Photography by Trevor Smith

Grace Mahary


| Harlem

Trying to edit film from a shoot with Grace Mahary is like trying to count the individual seeds in our morning chia pudding— in other words, it’s next to impossible. Give the girl a New York rooftop and whether she’s twirling around in a winter coat or playfully “placing” the Empire State Building in the palm of her hand, she’s working it. Fittingly, the Canadian-born model was discovered in her hometown shopping mall when she was just 16; and by 23, Riccardo Tisci had hand-picked her to walk PFW for Givenchy, exclusively. As it played out, Mahary would catch the eye of more than one Parisian powerhouse— when it came time for Hedi Slimane to tap a leggy lady to close his debut show at Saint Laurent, just guess on whose tiny shoulders that task fell? Over her career, she’s walked for Dries Van Noten, Prada and Zac Posen; she’s posed for glossies as nouveau as Garage and as storied as Vogue; and she’s been the face of brands as disparate as Gap and Carolina Herrera, but Mahary hasn’t lost sight of her roots yet. With parents native to Eritrea, the model’s East African descent is at the forefront of her nonprofit, Project Tsehigh, an organization she founded to bring sustainable energy to non-electric households around the world. Currently working in the region’s remote village of Maaya, Eritrea is the first of what the project hopes turns into many stops. And just like that, Mahary’s a “model citizen” in more ways than one. Here, she sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Ellary’s Greens (MAP IT, x)— my go-to order is a combination of side plates like their chickpea fries and roasted vegetables. The food is organic and always fresh.

COFFEE OR TEA: Tea at home; I keep my own stash of Rooibos from South Africa.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Sushi of Gari on the Upper East Side (MAP IT, BOOK ITx). The omakase at the sushi bar has the most mouth-watering fish.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: A margarita, no salt, on the rocks from Barrio Chino (MAP IT, x). I also like The Salon at the SoHo Grand (MAP IT, x)— partly for the drinks, partly for the sofas that “hug” you.


AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: The Brandy Library (MAP IT, x)— it’s not a true happy hour, but it’s great for cozy vibes post-work!

MUSIC PICK: R&b and hip-hop. In terms of great playlists, wherever DJ Moma (x) is spinning, I’m there!

BEST BRUNCH: If I’m in West Village, Bluestone Lane (MAP IT, x); the baked eggs and avocado toast are both amazing.


HEALTHY STAPLE: Peace Food (MAP IT, x) for market vegetables and a green lemonade to-go.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Goat’s milk ice cream at Victory Garden (x), who unfortunately just closed their NYC shop (but still take custom orders via their website!).

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: Church Street Boxing (MAP IT, x) for an epic bootcamp class.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The energy and the buzz.

REGULAR AT: Peace Food— I go four times a week. The menu is vegan, and while I’m a pescetarian, I try to eat a vegan diet as often as possible. If you go, order a cup of their Rooibos tea and ask for the roasted pumpkin to be cooked “crispy” to get it done just right.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Il Buco (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) because it’s intimate and cozy.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Juice Press (MAP IT, x)— I love their soups.


TO RELAX AND UNWIND: The Cloisters (MAP IT, x).

TO GET INSPIRED: Walking along the Hudson River.

GO-TO GETAWAY: Jamaica, Negril.

CLOSET CHECK: My style is a mix of high and low— chic and sporty— and I’m not afraid of color. I find most of my great vintage pieces at Beacon’s Closet (MAP IT, x).

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: You can never go wrong with a bottle of wine or chocolates from Mariebelle (MAP IT, x).

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Jennifer Yepez (x).

FIT PICK: Brenna K’s classes at Body By Simone (MAP IT, x). I try to do yoga regularly and I especially like the classes at Y7 (MAP IT, x). I also go to SLT weekly (MAP IT, x).

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: I’m always amazed by the performers in the subway or on the street – I see at least one a day! They’re unlike any in other cities. CP

Grace’s New York


From L to R. First Row: Lunch from Ellary’s Greens; Goat Milk Ice Cream from Victory Garden; MarieBelle; Lunch at Cookshop. Second Row: Winter in New York; Soup from Juice Press; Baked eggs at Bluestone Lane; Bluestone Lane


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