1