Ayana, 27, a marketing and business development manager from Kazakhstan, is a beautiful size 16 and was scouted by the founder of Blue Ink Beachwear when she was on a night out in Dubai. “She told me that Blue Ink – which designs swimwear and beachwear with bold prints and great shapes for women of all sizes – was looking for its next curve model. It had partnered with the Dubai modelling agency Recto Verso, which has a special department for curve models. I liked the idea of swimwear for curvy women from the beginning and I was really impressed with the quality of the Blue Ink range. Having won the competition, I am really excited to have the opportunity to deliver a message to other women that being curvy is attractive. Although I had some experience of modelling in my university days, being a curve model is new for me and it feels amazing – it allows me to be honest, to show that women are all unique and beautiful.”
Dress, Dh159, Yours London; Skirt, Dh1,396, Blue Ink Beachwear; Sandals, Dh149, H&M; Earrings, Dh69, Parfois.
You may think an accessory needs to be a piece of jewellery, or perhaps a bag, but this season you need this belted-skirt in your life. Perfect to go over dresses, shorts, leggings, even beach wear, the skirt will transform any outfit.
Ayana on natural beauty
“It’s being able to leave the house without makeup or extensions because your skin, nails and hair look perfect on their own. But there’s also one component that completes this – a mix of inner peace, confidence and love for life”
The White Shirt
Jacket, Dh199, H&M; Shirt, Dh140, Dorothy Perkins; Leggings, Dh73, RedTag; Shoes, Dh63, RedTag; Bag, Dh399, H&M; Necklace, Dh49, Parfois.
A classic capsule piece every year, the white shirt can add class to denims and dress up evening wear. Whether you prefer your white shirt more structured, or blouse-like is totally your call.
On feeling beautiful
“As well as physical beauty, I care about my inner beauty – my attitude to life, people and situations. I love nurturing a spiritual relationship with myself. When all aspects are balanced, I feel beautiful and see the beauty of each moment”
Coat, Dh249, H&M; Blouse, Dh139, Yours London; Jeans, Dh179, Mango; Sandals, Dh299, Aldo.
Every winter you need a coat to jazz up your basics... with the retro eras being hot this Fall, make sure you own a statement suede for maximum style points.
On the pressure to look a certain way
“It’s impossible to deny that magazines and social media put a lot of pressure on young women’s shoulders, creating the image of an ‘ideal’ model-looking woman. So teenage girls feel the constant need to be skinny, to diet all the time – they feel insecure. Of course, everyone should consider eating healthily and exercising, but for the sake of being healthy and fit, not just to be an ‘ideal’ size. We are all unique, and there are no ‘ideal’ proportions. I try not to let that pressure affect me much, because I love and totally accept myself. I am not comparing myself to other people or to benchmarks created by media. I only compare myself to who I was yesterday.”
Blouse, Dh225, Evans; Jeans, Dh149, Yours London; Heels, Dh99, Redtag; Clutch, Dh159, Topshop; Earrings, Dh59, H&M.
Ripped denims are going nowhere, warm season or cold... so get hold of a trusty pair in dark hues to mix day- and night-time separates with. Black denims can always be dressed up with heels.
On plastic surgery and Botox
“I believe that if these procedures can make a person feel happier or more confident, it is perfectly OK. But there are limits; some women go way too far with surgeries and injections. It should be for aesthetic reasons rather than emotional ones and, of course, should not be harmful for your health.”
Dress, Dh149, Ella at Namshi.com; Heels, Dh63, Redtag; Bag, Dh125, Ella at Namshi.com; Necklace, Dh59, Parfois; Cuff, Dh69, H&M.
Find a neutral-tone maxi, that you can layer with your leathers but that still looks fab on it’s own... an Angelina-style side split never hurt anyone either!
On being a curve model
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to deliver the message to other women that being curvy is attractive and beautiful, and being ‘normal’ is actually normal!”