Leandra Medine, founder of the now-defunct lifestyle juggernaut Man Repeller, claimed in a podcast interview with designer Recho Omondi that she always thought she was poor. The 32-year old, who grew up on New York’s tory Upper East Side, attended a private day school in Manhattan, and started her own business while in college, was shocked to learn during last summer’s racial justice reckoning that she came from an affluent background. “I remember objectively growing up in a privileged environment and feeling like I was always on the brink of being homeless,” Medine said. “I thought I was poor growing up, that I didn’t have anything.” Medine claimed her experience was warped by always being around people more wealthy than her, and was complicated by living with wealthy Middle Eastern-born parents.
Medine stepped down from Man Repeller last year, then abruptly shut it down completely, amid allegations of a toxic work environment that alienated people of color.