Miss November of the Calendar Girl Dutchess Riley as Cleopetra an interview by Ruqya Khan

12-novemberDutchess is from America and she is 45 years young. She features on the Calendar Girls project as Cleopatra! A strong choice one would think and that just is who she is and what she is made of. She is not a fairytale character, she is not a princess and yet she is mystical and wise just like Cleopatra herself. Working in a male dominated sector she enjoys her role and responsibility.


The stereotype she wanted to break by being on the Calendar Girls project was that ‘Beauty and Braun are as old as the beginning of time. Just believe in yourself!’


“If Cleopatra could do it so can you all be superwomen. With adversity comes strength and character. The more you accomplish the stronger your shield becomes to always return to the battlefield as a goddess, a mother, a lover, a warrior and even an everlasting icon. Cleopatra was not Egyptian, however passionately believed she was the reincarnation of ISIS the Egyptian Goddess. We are all Goddesses.”


“A woman is beautiful when the eye to her soul is present and her passionate heart is open.”


Beauty comes from the deepness of the soul. It is strength with a golden twinkle. It is courage with ruby red lipstick. It is a woman’s love for herself. It is the friendliest gesture and it is compassion for one’s enemy. It is also that beautiful face that only lasts with time if your soul is empty. Beauty is the inner part of you that lights up a cloudy day.


Cleopatra is a dynamic reference of strength, beauty, tenacity and intelligence for women today.

“I may not represent that to the women of the world but it is my responsibility to represent it to myself as well as impose it upon my children. I have been blessed with many opportunities, yet I have been brave in choosing only a few life paths that have brought me more blessings than I could ever have imagined. Kind of like Cleopatra choosing to make alliances with those greater than her brothers to move forward. I do not feel that I am in a man’s world as Cleopatra was emerged. I feel that as a woman my role is even greater. I do not want to be as strong as any man, yet the strongest woman that I can be to myself and to my daughters and sons. Cleopatra remembered her femininity and how to use her beauty as strength not as a Prima-donna. I am married with children but first I am a woman and then a wife…. I feel like Cleopatra, I am in charge of my palace (home),” said Dutchess as she defined her choice of character and the connect she feels with it.

“I have been a partner and financial controller of a trading company in the oil and gas industry for the last 12 years. In parallel I have acquired the resources that have brought me to my current project which is developing my design concept between the Middle East and Europe. I must say that I am indifferent to the battle of the sexes. From a western point of view it is becoming more and more outdated. As far as being in the Orient, I feel that I cannot use my being a woman an excuse for behavior therefore I should not accept it from within my business relationships. As women, we must realize that the world may not be advancing in their mindset as fast as women are advancing in their capacity to be competitive. Fair? Just? Inequality? You be the judge!” she added.


The most fascinating side to this beautiful career woman is that she is the Fashion Design and Creator of the webstore Dutchess Design Concept brand/label. “I must admit that I feel like fashion design chose me. Kind of like a Queen being chosen by her people. Everything I see is fashion. I could never force myself to label Fashion Designing as a ‘Career or hobby’ as it is an innate part of who I am. I grew up with all aspects of design within my family from my mother who designed lingerie to my father who designed kitchens and Gazebos and my aunts who were fine drapery tailors. So in my opinion, it was a handed down talent that I was blessed to have actually loved growing up. My first fashion shows were in high school and prom events onward to making extra money for myself by designing for other fashion designers who actually had their labels established during my University years which by the way was not for fashion but business and finance. In the past I have sold my designs/collection privately in specialty galleries, my webstore ‘Dutchess Design Concept’ and privately. I am currently working on a private client base in Europe; however I hope to soon share my hardwork with my Dubai patriots soon.”


“My family is very supportive and proud of what I do. I am Dutchess, then my titles proceed as a wife and mother of five beautiful souls. I know that my children have only just discovered this part of their mother but I am so delighted to introduce them to this part of my being. My husband knows my passion yet he has encouraged me to use it in business as an efficient player in a predominantly man’s world.”


Taking a step back she shared her secret for women who want to make a mark and have it all, “I think that women should first understand what their all is and then break it into mini parts (GOALS). Set timelines and stick to them. Learn how to adapt to the unexpected, be ready for opportunity when it calls, and know how to engage and disengage, love yourself and most of all be truthful to yourself. I am a loner, who loves being alone with my thoughts of the future. I need retreats of just silence to find my balance. But this is by being at peace with my dwelling. Within my dwelling, I have family and friends. I would say that I am strong and can do the impossible for anyone yet it is not what I seek from others. I am content in the doing, giving and the knowing that all is well on the outside. Therefore I am quiet within.”


About Calendar Girls: W2W Events Proudly presents the launch of Calendar Girls 2016 at the Gallery of Light on 28th of November 2016 – 6 months of work and one day of inspiring speakers, performers and Fashion showcase – we launched with a bang. An event to change minds about Beauty and Body image – showcasing the worlds most beautiful women in one calendar. #BeautywithoutBoundaries #woman2woman #womensupportingwomen #Calendargirls2016

Credit for this amazing event goes to a full team of awesome individuals!

Events By : W2W Events

The Awesome Events Team:










Photographs Courtesy:

Priyanka Geriya

The Fashion Designers:

Kash Kouture

ANISA Couture

Shaby Designs

Fussy Diva – by Desi Sari Dewi

Rev Du Soliel


Hayaati by Aisha

Dutchess Closet

Jewelry Sponsored by AGATHA Paris

Makeup Sponsored by Bourjois Middle East – الشرق الأوسط

Official Salon: Splendour Salon

Makeup Artist: Malini Ohri

The Amazing Performers:

Siya & Varsha


Smartband from SmartLife Foundation

Official Film Maker: Kalyan Chakravarthy (KC24)

Official Media Partner: @Selfie Tv

The Fantastic Speakers:

Dina Taji

Mahima Mehta

Kimberly Miranda

Rohit Manek

Malini Ohri

Marie & Lara – Bourjois


Ruqya Khan

The Amazingly Beautiful Calendar Girls of 2016:

Anita Menon

Bindiya Farswani

Dilakxi Antony

Dutchess Riley

Juri Deandler

Kim Oberoi

Komal Chhatwani

Mahek Anadkat

Menaka Ramakrishnan

Piyaa Jayesh Kumar

Pinky Jayesh Kumar

Ritu Chaturverdi

Rumali Kularatne

Yasmina Alidodova

To learn more: zareen.w2w.pr@gmail.com