The Interview: Grece Ghanem


At 59, the Montreal–based personal trainer turned style icon is on a mission to see and be seen, serving looks that prove beauty and ambition – and Instagram follower counts – need not fade with age.

Grece Ghanem knows a thing or two about personal transformation. In 2005, when political uncertainty made life in Lebanon untenable, she moved to Montreal and became a personal trainer, leaving her career as a microbiologist (and her wardrobe) behind. When an errant “e” showed up on her identity card, Grace became Grece. And when her daughter, Cheyenne, suggested she start an Instagram account in 2016, the five–foot quinquagenarian became a fashion influencer, attracting big brand collabs and 1.5 million followers (and counting). Now, with her signature silver bob, sunglasses on and matcha in hand, she transforms the sidewalks of fashion capitals – from Beirut to Paris to Milan – into her own personal runways. We flagged down the woman about town to delve into how she stays healthy and fresh–faced on the fly, comparisons to another 50–plus icon and what rules you should follow to dress your age (hint: none of them).

enRoute Over the years, you’ve been a microbiologist, personal trainer and fashion influencer. How would you describe your current era?

Grece Ghanem I am always keen to reinvent myself, explore different paths and to not limit myself to one career. Some careers came to me organically, like my time as a content creator on Instagram. It started off as a passion hobby with my daughter. Eight years later, it has led to experiences and opportunities we never imagined. Today, I am looking forward to always venturing outside my comfort zone and daring myself to take on new projects, whether in fashion design, travel and lifestyle or wellness.

May 8, 2024
Grece Ghanem adjusting her hair, wearing brightly patterned clothes while in Saint-Tropez
Grece Ghanem checks her reflection in a London hotel wearing a green fringe dress
Saint–Tropez; London

ER How did you find your personal style?

GG I have always been passionate about fashion. At a young age, I would admire my grandmother’s personal style and play dress–up with her wardrobe. As I grew older, I would draw inspiration from fashion magazines, photography, art, architecture and the colours of nature. So, I have a penchant for elevated basics, bold colours and power prints. Ultimately, I’m committed to wearing what fits my mood. I like to mix high and low, contemporary and vintage, masculine and feminine silhouettes, and make it all look effortless.

ER If you could describe your style in three words...

GG Graceful, yet strong and empowering.

ER What’s one piece of advice you have for anyone who struggles with confidence and style?

GG Do not be afraid to experiment so that you can find out what pieces make you feel most comfortable and exude the most confidence. Dress for you, have fun with clothing and forget any rules or limits. In the end, style is an expression of your personality.

Grece Ghanem in a multicoloured abstract long sleeved dress in Montreal

ER Comparisons to Carrie Bradshaw come up often in your comments. What does that mean to you, especially in light of the character returning, 50–plus and fabulous, on And Just Like That...?

GG I am always grateful for these comparisons, as Carrie Bradshaw is a style icon. Through my presence on Instagram, I aim to inspire and be relatable at the same time. There’s no rule that says you have to dress in a more conservative and plain way because you’ve reached a certain age. I think it is so important for women to stay visible at all ages and keep having fun with fashion – just as Carrie continues to do on And Just Like That... and as she did on the original Sex and the City.

ER How do you stay fit on the fly?

GG No matter where I am, I stay committed to my daily morning workout routine, as it is great for both my physical and mental well–being. I never travel without my resistance bands so that I can squeeze in a little session, whether in my hotel room or on the beach (if I’m at a sunny destination).

Grece Ghanem wearing various shades of purple in front of the Corner Delhi in New York
Grece Ghanem in cherry print shirt with matching red shoes, blazer and pants on the streets of New York
New York

ER Can you share one or two exercises you like to do while travelling?

GG I always bring elastic bands because they are lightweight and easy to pack in my luggage. I like to recreate full–body exercises with the bands, like squats and lunges with arm lifts, to add some resistance and give myself an extra challenge when weights are not available.

ER So many of your followers want to know your skin–care routine. Can you share any tips?

GG I approach skin care in two ways: from the inside and the outside. Every morning, I make a detoxifying elixir of warm water, apple cider vinegar, cayenne and a few drops of lemon, which I drink and wash down with a big glass of water. It helps my skin shine from the inside out. I even bottle it and bring it with me when I travel. Afterward, I follow my topical skin–care routine.

ER Do you have a personal motto?

GG Take pride in every step you take toward achieving your goals.

Grece Ghanem sitting on an outdoor banister in Paris in front of a statue

The Questionniare

  • First travel memory? I visited Paris when I was 14 years old with my sister, aunt and uncle. Paris is still one of my favourite cities in the world; it almost feels like home.

  • Dream seatmate? Sting

  • Window or aisle? Window in business class and aisle in economy.

  • Favourite souvenir? We try to get a Christmas ornament from a Christmas boutique each time we visit a new city. The ornaments hold such special memories. When we put up the tree each December, being able to reminisce about the places we have travelled is a gift in itself.

  • Travel hack? I love packing cubes and I always prepare my looks in advance and take photos. That way I’m ready to dress for any occasion without overpacking.

  • Travel has the power to... ? Make your dreams come true.

What’s in Grece’s Bag?

A bottle of Tom Ford Café Rose perfume
  • Perfume — I never leave the house without my signature scent, Tom Ford Café Rose. It’s my favourite accessory!

A pair of Celine’s Triomphe 01 sunglasses
  • Celine sunglasses — Sometimes I like to hide behind them. Bold shades like Celine’s Triomphe 01 have become a part of my signature look.

A pair of comfortable blue jeans
  • Pair of jeans — Jeans are a wardrobe essential when I travel. They’re so easy to style, whether for a casual or elevated night out.

A green and silver pair of Bottega Veneta Orbit Sneakers
A blue workout band on top of a pink Bala Bangles weight
Photo: Hulnara Honchar/Alamy (bands)
  • Workout gear — Bands are the easiest way for me to stay fit on the go. Sometimes I bring Bala Bangles weights if my luggage can handle the extra pounds.