If you ask me about one girl that epitomizes the modern version of Audrey Hepburn, that is for sure Haya. Lets take a look at her life, following her steps around New York …
Who: Haya Maraka
Location: New York City
Your perfect city to live in: New York City
One thing you can’t imagine yourself without: My family
Five things you always take with you when traveling: Mr. Snuggles (my teddy bear), my red lipstick, a good book or three, a notepad, my credit card.
What inspires you: I never limit my inspirations; I know it’s a cliché to say but inspiration really is everywhere but most importantly inspiration is within.
What’s your favorite food: Pasta and lots of it.
What makes you sad: It depends really, sometimes I could be sad over a boy, reading the news and seeing all the chaos in the world. Sometimes just a movie could make me cry. Also being away from my little sister makes me sad and my puppy Cleopatrick, he is the cutest.
Music: Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, Barry White, Billie Holiday, Fleetwood Mac, Nancy Sinatra, Serge Gainsbourg, Haim, Sade, Hall & Oates, Chromeo, Aaliyah, tu pac, Beyoncé, Jay-z, Diana Ross, Miles Davis, Prince, Jackson Five, The Beatles, Al Green, Eagles, Lana Del Rey, Aerosmith, Guns and Roses, Ambrosia, Asha Puthli, Natalie Cole, Steely Dan, Bob Marley, as you can see the list can really go on and on on and on I love music and I listen to music 24/7, If I am home its playing in the background, if I am walking its in my ears, I think it is important to have background music in life, music is a very important thing to me and it affects my mood, my wardrobe. I love music, just like almost everyone I guess.
Books: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Diana Vreeland Memos edited by Alexander Vreeland, Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart, The Eye has to Travel by Diana Vreeland, (As you can tell by now I am a bit obsessed with Diana Vreeland) Eloise by Kay Thompson, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, The ladies of the Corridor by Dorothy Parker, Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill, The interpretations of Dreams by Freud. The Lemoine Affair by Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost time by Marcel Proust, White Girl Problems by Babe Walker, A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer, The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda by Scott Fitzgerald, The Catcher In the Rye by J.D Salinger, Franny and Zooey by J.D Salinger, Emma by Jane Austen, Fifty Shades of Grey E.L James, Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho, (my mom had dinner with him once and got the book signed by him for me I was so happy I was 14 at the time) God Wears Lipstick by Karen Berg, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, Daughter of Fortune by Isabella Allende, Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman, Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, The Murder of Princess Diana by Noel Botham, Frida by Hayden Herrera, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill by William Manchester, The Grace Kelly Years by Frederic Mitterrand, The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margret George, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: A life Beyond her Wildest Dreams by Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince.
Clearly you can tell I love love love love to read, one of my dreams is to start a very chic and exclusive book club, when it happens I will be sure to invite you. Reading helps me escape my thoughts I love to get lost in the books and in characters lives, for me its better than movies. Reading not only gives you knowledge but also improves your memory and I find it very therapeutic, that and shopping of course.
What is your style signature? Although I like to take risks in life, I find when it comes to wardrobe I stick pretty much (well sometimes) to the safer side. My look is very classical and my style signature has to be my red nails and red lipstick. I love an extremely well tailored blazer and I am on the constant hunt for a crispy white shirt, I prefer small details to something over the top, I avoid print. I also wear a lot of black and white. Of course I enjoy a statement piece here and there.
How would you describe NYC to someone who has never been? New York City hmmm. I find when it comes to NYC it is either an immediate love or an immediate hate and no in-betweens. New York City is moody and crazy and energetic and fun, I would describe it as a place of growth especially for me as the city has taught me so much in such little time. People always want to come to NYC for all of the action, but I find it is important to balance your life. Nights in with a good book are crucial for survival in NYC. If someone I was speaking to hasn’t been to NYC I would simply just tell him or her 4 words: BOOK YOUR TICKET YESTERDAY
Where is the best place in NYC to have a coffee and watch people go by? That sounds more like Paris to me, as I don’t think the people in NYC have time to sit around and people watch, the best thing in NYC is to take your coffee in a to go cup and simply walk around and observe.
Where is the best place to have a drink? I love champagne and my favorite places to drink it would be Le Cirque, The Carlyle Hotel or The Mark, in the summer there are several rooftops as well that I enjoy.
Where do you go for a good lunch with girlfriends? I am definitely more of a dinner person than a lunch person. It really depends on the people your with to as where your going. Although Sant Ambroeus on Madison is a good place for lunch, in general I am not a picky eater so I always let the other person choose.
The best pastry shop… I do love cupcakes and cakes and for that I go to my friend Massimo’s Little Cupcake Bakeshop in Nolita. The atmosphere is always great and the coconut cake is beyond delicious. The pink packaging also makes me happy.
Tell me about your ideal day in NYC. My ideal day in NYC would definitely be a Sunday. Since I have the most fun on Sundays, I love to wake up early and find the streets empty because everyone is still asleep from a wild Saturday night. The city is quiet and the streets are empty and I walk my puppy and chat with the doorman. After that I pick up some fresh flowers for my apartment and then I could spend hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Frick Collection. Sunday is also my favorite day to do some shopping if I need it and then I like to go have a drink at the Carlyle Hotel and listen to the live jazz band. On Sundays I also love love to dress up since everyone is in jeans and sneakers.
Best Shopping Area: It all depends on what the person wants, some people like to shop in Soho. I love Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue.
What is the cool club to go to? I do not really like to go clubbing, but if I do go I like Le Baron in Chinatown.
Where can you always spot the fashion crowd? I do not know what you really mean by the fashion crowd, New York is filled with fashionable people and for me fashion is everywhere you go. A lot of people who work in the industry who are visiting can be found in the Mercer Hotel lobby.
Where do you go for a manicure? My manicurists are my best friends, they are so sweet and are as particular as I am about my cuticles, and I go to a place right next to my house its nothing fancy or special.
Your spa? I love the spa at the Peninsula Hotel; if I do go to the spa it is mostly when I am travelling on vacation somewhere.
Your favorite multi-brand shop? Well Bergdorf Goodman, of course.
Interviewed and edited by Alice Simeonova