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A beginners guide to being the next (successful) Anna Delvey

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

Anna Delvey walked so you could run. Here’s my guide on how to scam the elite.

I don’t come from generational wealth, but I do come from a town in southern Brazil full of people who did. So, while I don’t necessarily have money to spend on designer brands, the people I grew up with until the age of 6 did. I was friends with what would be considered an “heiress of a packaging company,” and a lot of my friends and their mothers were in a constant fight over “who has the newest car” or “who has the nicest designer purse.”

Luckily for me, I also have an affinity for the luxuries in life. I know a lot about what’s sartorial, and how I should fit in depending on the crowd I’m integrating into. I believe I would have what it takes to do what Anna Sorokin aka Delvey sought to do, except I would succeed. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the story that inspired the limited series, Inventing Anna,  which was released in mid-February and has been consistent on Netflix’s top 10, tells the tale of the 25-year-old German heiress creating her Soho house type business in New York, or that’s what Sorokin wanted people to believe. 

The tv show certainly paints a picture of how Sorokin lied her way into the social scene but they do start with the disclaimer, “this whole story is completely true, except for the parts that are made up.” The article by Jessica Pressler (linked below) was the basis of the show as well as what arguably, made Sorokin well known. The article revealed that she did indeed ask to borrow money, but because many trust fund kids are forgetful, no one questioned the fact that she would not pay it back. It wasn’t until she hosted an expensive birthday party and her friend found out she never paid the bill that the cracks in the lie started to show. 

When diving into her story, I thought, how hard could it really be to enter high society? I wouldn’t necessarily scam people for money and loans but rather try to be seen as a completely different person and be a part of an elite group without them knowing who I really am.

First, have a compelling backstory. This shouldn’t be something completely out of the blue, but something that would make sense if issues like birth certificates or family history were to come up, you should twist the truth…not come up with a whole new life. I would say I’m an “heiress from Brazil” whose family owns a large part of farmland in the south. It makes sense, my family does own farmland but I wouldn’t say it makes us a wealthy, well-known family. 

Look the part. It’s all about the little details: Well-manicured nails, neat hair and a tasteful outfit. The fewer brand logos the better, since everyone knows only new money wears an absurd amount of logos; those who have money are more lowkey. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses and a good purse. Also, always make sure your clothes are clean and well pressed. 

Be willing to spend a little money on others. Inviting someone out to dinner or drinks and covering the cost like it’s no big deal builds a little more credibility and trust. You’re not hosting an expensive party like Sorokin did, which her failure to pay eventually revealed her true colors. 

One thing that made Sorokin credible is the fact that she knew her audience. She would have conversations with finance professionals, app developers and socialites and knew exactly what to talk to them about to seem legit. You can try to play the ditsy heiress but being able to hold an intellectual conversation will set you apart from them and make you memorable. 

Most importantly, find your iconic clothing items. This somewhat goes hand-in-hand with looking your best but choosing what some may call investment pieces that are of well-known brands and are unique to you. The two best things are sunglasses and bags, bought at a consignment or vintage store, especially from a consignment or vintage store. You can ensure you’re getting high-quality items that are unique and are at a lower price. 

When you decide to embark on your journey to scam society’s elite, I hope you can channel your inner Anna Sorokin to successfully carry out your plan. Well, maybe not your inner Anna, her plans have fallen apart after all.

“Maybe She Had So Much Money She Just Lost Track of It” -JESSICA PRESSLER

Maria is currently at UW-Madison Studying Journalism, Strategic Communication, Spanish, and Larin American, Caribbean and Iberian studies with a minor in Sports Communication. She is originally from Brazil, so along with English and Spanish, she is fluent in Portuguese. She has a passion for social media, fitness, yoga, fashion, and travel. For Maria, Her-Campus has been a great outlet to publish articles that she loves and hopes others can enjoy!