Exclusive: Anna Delvey Talks Wearing Amazon Sneakers in Prison, Walking in BCBG Heels After Release & Making Money Selling Art

When greeted by Anna Delvey (Sorokin) at her East Village apartment in New York, she’s distinctly different from images from her socialite days — or Julia Garner’s portrayal in Netflix’s “Inventing Anna.” Gone are the 2010s minidresses and platforms; instead, she’s wearing a black Balenciaga sweatsuit and cream Alexander McQueen sneakers, paired with fresh makeup and her court-ordered ankle monitor.

Seated in the artwork-lined living room next to her kitchen — where a statue sits on the stove, as she doesn’t cook — Delvey reminisces on her new lodgings under house arrest, where she awaits ICE deportation proceedings.

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Anna Delvey in her East Village apartment in New York City on Nov. 16, 2022.
CREDIT: Mike Coppola/AD/Getty Images for ABA

“I [didn’t] want to spend another weekend in jail,” Delvey says of going on house arrest since October, in an exclusive FN interview. Discussing speculations on how she affords rent, Delvey reveals she sells her artwork and NFTs online. “Why is it so flabbergasting? I’ve been doing it since May, it’s not like I just started last week. We put in so much work.”

Since her release from ICE custody, Delvey has kept busy. Shortly after moving in, she made headlines on Oct. 11 for wearing an all-black Christian Cowan coat, sunglasses and heeled Gianvito Rossi sandals to a parole meeting. Delvey didn’t anticipate her movie star-inspired look — one of her first times wearing heels since prison — going viral, but welcomed the return to stilettos.

“It’s like riding a bicycle — once you know it, you know it,” she says. “You don’t really forget how to walk in heels.”

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Anna Delvey leaves her apartment in New York City on Oct. 11, 2022.
CREDIT: splash / SplashNews.com

When it comes to fashion, Delvey is an avid online shopper at Bergdorf Goodman, Net-a-Porter, Bloomingdale’s and Sephora. She buys home goods from Amazon, and is currently on the hunt for a winter coat; she has her eye on several black styles by Rick Owens. Where shoes are concerned, she gravitates towards stilettos by Gianvito Rossi, Alexander McQueen and Alaïa; aside from most boots and booties, she says she’s fully adjusted to wearing her monitor with heels.

“I have not been outside for a while, so [I’m] not trying to wear the same stuff that I used to,” Delvey says. “Sometimes it’s not even a brand that I would associate good heels with, like BCBG — [but] you just see the shoes and they are so great.”

Anna Delvey, NYC, New York City
Anna Delvey heads to a probation appointment in New York City on Nov. 21, 2022.

It’s a far cry from Delvey’s days in jail, where she wore flat Amazon-sourced sneakers with a loungewear uniform that varied by color depending on the institution.

She wore a tan-colored uniform at New York City’s notorious jail complex Rikers Island (2017-2019); she wore green at Albion Correctional Facilities in Albion, N.Y., (2019-2021); and yellow at Orange County Correctional Facility under ICE custody (2021-2022). However, she found individuality by tailoring her clothing with sewing kits while at Albion.

“It makes such a difference, the tailoring,” Delvey says of altering her baggy, straight-fitting uniforms. “I would put the pants [on] inside out, and I would just see how much is outstanding. I would just draw the line, and I would take it off and sew it. Sometimes it would look so great, but I would not be able to get my ankle through the pant.”

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Anna Delvey is sentenced to 4-12 years in prison in New York City on May 9, 2019.
CREDIT: Steven Hirsch/Pool/NYP/MEGA

Upon release from Albion last year ahead of ICE custody, Delvey says she wore a white T-shirt; her “outside” clothes did not arrive in time.

“I hated it so much. I was trying to convince the guards to just let the people in from the outside give me the clothes and let me change, but they wouldn’t do that, of course,” she says. “It was really funny, it’s always something going on with my clothes in jail. Not surprisingly.”

As for the future, Delvey has numerous projects in the works. Before the holidays, she hopes to begin an ongoing dinner party series, hosting influential figures at her apartment to raise awareness for various charities. In addition to her current work in the art and NFT spaces, she’s also recorded the first episode of an upcoming podcast and is writing a book.

“I’m just still figuring things out,” Delvey says. “But I have so many projects in the works. Just figuring out my next steps.”

Delvey, who was born in Moscow, Russia, is awaiting deportation proceedings after ICE confined her for overstaying her visa in March 2021. On Oct. 7, 2022 she was released from Orange County Correctional Facility after serving nearly four years behind bars due to her conviction of grand larceny and theft services, including stealing approximately $275,000 and a private jet.

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