When I first decided to launch LEO, it was to fill a void I was feeling in the men’s space. Something that spoke to men’s interests across the board, instead of pigeonholing them into a demographic box. I simply wanted to create a one-stop-shop that said: men are multifaceted creatures of varying and broadening curiosity. The same guy who watches UFC on Saturday nights and wouldn’t miss a game on Sundays is the same guy who cares about his personal style, listens to podcasts, loves a film—be it a spaghetti western or Die Hard—and might take up a hobby, be it motorcycles, fly fishing, cooking or cigars.
Culture, adventure, books, booze, cars, fitness, gear and, of course, fatherhood. If it was a story we felt appealed to men, it was a go. I had a crystal clear image of what I wanted the LEO voice to be, but as we went along over the past year, the idea of who the LEO man was and what we felt worked as a story rapidly took form.
Whether it was Italian designer Brunello Cucinelli talking about his love of philosophy or The Rock talking tequila or Joel Kinnaman talking Jiu-Jitsu; whether it was a list of favorite vegan restaurants or a steak recipe from Chef Curtis Stone; a guide to the best under-the-radar art museums in Europe or Scott Eastwood’s guide to Austin, Texas; a guide to surfing or a breakdown of Formula One’s greatest icons; whether it was Cindy Crawford’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide or Todd Snyder’s vintage watch guide. A grooming feature or a style edit. Tom Brady’s at-home workout, UFC champ Kamaru Usman’s fight shape regimen, or Eric Koston’s favorite things. A loving tribute to the days of mixtapes, a list of favorite comic books, weekly crosswords; and plenty of film lists—from Eli Roth’s horror film recs, Luca Guadagnino’s American popcorn films, or Damien Chazelle’s movies to show his son. And speaking of dads: from the coolest diaper bags to an intimate talk between first timer Garrett Hedlund and his old pal and father of three, country legend Tim McGraw, it was all a go.
We stuck to our guns of no click bait, no misleading headlines and no quoting people out of context. From an intimate portrait of growing up in Boston by Casey Affleck to questionnaires by the likes of Chris Evans, Rami Malek, and John Krasinski, or a short essay by Sacha Baron Cohen on what he learned from Abbie Hoffman—we kept it classy. We knew this would make our climb a bit steeper, but it also meant we could launch our little media company and still be able to sleep at night. We also said no to Facebook Pixels (we don’t and will never buy or sell our reader’s information), we declined banner ads so that you wouldn’t have to read about Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana’s guide to Sicily with a side of foot fungus cream marketing. In a year when it felt like the world was one giant car crash we couldn’t look away from, we stuck to our ethos of no politics, no gossip, no garbage. In other words, we made things a little harder for ourselves. But as they say: it’s a marathon not a sprint, and LEO is here for the long haul. One year in and many more to go.
We hope you are enjoying reading it as much as we enjoy putting it all together for you.
LEO Co-Founder and CCO
Your Personal Stylist
PS Despite popular columns such as Ask Her (relationship advice from Shailene Woodley or Diane Kruger? Check) and Ask a Pro (how to write diversity in movies from Oscar-nominated Mudbound screenwriter Virgil Williams? Or how to get a spray tan from the Jonas Brothers Groomer? Check, check) and even Not Your Typical Gig (ever wanted to hear about outside-of-the-box careers from a former FBI agent, a professional cowboy, or a Santa Claus impersonator? Check, check, check). Despite all this, we realized we were missing one truly obvious thing. A men’s style advice column. And who better to ask, ahem… than yours truly. So, in honor of our one-year anniversary, we are launching Ask Ilaria. Send us all your burning style questions HERE, and I will answer them every Wednesday on our IG @leoeditdaily. The videos will then be saved in the highlights for you guys to access anytime. Consider me your own personal stylist. On the house.