Raya is like the hipster, DJ-infested version of Fight Club. The first rule of Raya: You do not talk about Raya. The second rule of Raya: You do not talk about Raya, so much so that the app punishes you for even taking screen grabs. In fact, we’re being a little bit naughty by just writing about it. The word has only leaked here and there, but as you read this, the likelihood is quite high that anyone associated with NYLON who has a Raya account is probably getting flayed by folks in black trench coats.
Do not worry: The so-called Tinder for Illuminati has built its cache by flying under the radar. Well, not entirely radar-less, as there are plenty of handsome model types and TV show stars who must’ve gotten their invites from somewhere, and we have a hard time thinking there is some sort of famous person Listserv that exists. (Is there? Is there a famous person Listserv?)
Here’s what we know: The app has been around for over a year—and though it bills itself as a connector for “creative types,” it mostly has very beautiful folks with 5,000-plus Instagram followers. And you want to see its allure? Watch this: It’s very, very hard to get on. (Now, how badly do you want to get on it? See? Exclusivity works.)
So why would the super famous need a dating app to meet new people? Who knows, celebrities are mysterious creatures, like cats... even famous cats. (Note: No famous cats, thus far, on Raya.)
Now, there are regular citizens on Raya, so there is hope for all of us. However, the approval process is not exactly clear-cut. From what we can glean, you need to meet at least four out of the five following criteria in order to be accepted:
- Have a cool and/or creative occupation
- Have a significant Instagram following
- Have other friends on Raya who can recommend you
- Be hot
- Maybe be magical?
Fortunately, a few of us have been blessed to have encountered some of these denizens of Raya (or, hey, maybe even got accepted to Raya ourselves, though rule number one prevents us from actually admitting that), and after being slightly starstruck by the company, we started compiling a list of famous people that popped up. Which means, they are eligible and want to date you, me, each other, or maybe a famous cat.
While we have heard that these people have browsed Raya at one point over the past few months, they might not be there at this very moment. Or maybe we hallucinated them entirely. Just kidding—we definitely confirmed their presence in one way or another, but with the app’s dedicated opacity, their mere presence may have vanished into a vapor made of lost dreams, smoke machines, and adorable photos of pit bulls. You never know when a celeb might find what they’re looking for and delete their account, though. (Notable fact: These profiles were connected to legitimate celebrity social media accounts, so we’re assuming they’re the real deal.)
See the famous faces—looking for love just like the rest of us—we’ve seen while browsing Raya after the break, so you know who you might encounter should you get in.