Meet the Emirates pilot and Fashionista.
Ashley Klinger is a pilot with Emirates, and a Fashionista participating in the Emirates ‘Be There’ campaign.
In between jet-setting for work and transporting passengers across the globe, Ashley also shops until she drops at stopovers.
She is documenting her travels through the ‘Be There’ campaign, which is designed to show flyers the other side of cities.
The 33-year-old Boeing 777 pilot, from Arizona, US, may not appear to be your typical plane captain as she has been into fashion and style for as long as she can remember.
“I’m a girly girl,” she says. “Ever since I was little I’d run around in high heels and pink bows. My mum said every night I’d tell her, ‘Mum, you need to put curlers in my hair before I go to school tomorrow’.
“She tells me I was in charge of what I’d wear to school every day, but I didn’t really think about it in this way. It was just something I did. I just love getting dressed up and seeing fashion.”
Working as a pilot, Ashley has visited a huge number of cities and recalls regularly struggling to fit all her shopping into her suitcase. And she says working as a pilot complements her love of style.
“The fashion has always been a side thing. I got into aviation for the travel, I love flying airplanes, I love being a pilot. For me, it was that I wanted to travel the world, so I thought, why not just take myself there?
“And that’s how I ended up in flight school.
“The fashion component was always something I’ve been interested in, but I’ve never had the means or ability to really pursue it.
“I couldn’t really shop; I couldn’t really do any of those things because I just didn’t have the money when I was younger.
So now, working at Emirates, I’ve had the exposure to see the fashions and be able to shop around the world, so it has kind of evolved over the last five years that I’ve been here.”
Ashley says she loves to assimilate the culture of the destination she’s in, opting for a fur hat in Russia or braided flowers and a light linen top in Malaysia.
Her Instagram account (@fashionash777) is an enviable mix of beautiful outfits and stunning locations.
Most recently, Ashley visited St Petersburg for the ‘Be There’ campaign, and says she was surprised by the fashion.
“To start, I Google ‘what is the best thing to do in St Petersburg’, for example, and for fashion, I look up what are the best things to do.
I’ll go on Pinterest and on blogs, and see what people are wearing – so I know what I should be wearing when I’m there.
I look up the street fashion, who is the top designer in Russia, and how they put it together, and see how I can combine those things.
Ashley ready for the opera in St Petersburg.
“I went to the opera in St Petersburg, as I read it was a must-do, so I looked up what people wear at the opera and saw these stunning gowns, so I decided I needed a gown.”
She says she was surprised by the street fashion in Russia, too.
“I always thought Russia was cold and dark, so people would be in just fur hats and black.
“But it’s totally the opposite. In St Petersburg, even the architecture had colour, the people wore colour – the shops I went
shopping in, it was floral and plaid and patterns, pinks and blues – all these bright that I wasn’t expecting.”
Ashley says she loves finding off-the-beaten-track destinations, researches upcoming designers and visits unusual boutiques.
“I love exploring and finding places – the night markets in Taiwan are one of my favourites.
“I got there and I knew I was going to be there for hours.”
In 2012, Ashley recalls also winning the Jaguar Style Stakes for best dressed at the Dubai World Cup.
“It was crazy because the dress that I was in was from a layover four days before, when I was in Perth.
“I just ran into this cute little shop and the designer was in the shop that day, she fitted it on me, and I took it back and won best dressed at the Dubai World Cup.” (By Caitlyn Davey).
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