The Repeller Shutdown Is Pretty Messy
After 10 years, Repeller (formally Man Repeller) has shut down. The blog, launched as a solo project by Leandra Cohen in 2010 before growing into an irreverent fashion and culture publication at one point staffed by around 10 people, rebranded as “Repeller” a little over a month ago after Cohen stepped back from her role following accusations of racism and mistreatment at the company.
However, this new era was cut short. Today, Cohen closed the door on the blog’s legacy and the careers of those still working at the outlet with a few curt sentences, leaving a whole lot of mess in her wake.
The title of the announcement refers to it as a “Notice of Wind Down & A Publishing Update,” but then abruptly reveals that the site ceased operations on Friday, October 23.
“The site will no longer publish new stories but the archive will remain available to access. Thank you to everyone who has contributed their talent and effort to this brand. And thank you, the audience, for having chosen to spend time here. I wish you all the very best.”
This matches with Business Of Fashion’s report that the staff was informed on Monday that they were being laid off. In a statement, Cohen told The Cut that this was due to financial restraints, but the swift nature of the closure and online rumors have left people skeptical.
Amanda Murray, the creator behind @londongirlinnyc, shared two anonymous accounts on her Instagram story criticizing the rebranded vision as “unclear” and, more damningly, alleging that Cohen decided to pull the plug on the whole site after learning the site’s financial future would have forced her to be a minority partner in the business, referring to this as a “power play” in retaliation for the backlash she received over the summer (Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment).
Some of Repeller’s most prominent alumni, including popular writers and Instagram creators like Haley Nahman and Harling Ross, have not commented on the closure. The recently laid-off staff members have similarly stayed silent on the sudden shut-down. Twitter, however, hasn’t.
“so much for building a community!” Who? Weekly’s Lindsay Weber tweeted. “it's funny how all people who make websites tell you they want to build a community but they just want to lay off their entire staff with no notice :)”
“This is honestly so disrespectful I can't get over it,” Fashionista editor-in-chief Tyler McCall wrote on Twitter. “You even can't fake your way through one like, ‘wow it's been quite a ride, everyone who worked for this website is so talented and I'm proud to have had them and so sad for this to end, please hire them’?”
The comments on the Repeller post are equally aghast, and the brand’s Instagram has been flooded with people looking for answers it seems they may never get.