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Girls of IG • Anna Gray

by Alyssa Lau
Meet Anna Gray, a writer, editor and model whose down to earth and self-aware Instagram posts are, to put it simply, extremely refreshing. But that's not all that we love about Anna's online presence: she runs a candid newsletter called "Things I Would Buy If I Didn't Have To Pay Rent" (something I think we can all more or less relate to) and has written for sites like Into The Gloss, Refinery 29, and Garance Doré. She's also interviewed the virtual influencer we feel weirdly curious about, Lil Miquela (over here at Interview Mag). Anyway, keep on scrolling and learn more about Anna's experience growing up half Chinese and half Irish, what she loves and hates about social media, how she first got involved with the fashion industry as a writer and model, and what the slow fashion movement means to her.
Who is Anna Gray?
I'm a human on Earth!

Can you describe your personal style for us?
My style changes all the time but I wear a lot of vintage. My closet ratio skews heavily towards shoes.

Have you taken the Myers Briggs Personality test? What are your letters, and do you think they reflect who you are?
I have! I can't remember my acronym but I am very very extroverted.

We LOVE the Instagram account and newsletter, “Things I would buy if I didn’t have to pay rent.” Can you tell us the story behind it and what inspired you to start this account/newsletter?
Thanks! I wanted to turn my procrastination habits into something productive. I find scrolling through pages of shopping sites very soothing. More so than actually purchasing anything.

We’ve read in a previous interview that your Mom is Chinese and your dad is Irish! Can you describe your experience growing up half-Asian-American? Do you identify with one culture more than the other?
We moved around a lot so I developed easy adaptability at an early age which is why I've never felt pulled towards one side more than the other. I have a deep appreciation for both cultures and am close with both sides of my family. Chinese food, Irish social culture, the beauty of both countries and people aren't at all mutually exclusive. Kids are influenced by their friends though so I was always Mulan when we played Disney princesses.

What do you love and/or hate about social media?
I like that one can find a community of like-minded people. I like that it creates work for people regardless of where they're based. I don't like that it can promote homogeny. I don't like that it's extremely addictive. I like that it lets different bodies, minds, ideas, cultures be more easily accessible.

How did you first get involved with the fashion industry as a writer, editor and model?
I moved to NYC at 18 for school and was scouted to model for Opening Ceremony almost immediately. I did their ecomm forever (five years?!) and made most of the friends I still have now through that job. Those friendships segued into work and here I am!

What does the slow fashion movement mean to you?
#SecondhandFirst! I work for Object Limited, a company dedicated to vintage and antiques. They're better made, better for the planet and have better stories. We have an app in development and I produce monthly Vintage Bazaars with my favorite vintage vendors. Our community is growing and its really fun. So slow fashion to me is about conscientious consumerism, quality materials and production research. There are so many wonderful things in the world - just have to find them.

How would you describe your own relationship with clothing and how has it evolved over the years?
I think anyone interested in their personal style has a graduation phase where they stop buying to buy and start buying to love. I don't shop fast fashion (unless its a basic that I know I will have for at least 10 years) but I've always been dedicated to vintage for its price point and instant individuality.

What advice would you tell aspiring writers?
Write down your ideas. Write all the time even if you don't show it to anyone. Don't be afraid to pitch - the worst thing that will happen is that someone says no. Remember that every writer thinks writing is really fucking hard.
How do you practice sustainability in your day to day life?
Again, vintage!!! Carrying a reusable water bottle that can hold coffee too. Thinking about a purchase and its impact regardless of how small it may seem. I also recently produced a party with The Frankie Shop and No More Plastic to raise awareness about the dangers of single-use plastic. That was fun. We made these cute cans with our friends!

What does a day in the life look like for you?
I am all over the place so I don't really have a daily routine but today I walked in the rain from the East Village to Soho where our office is. Later I have a friend's birthday at my favorite bar Primos. Then I will go to bed and tomorrow I fly to Maine!

What are your favourite restaurants, coffee shops and shopping destinations in Los Angeles?
Beachwood Cafe, Blossom, Babes on Legs, Speranza, my tailor Cipriano, Mr Green, O. La Roche

What are you currently listening to?
lol Shawn Mendes

Favourite city to travel to?
Hong Kong!

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