Bloggers signing with agents is not all that unusual these days. Digitally-focused agencies like Digital Brand Architects represent several. However, when they sign with a top-tier Hollywood talent agency, it's a pretty big deal. And that's what The Man Repeller, aka Leandra Medine, has done.
In an interview published today, Medine tells Business of Fashion that she signed with CAA (they represent Tom Cruise, Kanye West and Nicole Kidman, to name a few) about six months ago. “I think they are great at representing individuals and they know how to execute," she said. "We have the ideas, we just need an execution plan and that’s where they come in really well." CAA will also help her capitalize on her blog's success to the highest degree possible. "It’s also important to have someone as big as CAA standing behind you saying this is what you deserve,"she told B of F. "I think more than anything what’s great is that they have taught me to think on a larger scale. This is our moment, so we may as well seize it.”
Medine has never been shy about revealing how she makes a living off of her two year old blog--getting paid for linking to products, etc. However, now at least, it seems she might be worth more for her personality and eye than her blogging abilities. She says her income comes 10% from her storefront (on which she sells items from her closet, at least some of which was gifted), 30% from ads and 60% from collaborations. She tells BOF: “I am probably more monetisable than the actual site.”
The same seems to be true of BryanBoy, who signed with CAA last fall, along with several fashion designers like Derek Lam, Rag & Bone's David Neville and Marcus Wainright, and stylist Kate Young. “I don’t have the look for a model or what have you. I don’t have the talent for a photographer,” BryanBoy told WWD last September. “What I’m able to offer is my personality. That’s what people like about me.” This all happened shortly after CAA hired Mitch Grossbach, a former senior vice president at Ford Models and chief revenue officer at Modelinia, specifically to grow the agency's fashion business.
For anyone to sign with CAA, it means they really have a powerful voice and brand. And, in our opinion, personality is a key part of Medine's and BryanBoy's marketability. You certainly aren't going to nab a role on America's Next Top Model without it.
So is the world ready for bloggers as media personalities? Frankly, when it comes to fronting brands or hosting gigs, we'd rather see a blogger with a point of view and genuine interest in and knowledge about the subject at hand than some pretty socialite who smiles vacantly.