Ally Shapiro is the daughter of former Real Housewives of New York City cast member Jill Zarin. She is a bit of a “Bravolebrity,” not only appearing on RHONY since she was a teen but also making cameos on the show The Millionaire Matchmaker.
Today, Shapiro is very different from the young teen that we knew from the Real Housewives of New York City. She has a master’s degree and works in the art industry in New York City. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she is currently with her family, including Zarin, in Boca Raton, Florida, where she documents their entertaining antics on her Instagram page.
Here’s what you need to know about the daughter of this former RHONY cast member:
1. Shapiro Suffers From Arthritis
Shapiro has suffered from juvenile arthritis since she was 10 years old. At age 16, Shapiro shared her story in Everyday Health. She explained that the pain first started in her knees, and she was finally diagnosed with spondyloarthropathy, which is an arthritic disease that causes joint inflammation, as well as inflammation of the tendons and ligaments.
Shapiro has also shared her battle with the disease on episodes of The Real Housewives of New York City. She described the disease as making her feel sore. She said, “It feels like I need to get a massage, but the pain never goes away.” Growing up, it prevented her from doing many activities like sports and even tubing on vacation.
Still, Shapiro and mom Zarin are committed to finding treatment and spreading awareness. Shapiro is heavily affiliated with CreakyJoints, a leading support, education, advocacy and research group for people with arthritis, according to their website. In 2008, Shapiro received the CJ Courage Award from the organization for her bravery as she shared her story on RHONY.
2. Shapiro Has a Masters in Contemporary Art From Sotheby’s Institute of Art
According to Shapiro’s LinkedIn profile, she graduated from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2018, receiving a master’s degree with distinction in contemporary art. Sotheby’s is an international art college with campuses in both New York City and London. Shapiro attended Sotheby’s campus in London and chronicled her travel adventures on her Instagram page, exploring places like Paris and Amsterdam when she wasn’t in class.
Before she attended Sotheby’s, Shapiro was working in real estate as a marketing associate at Douglas Elliman. According to their website, they are the “second largest independent residential real estate brokerage in the U.S. by volume.”
Shapiro’s mother and former RHONY cast member Zarin was the one to convince her to go back to school. According to Zarin, Shapiro was not satisfied with her job. Since Shapiro had always loved art, Zarin suggested she go back to school to pursue her passion. Zarin gushed to Bravo TV, “Ally has an incredible eye for art. That’s all I can say. So when she becomes an art dealer, check her out. She’s graduating top of her class.”
3. Shapiro Has Worked to Help Fight the Spread of the Coronavirus
During the COVID-19 crisis, Shapiro has made tie-dye face masks, which she sells on her mother’s website. She displays the pretty masks through pictures on her Instagram and documents the design process through her stories.
According to her mother’s website, the masks are all hand-dyed by Shapiro and Zarin. They are reusable and washable and come in either 3-ply or 2-ply. There is a selection of fun colors to choose from, like “Sherbet” and “Moody Blue.”
The masks don’t only benefit the wearer — for every face mask purchased, they will donate one to a frontline worker. Shapiro wrote on Instagram that they have already been able to donate hundreds of masks.
4. Shapiro is a Graduate of Vanderbilt University
According to her LinkedIn profile, Shapiro has a degree in communication and media studies from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Shapiro graduated in 2014 and was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority. Her other activities included the Sinai Scholar program, a society that integrates the study of classic Jewish texts and provides opportunities for Jewish life and learning on campus, as well as the ConnectDores, which is a mentoring program for transfer students at Vanderbilt.
However, Vanderbilt was not where Shapiro began her college career. Her freshman year was spent at Sarah Lawrence College, a small liberal arts school in Bronxville, New York. Zarin even visited her on Episode 14 of Season 4, where, during lunch, Shapiro boldly claimed that she wanted to become a sex columnist.
5. Shapiro Is Currently Unmarried
In 2015, Shapiro appeared in a season 8 episode of Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker. The reality show stars matchmaker Patti Stanger as she matches her single, wealthy clients with compatible dates.
Shapiro was featured on the show right after she graduated from college when she was just 22 years old. She divulged many secrets of her love life, even sharing that she longed for a relationship similar to that of Zarin and her late husband, Bobby Zarin. Shapiro also shared her struggles of confidence in her episode, with former Laguna Beach star Kristin Cavallari making an appearance to teach Shapiro the importance of self-worth.
Though Shapiro doesn’t appear to be currently dating anyone, she reportedly stayed in touch with a man named James, the person she went out with in the episode. After the show aired, James was planning a trip to visit Shapiro in the Big Apple.