Anna Cleveland

Anna Sui - Fall Winter 2016 Collection

Birth Name: Anna Cleveland van Ravenstein

Place of Birth: The Netherlands

Date of Birth: March 19, 1989

*Dutch (father)
*Swedish, African-American, possibly some Irish and Cherokee Native American (mother)

Anna Cleveland is a Dutch model. She was born in the Netherlands, to American model Pat Cleveland and Dutch model and fashion photographer Paul van Ravenstein. She was raised in Italy.

Anna’s maternal grandfather was Johnny Johnston or Gunnar Åhs. Johnny was Swedish.

Anna’s maternal grandmother was Lady Bird Cleveland (the daughter of Albert O. Cleveland and Nancy/Nannie Edwards). Lady Bird was African-American, and was said to also have some Irish and Cherokee Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this Irish and Cherokee ancestry has been verified/documented. Albert was the son of Pless/Pleas Cleveland and Frances.

Referring to a DNA test she has taken, Anna’s mother has said, about herself:

And there was the racial problem of ‘oh this person is a black person and this person is a white person’ and well, me being the cultural mix that I am! I’m half Scandinavian, half American with thirty six percent African American and the rest, everything else French, Italian, Greek, Irish and English and whatever else have you.

In her book, Walking with the Muses: A Memoir (2016), Anna’s mother wrote:

My great-uncle Rep was a real American Indian, a Cherokee, who lived in the woods in a log cabin that looked lifted out of a cowboy movie… in 1912, when she was twenty-one, [Cleveland’s maternal grandmother] Nannie took the conventional route and found a young man to marry: a soldier named Albert Cleveland [Cleveland’s maternal grandfather]. Because he had blond-red hair, light skin, and freckles (courtesy of his Irish-Scottish blood), Albert was considered a Caucasian, though he was a quarter Cherokee… Even with education, a Negro had very few opportunities in that era, and there was virtually no career path for an educated Negro woman like Nannie.


Pat Cleveland article –

Information about Anna’s maternal grandfather, Johnny Johnston or Gunnar Åhs –

Anna’s maternal grandmother, Lady Bird Cleveland, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Death records of Anna’s maternal great-grandparents, Albert O. Cleveland and Nancy/Nannie Edwards –

Anna’s maternal great-grandfather, Albert O. Cleveland, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Death record of Anna’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Pless/Pleas Cleveland –

Photo: excelentphoto/

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