To celebrate the fall openings of Uniqlo's new San Francisco and New Jersey stores, the Japanese brand tapped taste-makers in those regions for their new UNIQLO People Campaign, including world-renowned chefs, musicians, artists and writers.
There are a lot of notable names in the campaign--Natalie Portman's hubby Benjamin Millepied and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, to name a few--but our favorite by far has to be Leandra Medine, of Man Repeller fame. We were lucky enough to get the chance to stop by the campaign shoot and steal a few minutes with the ever-busy (and ever-candid) 24-year-old-blogger and writer.
Read on to find out what Medine had to say about potentially designing a collection, getting hitched (and why Internet haters made her question her engagement), and what she wants for The Man Repeller's future.
Fashionista: How did this partnership come about? Leandra Medine: Well I always and only ever do collaborations with brands that I would work with even if there was no compensation involved, and Uniqlo is one of my favorite, favorite brands. [The partnership] was just really easy and seamless, I was just like 'done, I don't even care what you want me to do.' I just saw Uniqlo and I was like 'done.'
Would you ever consider designing something for the brand? Yeah, sure, I mean I imagine it would probably be really hard because if I were to design something it would proabably need to be a little outlandish and catering to the eye of Anna Dello Russo whereas Uniqlo is just really good for the basics.
What are your favorite go-tos at the store? All the cashmere sweaters, the men's plaids, the raincoats, the regular denim and the black denim and the white denim....
Do you have any exciting new projects in the works? Yeah, I do have a couple but I can't really talk about them.
You recently got married. How does it feel? What's it like to be a 'wife'? Totally the same. I think once people get past the mess of actually getting married, what they're left with is just the relationship they were in before. It's exactly the same, which is really nice.
Have you gotten used to calling your boyfriend 'husband' yet? Yeah I don't say [husband]. I still call him my man-friend. Or sometimes I call him my per-man-friend because he's permanent.
I remember when you first announced your engagement, some of your readers were kind of upset. I remember some sites tore you down a bit for getting engaged. You know that was funny, the only reason that website picked up my engagement, is that I put up a post the night before but I didn't mean to put it up. I accidentally clicked publish instead of preview, and so the only reason I took it down is because I wasn't finished writing it yet. And then I woke up the next morning and I was like 'Why did I just justify my getting engaged? I'm not going to put it back up.' And then this website was like 'Man Repeller the idiot, acts like an idiot.' And I was like 'Oh my god. You guys are trolls!'
Does the Internet hate ever get to you? How do you cope with it? I think it probably makes my skin a little thicker. When you're a personal style blogger you are begging for people to criticize and ridicule you. So, it's fine. I mean, who is it who said, 'The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about'? [Ed. note: It was Oscar Wilde.] I guess as long as these people care about me, I'm still relevant.
Have you ever cried over a commenter? Not over a commenter. I think mostly I just get upset... I mean I've gotten very upset. When that whole engagement thing happened, I was really upset. I was like, 'Should I not be getting married?' It was to that point.
Wow, really? Yeah.
I mean I guess it's stressful enough getting married, especially when you're young, but to have it in the public and getting flack... that must be stressful. It was really weird. You don't realize it when you get engaged, but like, it's this HUUUGE thing, you know, that you're going to marry someone, you're going to live with them forever and that's it. But I just... I was so upset that people on the Internet could be angry at me for getting engaged, you know what I mean. And I felt bad that I was upset about that.
And it must be strange having people feel like they can comment on your personal life. Which is fine. I get it because the tone of the site is very personable, it's like [my readers are] my best friends. So when I announce something like an engagement I could totally see [their reactions being] like, 'Wait a second, hold the phone, what boyfriend?' I get it. It made sense.
Back to business. Where do you see your brand in five, 10 years? I think ultimately what I want Man Repeller to become is a destination, not just a blog. A place where women and men and whatever come to feel empowered by the content. I don't want it to just be this fashion blog with cute, funny, quirky pictures. I want it to be a place for women to celebrate each other, and female intellect and that's definitely the next step I'm taking.
Sounds good to us.
Click through to see the rest of Uniqlo campaign starring Leandra, Benjamin Millepied and more.