Recognize Audrey Gelman? Maybe her proverbial headbands or the mustard company she was starting with her friend Shelby on Girls rings a bell? Yeah, so you put two and two together? Audrey is Audrey IRL…kinda. The New York Observer said she’s actually “Like Marnie, but more successful.” She’s actually pretty far from her character counterpart. So far, in fact, that until very recently she was the press secretary for Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer.
“My interest in politics started at the dinner table: every night my parents would read the op-eds in the day’s New York Times and debate where they came down on a given issue,” Gelman told us. “ I was always asked to take a position, defend it, and consider the merits of an opposing perspective."
Though she spends her nine-to-late hours in chic suits and stuff looking like a grown-up, it’s Gelman’s grungy, girly style that caught our eye. She arrived at the picturesque Paramount Hotel polished in her workwear and signature round red frames, coming straight from a day’s work at the office. When she opened her bag full of treasures, Gelman revealed an unexpected mix of metal band T-shirts and ladylike slingbacks and bags. Before getting down to business, we popped open a few bottles of wine (thanks, Paramount!) and quickly got to chatting about roadtrips to rock concerts in Toronto with her Cantor father.
“I’ve accumulated an obscene number of T-shirts since I was 12 or 13, and started going to metal and hardcore shows. I was less into fashion as a teenager and more into having a boyfriend who wore corpse paint…Google it.”
And if you get to Googling Gelman, you may just find a little bit out about her legendary photog boyfriend, Terry Richardson, her time working on Hilary Clinton’s campaign, and her longstanding relationship with Lena Dunham (they met in high school and even have matching “Staunch” tattoos).
We love the juxtaposition of Gelman’s life: she’s got this charismatic, quiet confidence to her that somehow pulls it all together. After gushing over her love for cats, naturally the convo turned back to our everyone’s favorite watercooler topic-of-the-moment.
“Girls is amazing because it delves into the true unpleasantness of life in one’s early 20s,” she said. “Everyone can see a little bit of themselves in each one of the characters—even the boys.”