The Set-Up Artist: Amy Van Doran

Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Forget everything you think you know about matchmaking — you know, the billionaire power-suit stereotype hoping to meet a bunch of models. Because, when you look at the world through the rose-colored lens of the affable and charmingly eccentric Amy Van Doran, you appreciate that everyone — not just the city’s one percent — deserves to find love.
Six years ago, Van Doran launched Modern Love Club, a new kind of matchmaking service that’s redefining the world of set ups. Since its inception, Van Doran has matched over a hundred couples — from artist babes who she “scouted” at the Met to bachelors she found at Muslim meet-ups. And, she attributes her success to her knack for “getting in character” (before working her matchy-matchy wonders, Van Doran was an actress). Keep an eye out for the colorfully clad, orange-haired Van Doran. She may be talent scouting in a museum near you.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
My best dating advice
“The best thing a person can do is be open. Love is a very magical and mysterious thing, and I would never want to limit my search for love, or anyone else’s search, to the confines of imagination. It’s not going to be the person that [exactly fits your expectations], like, ‘Oh, he has to be this tall or have this education.’ There’s something very special about falling in love, and it happens when it’s not too mathematical or calculated.”
Why it’s nice to get set up
“When someone else gets to do the picking for you, you can just show up and be present and enthusiastic. Even if you don’t fall in love with the person you get set up with, all the people that I set my clients up with are interesting, so they enjoy themselves. It’s a nice way to hit the restart button. You can turn your blinders off and be more relaxed. I’ll do all the stressing and searching.”
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How involved I get with my clients
“I am so sensitive and get bummed out [when the relationships I set up don’t work out]. If only my clients knew they were the last thing I thought about before going to sleep and the first thing I think about in the morning. I’m trying to take it less personally. I’m very emotionally invested.”
Superwoman
It sucks, but heartbreak is worth it
“I would literally do anything for love. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for the right person. But, I guess the biggest risk is heartbreak. It’s the ultimate expression of humanity, knowing that many relationships will end in heartbreak, but we keep doing it because we know it’s important.”
How I define love
“Every day I define love completely differently. I think that’s the most important thing — love changes in the moment. What works for your definition of love is going to be different in every single situation. But, what’s nice is when you find someone who has a similar definition or a definition that’s going to expand what you think ‘love’ is.”
Why I choose to be bold
“Every day I’m walking a high-wire. When I first started matchmaking, I didn’t know it could be a job. I moved to New York when I was 18 or 19 with only $500, no job, and nowhere to live. I’m incapable of not taking risks. Life is too short to waste time being anything else but bold.”
Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Doll Eyes dress, Calvin Klein slip, Fogal stockings, Model's own shoes, frames and rings.
Photographed by Ben Ritter; Styled by Sasha Kelly; Makeup by Ashleigh Ciucci; Hair by Adam Maclay.
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