The Jews Who Invented (And Continue To Reinvent) Fashion

Meet the Bloggers Who Are Recreating the Shmattesphere

Funky Cold Medine: Leandra Medine’s blog “The Man Repeller” was named one of Time Magazine’s 25 best blogs in 2012.
Courtesy of Leandra Medine
Funky Cold Medine: Leandra Medine’s blog “The Man Repeller” was named one of Time Magazine’s 25 best blogs in 2012.

By Jason Diamond

Published March 04, 2013, issue of March 08, 2013.
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Schlossman took to the popular blogging platform Tumblr to parody the world of bespoke suits and Japanese selvedge denim with a new project, F**k Yeah Menswear. His Tumblr gained notice for its satirical posts that feature the type of well-dressed gentleman you’d expect to see gracing the popular street-style blog The Sartorialist or the pages of a J. Crew catalog, and adds poetry that reads like hip-hop lyrics full of terms that you probably need to be a dedicated follower of fashion to understand, such as “Steez” (style and ease) and “MTM” (made to measure).

Lawrence Schlossman
Courtesy Lawrence Schlossman
Lawrence Schlossman

Schlossman and his partner, Kevin Burrows, made their first post in 2010 and posted anonymously until May 2012, when a New York Observer article by Foster Kamer revealed their identities. Their public outing came almost nine months after it had been discovered that the authors had signed a blog-to-book deal (“F**k Yeah Menswear: Bespoke Knowledge for the Crispy Gentleman” is out now), and the two partners finally felt like it was time to go public.

“At first my co-author and myself thought that staying anonymous helped build the self-perpetuating mythology that quickly developed around the blog, its voice and whoever it was that was behind it,” Schlossman told me via email. He and Burrows realized that going public would be a “major bargaining chip,” but they note that they “tried to hold out as long as we could, for selfish reasons.”

The book, published by Simon & Schuster, is a snapshot of contemporary men’s fashion circa now, but it also shares a lineage with other satirical fashion books, like the best-selling 1980 paperback “The Official Preppy Handbook” (which was also co-written by a Jew, Lisa Birnbach).

Schlossman, 25, is one of the many Jewish bloggers whose do-it-yourself attitude toward blogging helped attract the fashion world’s attention more than any internship could. He is also one of those who are now helping redefine the relationships between those who make fashion and those who wear it.

Tavi Gevinson is the poster child for this trend since gaining worldwide attention in 2009, long before she was legally even allowed to work in the fashion industry (she was only 13), for her blog, Style Rookie, which featured pictures of her daily ensembles (the British newspaper The Daily Mail called her “the new darling of the fashion industry”). She now runs a mini-media empire as editor-in-chief of the popular website Rookie. Leandra Medine started The Man Repeller in 2009 after putting together an outfit that made her think “this would make someone never want to have sex with you again,” she told Jewcy.com in 2010.


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