After only four episodes of Alexa Chung's New York-centric "Future of Fashion" series for Vogue UK, it's sadly time to say goodbye. Dedicated to giving viewers an inside look at the industry both in London and here in the Big Apple, the 32-year-old "It" girl has done everything from answer phones at Vogue UK's headquarters to trace the origin of "normcore." For her final episode, released on Tuesday, Chung has turned her attention to the wonderfully wild world of fashion blogging, tapping Leandra Medine, one of the field's best, for help.
Chung, who got her start in fashion at age 16, kicks off the video by saying she originally "felt very threatened by the blogging community when they first appeared on the scene" due to their seemingly immediate influence on the community at large. Medine, of course, was an early adapter, having launched the first iteration of her blog, now a respected editorial website, as a school project six years ago.
Just as Man Repeller began gaining traction amongst industry insiders and outsiders alike, many like-minded bloggers simultaneously picked up steam. Medine credits social media with her own explosion, giving this very website a shout-out: "I was very active on Twitter, so I think as a result of that a couple of editors at places like Refinery 29, Fashionista and the New York Daily News were following me. When I started posting links to articles, they would see them and write about them on their own publications."
In 2016, the model hasn't changed much, though Medine notes that everything from advertising to collaborations have become much more professional across the board. "I was managing it on my own and pulling it out of my butt," she says of Man Repeller's early days. Instagram has changed the game, too — but that's obvious: "So many of the blogs that were around when I started no longer have a presence on desktop. [Instagram] has become a new form of media. People charge as much as $10,000 for a post, and they make that — and they probably go to Céline and buy necklaces." But she did not adopt that method of monetization, instead measuring success in "influence and quality versus actual quantity."
As for Medine's advice for aspiring Man Repellers, she muses: "Be vulnerable. Remember where your priorities are. And open your legs." You didn't think Medine would leave Chung without a piece of Man Repeller's now-signature bar humor, did you?
You can watch the full episode above.