x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The height of fashion

Tanya Ashraf may look like she belongs in a slinky sports car, but the boutique-owning catwalk model says her "Rocker" Jeep Wrangler is perfect for her.

Tanya Ashraf may look like she belongs in a slinky sports car, but the Ajman resident says her "Rocker" Jeep Wrangler is perfect for her.
Tanya Ashraf may look like she belongs in a slinky sports car, but the Ajman resident says her "Rocker" Jeep Wrangler is perfect for her.

Ajman-based fashion designer, Tanya Ashraf conceded that her 2009 customised Jeep Wrangler might not be the most obvious choice for a style-conscious motorist. "Anyone who knows me would probably think that my Wrangler doesn't really suit my personality," says Tanya, who owns the high-end beachside fashion boutique, Roxx, and also works as a fashion model. "It's a very chunky and macho car and perhaps not the kind of chic vehicle people would expect me to drive." But then they do say opposites attract and that's certainly the case when it comes to Tanya's much-loved wheels.

"If you look a little closer you'll see that my car is truly unique and stands apart from the crowd. In that way, it's the perfect motor for me." In keeping with her desire to be a little different, the purchase of the Wrangler was not a run-of-the-mill trip to a showroom. Tanya's husband, Ashraf, purchased the car for her last year from an off-road display stand at the Deep Purple rock concert held in Dubai.

"The Wrangler carries a lot of sentimental value because Ashraf brought it for me as a surprise present for my birthday last year," recalls Tanya. "I loved the Wrangler as soon as I laid eyes on it and immediately named it 'Rocker' because it was purchased at a rock concert and because it rocks!" In midnight black, the Wrangler came with a host of custom accessories in keeping with the kind of car you'd expect to see at a Deep Purple concert. It has a modular hard top roof, a roll cage, custom wheels, Mickey Thompson tyres and a K&N air filter system.

"The thing I love most about the Jeep are the Mickey Thompson performance tyres and the 22-inch chrome wheels," she explains. "They look fantastic." Although traditionally known as a rugged off-road vehicle, Tanya admits that in between running Roxx in Ajman, strutting down catwalks and raising a young family, she has not yet found time to hit the dunes in her Wrangler. But all that's set to change in 2010 as she's looking forward to finally testing the car's four-wheel-drive capabilities.

"I prefer to drive with the automatic function as it's more convenient and practical, but my husband and I have been planning a family off-road trip for the upcoming winter holidays," she explains. And if dune bashing doesn't get the thumbs up from her three young daughters, Tanya knows what to do. "The car is fitted with a DVD system and there's also a docking station for my iPod," she explains. "Normally my daughters enjoy looking out of the window on long drives, but putting on your favourite tunes is also a great distraction."

A fashionista through and through, Tanya confesses she enjoys the attention she gets when she zips around the UAE in her Jeep Wrangler. "As well as being fun and safe to drive, I love that this is a car really turns heads when I take it out," she says. And while the petite fashion model and entrepreneur may look more at home in a sleek sports car, she concedes that there is no other car she would rather be driving. "For the time being, I think my Rocker does everything I ask of it, so in all honesty I don't think I could swap it for anything else. I'm extremely fond of it."

If nothing else, this must come as good news for Ashraf who obviously takes the prize for last year's best birthday gift - and the most imaginative shopping location, a Deep Purple concert. motoring@thenational.ae