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9 Amazon Fashion Brands You Need to Be Shopping



9 Amazon Fashion Brands You Need to Be Shopping

You’re already well-acquainted with Amazon as your shopping preference for everything from household products to books, tech accessories to groceries. But since 2017 one of the world’s largest retail marketplaces has made a pointed effort to expand past their traditional stock. In less than four years, Amazon has introduced dozens of in-house fashion brands, making their mark on the style world in the process. (And with free speedy shipping on most Amazon Prime items, there’s never been an easier way to do a spot of last-minute shopping).

We’ve gathered the nine standout Amazon fashion brands you need to know below. Whether you’re looking to refresh your underwear drawer, update your closet with some trend-focused finds, or simply add a few wardrobe essentials, the mega-retailer is literally your one-stop destination.

Core 10

What it is: High-quality workout-wear with tons of amazing reviews

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If you’re looking for affordable activewear that performs just as well as brands three times the price, Core 10 is your answer (it comes in extended sizing as well). Sports bras, leggings, shorts, hoodies, and more—it’s got all your workout needs covered.

Highlights include a ’90s-fantastic collaboration with Reebok launched earlier this summer and a “Build your own” legging option. Shoppers can customize their perfect pair with three lengths and three waistband styles, resulting in one shopper saying that they’re the “best leggings [she’s] tried. Hands down.”

Wild Meadow

What it is: Basics with a ’90s feel that all cost less than $30

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Launched this spring, Wild Meadow brings that easy-breezy youthful ’90s vibe and all styles are offered up to a size XXL. The best part? Not a single item costs more than $30, which means you should stock up—ASAP.

In the market for a tie-dye cami dress? A tie-front cropped tee? Still hunting for that perfect slip dress that will take you from day to night with a simple shoe swap? Wild Meadow has you covered with all that and more.

Amazon Essentials

What it is: Non-basic basics that are budget-friendly

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The Amazon Essentials brand includes food, household items—and wardrobe basics. Essentials, yes, but they’re anything but boring. Expect to find everything from floral t-shirt dresses to cozy fleeces, yoga leggings to bathing suits.

It’s affordable—prices are pretty much all under $50, with most under $25—and available in plus sizes. An important-to-know factor that makes this label stand out is how many maternity options there are, should you be in the market. In short, you can curate your entire wardrobe virtually no matter your size, budget, or stage of life.


What it is: Trend-driven closet essentials

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Goodthreads started as a menswear-only Amazon brand but quickly expanded into the womenswear market. This line has a lot of wardrobe essentials, like button-down shirts, chinos, and sundresses, but they’re a bit more fashion-focused than some of Amazon’s other basics go-tos (like Amazon Essentials).

Here, you’ll find cinched-waist midi dresses, tops with subtly ruffled sleeves, and colorfully striped button-downs. The biggest draw, though, is the denim, which is sold in six different silhouettes, showcasing an impressive number of length and wash options. The size range for Goodthreads is XS-XXL on most pieces.

There is

What it is: Everyday underwear and lingerie, plus great swim options

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Amazon’s own lingerie brand offers everything from underwire bras to slinky slips and lace-trimmed thongs. If you’re looking for underwear or sleepwear of any kind, this is your brand.

For casual everyday wear, Mae offers cotton briefs and bras, lacy bralettes, and future go-to t-shirt bras to name a few. If you’re looking for more of a special lingerie moment, consider their wide selection of sexy, flirty sets and separates. The brand has expanded into swim, shapewear, and pajamas, too.

Daily Ritual

What it is: Comfortable basics that go up to 7X

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Daily Ritual is your go-to for comfortable options that look presentable enough for stepping out with friends or running errands. The brand is known for its selection of casual essentials that are anything but basic, and most items are made of a super soft cotton jersey or fleece.

There’s a bit of everything, including puffer jackets for when temps get chilly, but the majority of the pieces focus on classic cotton tees, joggers, and the like. An impressive amount is offered in plus sizes up to 7X, providing real universal appeal. For the shopper who loves to dress simply, stay comfortable, and look put-together, this is the Amazon fashion brand for you.

The Drop

What it is: Limited-edition collections co-created with some of today’s biggest social stars

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Built on the concept of curated, limited-edition capsule collections that are only promised to be available for a quick 30 hours, The Drop is Amazon’s most coveted line. Each collab is designed and curated by a rotating list of bloggers and influencers uniquely catering to their individual style at affordable prices—it’s either pieces they want for their own wardrobe or have developed a signature look around.

Past influencers to participate include Charlotte Groeneveld of The Fashion Guitar, Leonie Hanne of Ohh Couture, Quigley Goode of Officially Quigley, and more. Depending on the influencer, The Drop could include everything from wrap dresses to faux leather pants; teddy bear shearling coats or shackets. You have 30 hours to order originally, but some styles (like the below) make a reappearance.

Cable Stitch

What it is: Classic knitwear silhouettes, updated

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The name literally says it all: Cable Stitch is the Amazon brand to go to if you love a good knitwear moment. Cardigans, pullovers, dresses…you name it. The range will appeal to minimalists and maximalists alike, with classic solid colors and brightly colored stripes in the mix.

When Amazon creates an entire line centered around knitwear, you know they’re going to go big or go home. You can shop an array of the more unconventional knits that are trending (like side-slit midis and puff-sleeve pullovers) as well as basics. Most pieces retail between $20 and $60, though some outliers will exist from season to season.

The Fix

What it is: Stand-out shoes and bags that can upgrade everything in your closet

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Accessory obsessed? You need to know about The Fix. Specializing in the little pieces that make or break a look, this is your shop for all the trendiest footwear and handbags you’ve been coveting since you first saw them explode on the street style scene.

At The Fix, you can shop heels, flats, sandals, and sneakers in a range of head-turning styles. There are certainly no basics here, with every style boasting at least one special detail that makes them stand out from the rest. Whether that’s an ankle strap or chunky heels covered in velvet, special details let you transform your look by swapping in a new accessory.

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The truth about fast fashion: can you tell how ethical your clothing is by its price?



What is the true cost of a Zara hoodie? In April 2019, David Hachfeld of the Swiss NGO Public Eye, along with a team of researchers and the Clean Clothes Campaign, attempted to find out. They chose to analyse a black, oversized top from Zara’s flagship Join Life sustainability line, which was printed with lyrics made famous by Aretha Franklin: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T: find out what it means to me”. It was an apt choice, because the idea was to work out whether any respect had been paid to the workers involved in the garment’s production, and how much of the hoodie’s average retail price, €26.66 (£22.70), went into their pockets.

This was no simple assignment. It took several people six months, involved badgering Zara’s parent company, Inditex, over email, slowly getting limited information in return, and interviewing dozens of sources on the ground in Izmir, Turkey, where the garment was made. The researchers analysed financial results and trading data, and consulted with experts in pricing and production. It was, Hachfeld says on the phone, with dry understatement, “quite a huge project”.

Their research suggested that the biggest chunk of the hoodie’s retail price – an estimated €10.26 – went back into Zara, to cover retail space and staff wages. The next biggest slice, after VAT at €4.44, was profit for Inditex/Zara, at €4.20. Their research suggested that the textile factory in Izmir received just €1.53 for cutting the material, sewing, packing and attaching the labels, with €1.10 of that being paid to the garment workers for the 30-minute job of putting the hoodie together. The report concluded that workers could not have received anything like a living wage, which the Clean Clothes Campaign defined, at the time the report was released, as a gross hourly wage of €6.19.

When the research was covered by the media at the time, Zara said the report was “based on erroneous premises and inaccurate reporting”, that the €7.76 sourcing price was wrong and that the workers were “paid more than the amounts mentioned in Public Eye’s report”. But at the time and when I contacted Zara for this article, the company declined to set out in greater detail where the research was inaccurate.

Workers in a small garment factory in Istanbul
Workers in a small garment factory in Istanbul. Photograph: NurPhoto/Getty Images

What is clear is that trying to find out the true production cost of a garment is a tortuous and potentially fruitless process – even when assessing a major high street retailer’s flagship “sustainability” line.

Hachfeld points out that Zara is by no means uniquely opaque. It is doing more than many clothing brands and has long-term commitments in place to work towards living wages. “They are launching initiatives and consultations with trade unions. But the question remains: when will they deliver on it?” he says. Vanishingly few retailers guarantee living wages across their vast, complex supply chains. According to the not-for-profit group Fashion Revolution, only two of the world’s 250 largest fashion brands (OVS and Patagonia) disclose how many of their workers are paid a living wage – despite the kind of resources that make billionaires of founders. Forbes estimates that Zara’s founder, Amancio Ortega, is worth $77bn (£55bn) and that H&M’s founder, Stefan Persson, is worth $21.3bn; the Sunday Times puts the wealth of Boohoo’s co-founder, Mahmud Kamani, at £1.4bn.

Throughout fashion, the numbers just don’t add up. High-street clothing has been getting cheaper and cheaper for decades. A major reason why, according to Gordon Renouf, the CEO of the fashion ethics comparison app Good on You, is that so many western brands have “moved from onshore production 40 years ago to larger offshore production”. Often, the countries they have chosen have “much lower wage costs, weaker labour movements and laxer environmental regulations”. Of course, we know all this, but we have also become accustomed to reaping the benefits. Our perception of what clothing should cost – and how much of it we need – has shifted.

In 1970, for example, the average British household spent 7% of its annual income on clothing. This had fallen to 5.9% by 2020. Even though we are spending less proportionally, we tend to own more clothes. According to the UN, the average consumer buys 60% more pieces of clothing – with half the lifespan – than they did 15 years ago. Meanwhile, fashion is getting cheaper: super-fast brands such as Shein (which sells tie-dye crop tops for £1.49) and Alibaba (vest tops for $2.20), have boomed online, making high-street brands look slow-moving and expensive by comparison.

But the correlation between price and ethics is knotty, to say the least. The conversation about sustainable fashion tends to be dominated by expensive designer brands: at Stella McCartney, for example, a wool-cotton jumper costs £925; at Another Tomorrow, each $520 sustainable viscose carbon-offset scarf neck blouse features a QR code in the label that outlines every stage of its “provenance journey”.

On the high street, many who proudly opt out of shopping at Primark or Boohoo for ethical reasons may be unaware that most reassuringly mid-priced brands don’t guarantee workers living wages or produce clothing without using environmentally harmful materials. A garment’s price is often more about aspiration and customer expectation than the cost of production. Hachfeld points out that the Zara hoodie was priced higher in Switzerland (CHF 45.90; €39.57), where Zara is positioned as a mid-range brand, than in Spain (€25.95), where it is perceived as more mainstream and affordable.

Another Tomorrow scar-neck blouse.
‘Provenance journey’ … Another Tomorrow scarf neck blouse.

Online, debates about the price of clothing can get heated. The sustainable-fashion writer Aja Barber, for example, uses the phrase “exploitation prices” to refer to very cheap clothes, such as the 8p bikini offered by the Boohoo brand Pretty Little Thing last autumn. “Either the company or the garment worker is taking the hit, and most likely it’s not the company, because that wouldn’t be a profitable business model,” she says.

Barber has a personal threshold in mind when she buys an item. “Any time a dress is under £50, you really need to break down the labour on it,” she says. “Think about what you get paid hourly – think, could a person make this dress in three hours?” She doesn’t base this calculation on local wages in the global south, either, which are so much lower “because of years of colonialism and oppression”. She buys new clothes infrequently and tries to avoid polyester, which is made with fossil fuels and generally used in garments to make them cheaper.

Barber gets annoyed by the accusations of snobbery that ripple through social media when anyone criticises super-cheap brands. Largely, she says, these comments come from middle-class people “who want to participate in the system and not feel bad about it”. In her view, fast fashion is propped up not by those with very low disposable incomes, but by middle-class overconsumption.

The only way to tell if a garment has been ethically produced is by combing through the details on the manufacturer’s website (although many brands give little or no information) and checking out its rating on Good on You, which compares fashion brands on the basis of their impact on the planet, people and animals. Even among brands that have launched with sustainability as their USP, greenwashing is rife. Renouf warns against those that talk vaguely about being “natural” and “fair”, or bang on about recycled packaging, without giving details about, say, the materials they use or whether they engage with unions in their factories.

For the fashion retailer Sam Mabley, the idea that fashion can be ethical only if it is expensive is a myth. Mabley runs a sustainable fashion store in Bristol; he thought it was a shame that he was selling so many ethical T-shirts at around the £30 price point. Usually, he says, such T-shirts are created in small batches, by “cool indie brands who do printed designs – a lot of the work is in the design”. He decided to invert that business model, ramping up the scale in order to get bigger discounts from suppliers and creating plain, organic cotton, ethically produced Ts in black and white for £7.99. With just a month of social media promotion, he secured 4,000 orders.

A model wears a Yes Friends T-shirt by Sam Mabley
‘Buying power’ … a Yes Friends T-shirt by Sam Mabley.

He believes it would be fairly easy for fast-fashion brands to use their buying power to “drive change for millions of workers around the world” and guarantee their factories paid living wages, without drastically affecting their margins. He is not alone in this view: Jenny Hulme, the head of buying at the sustainable fashion mainstay People Tree, believes ethical production is necessary and possible in every part of the market. “If you order in big volumes, it does reduce price – if a company really wants to improve, it can,” she says.

The reality of high-street clothes shopping is still very far from this ideal. Apart from a few “sustainable” lines produced by the big fast-fashion brands – which I am loath to recommend, because of so many accusations of greenwashing – it is almost impossible to find new, ethical clothing at rock-bottom prices, because the business models that have enabled clothing to get this cheap rely on inexpensive, environmentally damaging fabrics and very low wages.

That may leave anyone wanting to dress ethically on a high-street purse feeling out of options, although Renouf points out that buying better is possible at every budget. That is why, he says, Good on You aims to “provide ratings for as many brands as possible, rather than simply promoting the most sustainable brands”. You could, for example, move from an ultra-rapid fashion brand to a more engaged high-street fast-fashion brand, which might not cost much more, but still could constitute progress.

Buying fewer, but better-quality, items might save you money overall and is the most consistent advice you will hear from fashion campaigners. “Buy the best quality that you can afford, perhaps in end-of-season sales or by buying a thick jumper in the middle of summer to wear the next winter,” says Hulme.

Stepping out of the trend cycle, and avoiding brands that trade on planned obsolescence, is another avenue to explore. For example, Patrick Grant, a judge on the BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee, explains that his Community Clothing brand aims to give shoppers more bang for their buck by stocking basics rather than continually designing new collections (it also does without retail space and marketing). Working to slimmer margins means he can invest in good fabric, but keep prices fairly low: his £49 hoodies are made from 470g 100% loopback cotton, a thicker, more durable fabric than you might find for a similar price on the high street.

A blazer from ethical brand Lora Gene
A blazer from the ethical brand Lora Gene. Photograph: Lora Gene

For those who can afford mid-high street prices, researching small, sustainable brands might glean results. A quick look at the Zara website today shows silk dresses selling for as much as £199, with plenty of others at £49.99, while H&M-owned &OtherStories sells blazers for about £120; Barber points out that at these prices, shoppers could switch to ethical brands including Lora Gene, for which she has designed a collection, and Ninety Percent. (There is a dress I like the look of for £64 in the Ninety Percent sale; a mustard Lora Gene blazer is £139.)

If those prices are out of reach, swapping clothes, shopping secondhand, repairing and rethinking what you already have, and occasionally renting for special occasions can all be cheaper – even free – alternatives.

Voting with your wallet will only go so far, however, and won’t be possible for many people who are struggling, as the number of people in poverty in the UK soars to 15 million. Questioning the magical thinking of rock-bottom prices is not about blaming the consumer. Instead, you could write to MPs and CEOs and demand that they do something about living wages and the environmental cost of fashion. The responsibility lies with brands, and with the government, which should be held to account for a broken system.

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The 7 Fall 2021 Colors You’re About to See Everywhere



The 7 Fall 2021 Colors You're About to See Everywhere
fall colors

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

While editors and fashion enthusiasts are poring over the next ready-to-wear and accessory must-haves, we’re also taking note of Fall’s emerging color trends. As in autumn seasons past, there was a noticeable shift in 2021 to traditionally warmer tones, like clay and army green. Brighter colors, like fuchsia and silver, were also notable color combos. Keep on scrolling to discover what shades we’re forecasting for fall, and get ahead of the game by shopping out our favorite hues right now.

Indigo Child

This distinctive blue tone sauntered down the catwalk in dresses, puffers, and of course denim. The color is said to promote higher levels of concentration, too.


Tod’s, Salvatore Ferragamo, Schiaparelli

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

(Army) Green with Envy

Everyday staples are elevated in an army green hue. The shade was reimagined in patent leather jackets, mini dresses, and cool tie-dye prints.

army green

Versace, Balmain, Sportmax

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

Play with Clay

Warm up your autumn wardrobe with fuzzy bombers, sweater dresses, and overcoats that can be mixed-and-matched with your existing brown accessories.


Zimmermann, Victor Glemaud, Acne Studios

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

Seeing Red

This maximalist primary color can adapt to minimalist wardrobe collections. Incorporate red into your classically tailored suits or swap your LBD for a slinky red version.


Antonio Marras, Adam Lippes, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

Fun with Fuchsia

Invigorate any piece with a bold fuchsia color palette. Tone down the ultra bright hue with neutrals in camel, grey, or ivory.


Chanel, Gucci, Stella McCartney

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

Lean into Lilac

Move over pastel pink. Lilac is taking over the scene in the form of bodycon dresses, outerwear, and serene head-to-toe suiting.


Jil Sander, Salvatore Ferragamo, Givenchy

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

Silver Linings

No need to save your silver for special occasions. Parade the invigorating color on everyday staples like pleated skirts, blazers and cable knits.


Balmain, Louis Vuitton, ROKH

Courtesy / Susanna Hayward

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Where Does Recho Omondi Go From Here?



Where Does Recho Omondi Go From Here?

Leandra Medine Cohen waited nine months to grant an interview about her decision to abruptly shut down Man Repeller, the fashion blog she spent a decade building into a media company. Rather than sit down with Vogue or The Cut, she chose The Cutting Room Floor, a little-known podcast hosted by the designer Recho Omondi that averaged just 10,000 listeners per episode.

Over the course of the hour-plus episode, Omondi probed Medine Cohen about why she had fired a senior Black employee last year, and how she handled the criticism from staff and readers that boiled over last summer. The wide-ranging conversation covered everything from the fashion blogger’s views on the Black Lives Matter movement to cancel culture and her experience growing up “on the lower end” of the city’s “upper echelon.”

If Medine Cohen had hoped her unconventional choice for a platform to come clean would rehabilitate her image, it didn’t work. The episode, entitled “The Tanning of America” and published July 7, went off like a bomb in fashion and media circles, racking up 150,000 plays, 15 times Omondi’s usual audience. Choice quotes — “I’m not surprised that I got cancelled … I’m just really surprised about why I got cancelled,” for one — were circulated on Twitter and Instagram as evidence that Medine Cohen had learned little over the last year. Mainstream fashion publications published their own takes. The Cut’s headline: “Upper East Sider Realizes She’s Privileged.”

Medine Cohen has not responded to the episode to her own audience on Instagram or Substack, where she has a newsletter, and she declined to comment to BoF through a representative.

But it wasn’t long before Omondi, too, found herself at the centre of a parallel cycle of online outrage. Throughout the episode, the host had made references to Medine Cohen’s Judaism that, to many listeners, veered into anti-Semitic tropes. In a monologue at the episode’s start, Omondi referred to Jewish slaveholders and at the episode’s end, Omondi evoked Jewish stereotypes to argue that Medine Cohen could not call herself an outsider.

“At the end of the day you guys are gonna get your nose jobs and your keratin treatments and you’re gonna change your name from Ralph Lifshitz to Ralph Lauren — but at the end of the day you’re gonna be okay,” she said. “These people haven’t learned anything.”

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on Omondi’s “false and offensive references.” The Cut attached an editor’s note to its initial writeup, noting the controversy. The New York Post’s first mention of the episode, six days after it aired, was headlined “Podcaster accused of using ‘anti-Semitic dog whistles’ in Leandra Medine episode.”

Omondi has since pulled the episode and replaced it with an edited version that cut out her comments about Jews. In an interview with BoF, she said she understood why her words were “dangerous” and that her comments exposed her own biases. She said she edited the podcast “out of respect” to Jewish listeners who objected to her phrasing.

I really wanted to understand what I was saying sorry for.

“I really wanted to understand what I was saying sorry for, and that took talking to a lot of people and really getting it,” she said.

Omondi plans to publicly apologize ahead of publishing the podcast’s next episode, but she doesn’t see the controversy over her remarks as a reason to retreat from the internet.

Omondi is a rising star in a new generation of fashion media, a growing cohort of podcasters, Instagram critics and Youtubers with loyal audiences, few if any advertisers, and no editor or publisher enforcing journalism’s conventions. It’s a wave that Medine Cohen herself helped start more than a decade ago when bloggers like her undercut the influence of fashion magazines.

What’s changed since Man Repeller hit the internet, however, is that fashion is following a larger cultural shift in grappling with how racism and socioeconomic privilege shape the industry. Much of fashion media has embraced coverage of politics and social justice to keep readers engaged. However, many of the most highly charged conversations are coming from social media accounts and independent publishing platforms, rather than glossy print magazines.

Those new voices are often firing from the hip, and don’t feel as beholden to maintaining a pristine public image, currying favour with fashion’s biggest brands or upholding journalistic norms. Medine Cohen took a social media sabbatical and shut down her site after finding herself a target last year; Omondi sees the controversy around her remarks as material for her next episode.

“I would really like to have the conversation on the show … in all of its stickiness, rather than be coerced into issuing [a quick] apology so that I can simply get out of the doghouse, publicly,” Omondi told BoF. “I don’t think that’s what we want. And I think that’s exactly what the episode exposed.”

A Joe Rogan Approach

Omondi isn’t a traditional media figure by design. In working out her approach to podcasting, she said she often thinks about Joe Rogan, the comedian whose freewheeling interview style and eclectic guests has propelled him to the top of the most downloaded charts. A penchant for offending listeners with his views on everything from transgendered people to Covid-19 hasn’t dented his popularity.

“[He has said] he’s not a journalist, he just likes to speak to people,” she said. “And I tried to adopt that. I don’t know if it’s totally possible.”

When Omondi published the first episode of The Cutting Room Floor in 2018, she was still running her namesake fashion label and looking for an outlet for her frustration as an emerging designer in a rapidly changing fashion business.

“I was a young Black designer in New York who was like — I don’t really believe in the CFDA as a system, no disrespect to them, I didn’t think that Vogue was so relevant anymore,” she said. “There were a lot of things that were changing at that time [and] there were no clear answers about what I should do. The podcast was truly the only thing I knew to do to talk about my struggles.”

Omondi said her podcast was a reaction to the scripted formality she saw in fashion media. She aimed for more vulnerable but lighthearted conversations that focused on entrepreneurship and creativity with figures like activist and mentor Bethann Hardison and creative director Michelle Blioux. She often incorporated audio clips from archival interviews with prominent fashion leaders into the episodes or released them in clips on Instagram, adding to the show’s educational, inside-baseball point of view.

“There was no voice [in fashion podcasting] that was hip hop,” she said. “I don’t mean music, I mean the ethos … there was nothing that was fresh.”

The podcast was truly the only thing I knew to do to talk about my struggles.

Omondi refined her approach in the second and third seasons and has recently landed more high-profile guests including Mickey Drexler and Christopher John Rogers. Her community grew too, and in 2019 she hosted live interviews in front of audiences in Brooklyn, Chicago and London.

In 2020, Omondi shut down her fashion label and paused the podcast, but still works as a designer and consultant for different brands. In June, she started a Patreon account, where audience members can pay $3 monthly to receive extra content.

“I am still trying to find my way in the landscape of media and if I belong here, and what my role is here, and what my ethics are here,” Omondi said. “I can’t hide behind a big company or big magazine. If I do something or say something wrong, it’s on me. And I love that because I feel liberated, but it’s also a lot of responsibility.”

The fact that Omondi isn’t a journalist or a historian is one of the reasons why her audience likes her.

“It was incredibly authentic and incredibly casual and it felt real,” said Matthew VanderBach, a loyal listener and 20-year-old consultant working in fashion in Dallas. He said the podcast helped him feel less alone in navigating the challenges of being a young and often underpaid creative.

“Every single podcast episode it’s like, ‘Wow, this is what I’ve been thinking but no one else has said,’” he said.

The Interview

For her interview with Medine Cohen, Omondi decided to “break the fourth wall” and speak directly with the audience about the process of making the episode, even including commentary from audio producer Sebastian Baptiste, who expressed his personal frustration with the interview. Omondi also included interviews with Black women who were past employees or contributors of Man Repeller — including Crystal Anderson, the creative producer whose layoff set off the backlash last year.

“When we, Black and brown people, are dealing with these types of personalities, we cannot speak out the way I normally would because it’s your boss so you do restrain yourself, and you talk about it with your friends later,” said Omondi. “And to me, the audience is my friends.”

At the outset, she presented Medine Cogen as a type of “white girl working in fashion,” which Omondi describes as “skinny, classist, arrogant and ignorant … white, of course, or white-passing and, in the absolute worst-case scenario, she’s your boss.”

It was here, and in her remarks at the conclusion of the episode, that Omondi crossed the line from making the case against Medine Cohen to reinforcing antisemitic tropes, said Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt, a Jewish journalist.

“You can argue, [Medine Cohen’s commentary is] not genuine, it is genuine, I don’t know,” she said. “But then to insert this recording afterwards that sneers at her and again keeps commenting on her background, on her wealth, on her Jewishness — that was just so egregious.”

In addition to invoking stereotypes about Jewish appearance, Omondi’s comment earlier in the podcast that Jews were slave owners in the US were taken by some as a nod to the debunked theory, popularised by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, that Jews secretly controlled the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Omondi told BoF she was not referencing Farrakhan’s thoughts there.

After the backlash began, Omondi wrote to her audience on Instagram that she understood “Leandra does not represent ALL Jewish people or the vast culture whatsoever,” and said she would block comments with “hate towards Jewish people.”

“I didn’t bring Judaism into the conversation, Leandra brought Judaism into the conversation,” Omondi told BoF. She said she was aiming to discuss “assimilation to whiteness as a survival tactic” in the controversial conclusion. “The ways in which Black people can’t do that as easily, not because of our religion, but because of the optics,” she said. “The problem is, though, I said it in such a crass and reductive way, that it became a moot point … I still felt like what I was trying to say was valid, but it didn’t matter because of the way I said it. It was really unfair.”

Her core point there is also controversial.

“Jews have tried in many countries and many eras to assimilate and it never worked,” said Chizhik-Goldschmidt. “That’s literally history. It’s very painful when the American discourse ignores that.”

Medine Cohen spoke about her religion at different points in the episode, including her family history. Her parents are immigrants, her father from Turkey and her mother from Iran. But she doesn’t discuss assimilation on the aired recording. Omondi said she sent an edit of the podcast to Medine Cohen in May, ahead of publication, but it did not include her opening and closing remarks. Medine Cohen chose not to comment to the host at that time, or since.

How Omondi navigates the backlash to her own comments will determine whether her new listeners stick around, if loyal ones move on or if she’s able to land prominent fashion industry insiders in the future. She said she plans to return to less controversial territory. That is, after dedicating this week’s episode to explain her comments and air more of her interview with Medine Cohen.

“The content of this episode doesn’t change the nature of the show at all,” Omondi said. “New listeners will learn that shortly.” She expects many of them will drop off.

Will her listeners allow her to return to business as usual?

“It’s up to the audience,” she said. “They’ll have to let me know.”

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