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21 October 2017Last updated
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Tanya Ashraf’s Fabulous Fridays

Her Jeep Wrangler and shoes are the things the creative director of fashion label Roxx won’t part with

Shreeja Ravindranathan
22 Sep 2017 | 11:00 am
  • Tanya Ashraf

    Source:Supplied

MUSEUM PEACE

Most often my weekdays are hectic, so I really look forward to unwinding with family and friends during weekends. I love my quiet, quality time at home in Sharjah but with three teenage daughters that isn’t always possible as they’re really active and love to go out and explore events around the UAE. I also like to getaway and explore local art museums and galleries on my own, so I am free to absorb things at my own pace. I frequent the Sharjah Art Mseum and the Marsha Art Center. Bastakiya [Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood] in Bur Dubai is also one of my favourite places.

ROLES, MODEL

I don’t model professionally anymore since my fashion business, Roxx, takes up most of my time and I have had to re-prioritize my professional life accordingly. That said, I do model at times for my own label. I loved everything about modelling, because you’re constantly working in a creative environment with amazing people who are equally creative and passionate about their work; there is a constant excitement. After every successful fashion show, editorial shoot or commercial, the feeling is elevating.

PLAY DRESS UP, MAKE DESIGNS

I am from India and moved to the UAE in 1992. As a child dressing up was something I was always fond of. As a result, I became innately passionate about fashion and would spend a lot of time exploring the rich local souks for unique fabrics, and everything in those old souks seemed to fascinate me! Fashion [has always been] part of my everyday lifestyle; now it is a form of art that is constantly evolving for me.

PUBLIC DISPLAY OF ART

I used to engross myself in art as a hobby, and the more I created the more passionate I became about my creations. My first art exhibition was in 1997 at the Sharjah Ladies Club, followed by various art exhibitions in Sharjah and Dubai and eventually, I had my first solo art exhibition at the Ajman Kempinski hotel in 2006. Seeing other people buy my art and enjoy it felt rewarding and inspired me further. Georgia O’Keeffe said, ‘whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.’

BOOK SMART

I find that there is nothing like losing oneself in a good book – it completely soothes me and relaxes my mind. I have read and enjoyed many books over the years, but Dr Wayne Dyer’s books are closest to my heart and have left a deep impact on me. His recent book Don’t Die With Music Still In You created a beautiful shift in me. His books showed me that I was responsible for how I view events and how to step out of my comfort zone and into growth. If I’m not reading him, I’m constantly listening to [his audio books].

WHAT’S UP, DOC (UMENTARY)?

I’m an avid fan of National Geographic’s documentaries on wildlife. At times I can completely immerse myself in a documentary marathon at home when things are quiet.

MEMORIES MAKETH A LIFE

I would love to quote Buddha here: ‘The root of suffering is attachment’, and hence I do not get attached to things or objects. That said, one thing I treasure the most are my fond memories that I have collected over the years, with family, friends, my travels across the globe, my observation of nature around me, they are mine and no one can take that from me.

CAN-SHOE ATTITUDE

I have a shoe obsession – they’re my ultimate fashion accessory. Shoes can truly make or break an outfit. I just recently splurged on Balenciaga cut-out boots and McQueen star-studded boots. Alexander McQueen – may his soul rest in peace – is my style icon. I loved his eccentricity and unique way of blending fantasy with fashion.

COURSE OF ACTION

If I weren’t a designer I would be an artist. But for now, my aim is to position my homegrown fashion label Roxx on the global fashion scene and to become an internationally recognized brand, God willing. It’s sometimes easy to become self-absorbed while working in this field, so slowly but surely through fashion, we would love to work for a good cause, too.

LAUNDRY MIST

Fresh Laundry cologne from the Library of Fragrance is a fragrance I get unimaginable comfort from and a smell I associate with happiness. It energizes me for the day!

COMIC RELIEF

The last time I laughed out loud was hearing my amazing eight-year-old nephew’s one-liners. He has a quirky sense of humour that we fondly refer to as ‘Jaden Talk’ and I cannot contain myself when I hear him.

FOOD FINDS

I am not a fan of fancy food, but can live on wholesome soups, cheese, dark chocolate and seafood. So, I constantly keep an eye out for new restaurants or cafes to indulge in during weekends. Catch, and Aprons and Hammers at JBR, have been my recent back-to-back visits.

FAMILY JEWELS

There’s a gold and diamond brooch that I won at a beauty pageant that I’d like to pass onto my daughters because it brings back fond memories of how young and confident I was then. I would like [the brooch to remind them] that with confidence and inner strength you can move forward and achieve.

FASHIONISTA IN JEEP SKIN

I refuse to part with my Jeep Wrangler that I bought in 2009 – it was on exhibit at the Deep Purple concert and my husband surprised me with it. Motoring has always been a part of me; I’m more of a SUV and a four-wheel drive person as I love the extra traction and control they offer.

MY HEART IS CONTENT

Like anyone, I admire successful people but I don’t obsess over them. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything or anyone’s.

Shreeja Ravindranathan

Shreeja Ravindranathan