Adrianne Ho On Insta Fame, Unrealistic Body Standards, and the Most Ignored Piece of Workout Clothing

The model/blogger/designer dishes on everything from her favorite Classpass workout to her post-workout beauty tips


At just 27 years old, Adrianne Ho boasts a pretty lengthy resume: She's the founder of Sweat the Style, a blog that inspires women to get fit and lead a healthy lifestyle, the designer of an athleticwear line for PacSun called Sweat Crew, star of an upcoming TV show, and, of course, an "It-girl Instagram fitness model" whose account boasts 379,000 followers-a full-time job in and of itself these days. And now? She can add sock ambassador to her credentials. She's partnered with Stance socks, who just launched their first women's athletic sock collection. We talked to the model/blogger/designer about everything from her upcoming projects (we're particularly excited about her new cozy Sweat Crew holiday collection) to her current favorite Classpass workout to why she loves Insta fame.

Shape: You've partnered with Stance, so let's talk about socks. They're a piece of workout apparel no one talks about but the wrong pair can totally ruin a workout-

AH: Totally! Have you ever gone for a run or done a workout and the sock is slipping off your heel? It throws everything off balance! It's just as important as a shoe because you're on your feet the whole time and you don't want to be thinking about your socks or your feet. You just want to be focused on your workout. Socks are hugely important. Stance has invested so much in creating so much functionality in every sock-they've thought about the support, the cushioning, the moisture-wicking, the venting, and more.


Shape: You're labeled an "Instagram famous" model. What's something surprising about Insta-fame that people may not realize?

AH: Oh gosh... Well, I think it's something so new. Instagram has become so much more real than even mainstream media and TV. Everyone may not have a TV, especially our generation-I don't have one and a lot of my friends don't-but everyone is on social media and on their phone. It's funny because we're the first to experience that, but I do think it's the future. You can actually control your image via your Instagram. You can put out the message you want to put out and not have to depend on another media source. With Sweat the Style and everything I do, I really want to push healthy living and positive energy and being strong and empowered-Instagram is so great because it's really democratizing who has a voice and who doesn't.

Shape: Charli Howard, a 23-year-old size 2 model, wrote a letter to her agency speaking out against unrealistic body standards in the modeling industry, and it went viral. What was your reaction to that?

AH: It's great that someone like her can have a voice and be able to share her experience with that. That's really what happens as a model! You're in that funny place where any normal person would say, 'You're really skinny, you're in really good shape,' but there are these standards you have to fit, especially with high fashion. I mean, I looked at her photos and was like, 'she's really skinny!' It's hard because it's such a small percentage of people that have that natural body they're looking for. If they want you to have 34-inch hips but at the bone you're 36 inches, what are you supposed to do?

I've been able to shape my career in a way where I didn't have to follow those norms and be a size 0. I said, here's my lane. I'm going to make it for myself, and certain brands will want to be a part of it and certain others won't. I'm not in the runway category so I don't know how it is on that end, but I was speaking to my modeling manager the other day and she said it's terrible for the girls doing runway. For me, I feel like this kind of stuff is easing up. I'm never going to be that bony girl, that's not me. This is me. And social media is giving us that power to show ourselves, beyond just our measurements. And brands can decide they want her, not just a girl who has brown eyes and kind of asian-y, 5'8'', size 8 shoe! Now relationships with brands can be very authentic. You can see what someone is about, like, oh she loves to box, and decide it's a good fit.

Shape: You use Classpass-what's your favorite class on there right now?

AH: I definitely love Barry's Bootcamp. It always kicks my ass no matter what-no matter how fit I think I am, when I hit that treadmill part and am sprinting on an incline, it kicks my ass. That's something really not easy for me since I had asthma growing up. When I'm in LA, it's a little different. There aren't so many classes and they aren't as easy to get to, so I play tennis a lot and I always start my day with a run outside in my neighborhood, but I'm not as class-oriented. (Get the Barry's Bootcamp-Inspired Abs, Butt, and Core Workout.)

Shape: If you have 10 minutes, what's the one workout move do you do to get the most bang for your buck?

AH: I would do kettlebell swings or burpees. Ten minutes of that and you'll be exhausted-you get the cardio component and the weights, so it's 2-in-1. And when I'm traveling, I always bring a jump rope with me. When I would go overseas to model for three-month stints, I'd always have my own jump rope. It's cheap and so easy to pack. I hate to run on a treadmill, but I could skip rope forever.

Shape: You're shooting a TV show right now, Sweat the City. What can we expect from that?

AH: I take the audience through LA, Toronto, and New York-all three cities really close to my heart since I'm from Toronto, lived in New York forever, and now I'm bicoastal. Each episode has three segments. There's a culture segment which could be about style or art, a food component where we'll meet with different chefs and restaurant owners, and then a fitness component. I had pro-surfer Anastasia Ashley on the show teaching me how to surf, and the incredible trainer Massy Arias taking me through a workout in Runyon Canyon. Then there will be a Sweat the City app which you can download to get all the info on the workout routines and more! It's going to air in Canada first in January, and then in the States and other parts of the world afterwards.


Shape: What's a typical day like for you diet-wise?

AH: First and foremost, I try to get as much water as possible-if I don't get enough, my lips get dry and I lose energy. For breakfast, I'll do avocado toast. There are a couple of farm-to-table spots that I always go to for lunch. One is called Forage in LA-one of my friends is the chef there and it's all from the farmer's market and designed around what's in season. I eat there almost every day! My favorite is a salmon bowl with brown rice, sautéed kale, radishes, and eggs. It's so good. For dinner, I'm always working, so sometimes I don't feel like cooking, but generally speaking, I love to have a really fresh salad with salmon or chicken with soy sauce. I also love pasta. I'll try to do gluten-free when I can, but I don't really try to stick to a gluten-free diet. I'm very healthy but pretty relaxed with my diet. When I first started modeling and was under crazy pressure, I'd start cutting things out, and then I just wasn't enjoying my meals and would get depressed, and would end up eating it late at night anyway! Food is really important to me-it's like a basic pleasure in life! I'm half Chinese and half French, so food is huge at home. Yes, I'll keep snacks in my car or bag so I don't get hangry, but I really love to sit down with a meal and enjoy it. I'm OK if there's bread, as long as it's the best bread you can possibly get. If it's shitty Wonder bread, I'll skip it. I'll have the cheese. Or anything chocolate-I love chocolate-covered Goji berries dark chocolate Justin's peanut butter cups! Bring it on. But I don't compromise for something that's not the best quality.

Shape: You've worked with brands like Maybelline, L'Oreal, and MAC, so help us with some post-workout beauty tips!

AH: Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Always wash the makeup off your face. I always rotate my skincar,e but I love this brand called Tatcha. They have an oil that you rub on dry and it melts everything off. When I travel, I use Dr. Bronner's-it's one of those multi-purpose cleansers that you can wash your face and body with. You can also wash your hair and brush your teeth with it! They sell it in Whole Foods. And I love oil moisturizers, so I get Jojoba oil from Whole Foods. Or I'll get some drops of Neroli and put that right on my face. I also love Eminence since it's all organic. It really helps my face from over-drying so I don't break out.

When it comes to makeup, I try to stick with natural products, or products that are as close to natural as possible so that if it's absorbed in my skin it's not as bad. Because when you work out, your pores are open and everything is coming in! Right now in my gym bag, I have a BareMinerals eyeshadow, Beautycounter lipstick-I love Beautycounter and it's good for you!-and Benefit eyeliner and mascara. Maybe it's because I'm half-Asian, but I always have to have some kind of liner on my eyes. Sometimes I'll even do a clear lip gloss. After a workout, I just want to embrace the messy look, even if my mascara is messed up a little bit. When I do shoots, everyone wants the natural-just-worked out look!

Shape: What's next for you?

AH: We have holiday coming up for my line, Sweat Crew! It's going to be very cozy-great sweatshirts and half-zips. I love vintage, so we have some extra soft, worn-in vintage-y fleece. We have some great silhouettes and an incredible coat. We also have a hockey jersey coming out that has incredible design. You could literally wear it to a party or to workout; it has a lot of cool mesh details. And the sports bras and tights sold out in the first week when we launched, so we're bringing those back!

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