"It sort of applies to anyone young, having fun and wearing clothes," she said in a recent interview.
She added, "I didn't pursue that title. It's not a career must for me. When I was a teenager, I didn't grow up and say, 'I'm going to be an It Girl. ... I didn't have a famous father or I wasn't being supported by a huge trust fund, so all the things I associate with that title weren't at my disposal."
But when she was signed as a model as a teenager, the now 30-year-old started down that path. She traces her journey to her place behind the velvet ropes in the new book "It" (Penguin Books), which isn't quite an autobiography but not a how-to book, either. She muses about things such as Annie Hall's style, Jeremy Iron's floppy hair, a fascination with rock star girlfriends, and underwear, "the last thing I upgraded when my wardrobe began to flourish."
She lists Julie Christie, Mia Farrow, Snow White and Winona Ryder in "Heathers" as people with good hair; and "everyone in the years 1980-89" as people with bad hair.
In person, Chung comes across as candid and approachable — she acknowledges she's challenged by money management, for example — but also confident. In her spare time, you'll find her at the karaoke bar, probably singing Nelly's "Hot in Herre."
She's got a gritty deep voice that goes with her slightly shaggy hair, dark eyeliner and heavy mascara. Vogue magazine has described her as "preppy hipster-meets-London scenester."
Her current gig as a co-host of the music-centric show "Fuse News" on Fuse TV is the one thing that gives her a regular schedule and has relocated her to New York.
Chung had been interested in a book deal for a while, although she envisioned it as a photography book at first. Taking photos has long been a hobby, but she's almost equally comfortable in front of the camera. "I am weirdly comfortable with any version of photos, from any angle," she laughs. "I like taking pictures, I like art directing, I like styling."
She has served as a contributing editor to British Vogue, collaborated on designs for Madewell and is a front-row fixture at fashion weeks in New York, London and Paris. "I love clothes, I don't necessarily love fashion. I've never been the kind of girl who'd wear something because it's a seasonal trend."
She comes to this interview in velvet hot pants with tights, Charlotte Olympic cat-face flat shoes and a blazer that she boasts she got from a vintage store with a $40 discount because of "a questionable stain."
On a daily basis, though, she's not all that concerned about dressing up. When it comes to a big fashion event, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Costume Institute gala in New York or a designer-hosted dinner during runway season, she said, "I try to look OK."
Follow Samantha Critchell and AP Fashion coverage on Twitter at @AP_Fashion and @Sam_Critchell