Oh ' Anila

Oh ' Anila
Welcome to the first edition of 'Oh Woman' - our journal dedicated to sharing the stories about the women who inspire us. We are endlessly intrigued by the stories of women, near and far, who are part of our community and we're excited to share them with our wider audience.

This week, we are honoured to have spent time with Anila Khan; mother of two girls, international development worker, and new entrepreneur.  Having grown up in the UK, travelled around the world for her career, Anila is now based in Istanbul where she has recently launched her own Turkish Rug venture called Hazine Rugs. We spent the day in our studio shooting some new pieces from the Summer collection and chatting a bit about her world and philosophy on life! 

High waisted culottes sustainable fashion

Tell us a bit about your history / where did you grow up / what was it like?
 I was born in a sleepy-ish town called Hemel Hempstead just outside of London, England.  I didn’t realise it or feel it at the time, but it was quite a poor neighbourhood where education and general aspirational levels were very low. We were the only Pakistani/non-white family for miles around so we always stood out like a sore thumb! I lived on a cul-de-sac with loads of other kids, so I grew up playing and running around outdoors from dusk 'til dawn. We were never really in the house unlike most children today.

What in your opinion is your greatest achievement? I was going to say moving out of Hemel Hempstead and never looking back, but that sounds disrespectful to my hometown.  If anything it taught me to be open-minded, grateful and ambitious (but not in the typical sense such as financially or in my job, but the desire to explore the world as much as possible).

Have you ever failed at anything, and what did it teach you?
The concept of failure is something I don't entertain in my life, and that's not because I'm a high achiever! It's drawing a negative conclusion to events in your life whereas I prefer to see them a life-enriching lessons.

High waisted culottes burnt orange

What has motherhood taught you?
That the only real things I need to teach my daughters is for them to be kind, happy and appreciative.  All other goals and ambitions will be their own.  It’s also taught me to de-clutter my life (mentally and physically) and keep things simple.

What social issue do you wish was more talked about? My brother is a schizophrenic and a manic depressive so, I would have to say mental health issues. In the UK (where he lives) the topic is being discussed, but not enough is happening to help those people like my brother who need help to function and get through day-to-day life. There is no official intervention being taken - they are left in a constant miserable state of existence.

When are you happiest? When I’ve just tidied up my house!

Where is home, and what makes it home? As I approach 40 I’m learning that I’m most probably a nomad.  Three years in any one place is enough for me at the moment.  What makes it home is that it’s tidy!

Are you where you thought you’d be in life? Is there anything you’d change? I’ve never had a plan but I’m happy, so I’m exactly where I should be.  The only thing I’d change is meeting my husband a little earlier so we could have travelled more without kids. But it's no biggie!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? “Who gives a shit!” (My dad)

OhSevenDays - Sustainable womenswear

What do you feel the best wearing?
Anything from my wardrobe, as long as I’m feeling fit and healthy.

What was the last thing you cooked, and who was it for? Lentil curry for my family last night. I’m trying to be meat-free during the week so I’m now thinking of what vegetarian meals to cook tonight (which is not easy for a meat-loving reluctant cook).

linen jumpsuit oh seven days

Anila Wears:

Saturday Crop Top
Sunday-So-High Trousers
Tuesday Button Up Dress
Friday Belted Jumpsuit

Read more



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