Audrey Gelman

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Audrey Gelman
Audrey Gelman at a Fundraiser for New York City Comptroller Candidate Scott Stringer.png
Gelman at a fundraiser for Scott Stringer in 2013.
EducationOberlin College
Alma materNew York University
Known forThe Wing
Spouse(s)Ilan Zechory

Audrey Gelman is an American businessperson and political staffer. She is the founder of The Wing, a women's co-working space and social club founded in New York City in 2016. She was the inspiration for Alison Williams's character Marnie on Girls.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Gelman attended the Lab School and Bard High School in New York City.[1] She began attending Oberlin College in 2005[3] and attended Oberlin College for two years before leaving to work for Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for U.S. President.[1] She returned to New York after Clinton's primary defeat. She finished her bachelor's degree in political science at New York University.[3][4] During this time, she also appeared in the satirical web series Delusional Downtown Divas by Lena Dunham.[3]


In 2008, Gelman worked as a press aide for Hillary Clinton's campaign for president.[5] She served as deputy communications director in Scott Stringer's successful campaign to win the position of New York City Comptroller in 2013.[6] During the 2012 presidential election, Gelman was involved with the revival of the political action committee Downtown for Democracy.[3] In 2013, Gelman joined the New York office of strategic consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker.[7]

In October 2016, Gelman launched The Wing, a women's co-working space with her co-founder Lauren Kassan.[8] Initially, she and Kassan raised $2.4 million to create the club, with "aspirations to resurrect the atmosphere of the women’s clubs of the late 19th and early 20th century suffrage movement."[9] The first location was located in the Flatiron District.[10] The club had a founding membership of 200 women.[3]

On March 1, 2018, the New York City Commission on Human Rights started a "commission-initiated" investigation[11] into how The Wing membership system operates. It had previously been reported that male guests were not allowed. However, the company’s official policy states that it welcomes guests regardless of their gender. The Wing's membership also includes people that identify as non-binary, transgender, and gender nonconforming.[citation needed]

In April 2017, The Wing announced it had raised a Series A led by venture capital fund New Enterprise Associates with support from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and an expansion to three new locations.[12][13] The Series A funding came to $8 million.[9] By November 2017, the club had around 1,500 members.[3] That month, The Wing launched the magazine No Man's Land[3] and also raised $32 million in a series B funding round, led by WeWork. By December 2017, The Wing had a second location in New York's Soho.[14]

In 2013, Politico listed Gelman as one of its 50 Politicos to Watch.[6] In the December 2014 issue of Forbes, Audrey Gelman was named one of its 30 Under 30: Corporate Climbers, and was previously named in the magazine's 30 Under 30: Law and Policy list.[15][16] In 2017, Fast Company named Gelman to their Most Creative People in Business list.[17] In December 2017, she was listed in a TechCrunch feature on 42 women succeeding in tech.[18]

Gelman endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the run-up for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Gelman dated photographer Terry Richardson from 2011 until 2013.[20][21][22] In April 2016, she married Genius co-founder Ilan Zechory[23] in Detroit.[24]

Gelman is a childhood friend of Lena Dunham, who has called her the inspiration for the Girls character Marnie. The two also attended Oberlin College together.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Hanas, Jim (January 15, 2013). "Meet Audrey Gelman: She's Like Marnie—Only Successful". New York Observer. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Williams, Alex (October 4, 2013). "Audrey Gelman, the Girl Most Likely". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "The Wing, a Chic Women's Club, Is Going Wide". November 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "Audrey Gelman". SKDKnickerbocker. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  5. ^ Williams, Alex. "Audrey Gelman, the Girl Most Likely". Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  6. ^ a b McCalmont, Lucy. "50 Politicos to Watch:Audrey Gelman". Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  7. ^ Hawkins, Andrew J. (April 4, 2013). "Gelman heads to SKDKnickerbocker". Crain's Insider.
  8. ^ Sisson, Patrick (October 13, 2016). "Inside The Wing, a women-only coworking space and social club in NYC". Curbed NY. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  9. ^ a b "The club where business meets gender politics". Financial Times. June 9, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "Peek inside The Wing's new Instagram-worthy Soho social club". October 31, 2017.
  11. ^ Arnold, Amanda (March 27, 2018). "Women-Only Social Club Is Under Investigation by the NYC Human Rights Commission". The Cut. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  12. ^ O'Connor, Clare. "Women's Club The Wing Raises $8 Million Series A, Adds 3 Locations". Forbes. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  13. ^ Evans, Dayna. "Women's-Only Social Club The Wing Is Expanding". The Cut. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  14. ^ "Women-only coworking spaces take on the boys' club of business". Wired. December 15, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  15. ^ Dill, Kathryn. "30 Under 30: Corporate Climbers". Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  16. ^ "30 Under 30: Law & Policy". Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  17. ^ "Most Creative People in Business 2017 | Fast Company". Fast Company. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  18. ^ "A look at 42 women in tech who crushed it in 2017". TechCrunch. December 22, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  19. ^ Dawson Hoff, V. Elle April 13, 2015.
  20. ^ Valenti, Lauren (December 19, 2013). "Terry Richardson and Audrey Gelman Break Up, All Is Right in the World". Styleite. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  21. ^ Vagianos, Alanna (December 23, 2013). "Audrey Gelman On Terry Richardson: Lena Dunham And I 'Both Have Regrets'". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  22. ^ Sauers, Jenna. "Terry Richardson Has A New Girlfriend, And She Works In Politics". Jezebel. Retrieved February 12, 2018. The couple has been together since the spring, which is shortly after Richardson and his ex-fiancée, Jen Brill, broke up.
  23. ^ "Audrey Gelman and Ilan Zechory Embrace the Grit and Glamour of Motor City for Their Wedding". Vogue. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  24. ^ "Audrey Gelman and Ilan Zechory Embrace the Grit and Glamour of Motor City for Their Wedding". Vogue. June 30, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2018.

Further reading[edit]