In 2005 after 30 years as a fashion designer, RIFAT OZBEK’s home became his primary focus as he turned his creative interest to interior design. Inspired by decorating his own holiday home in southern Turkey and his continued love of working with colour, textile and pattern he had the idea to produce an exclusive range of cushions.
Rifat’s exuberant design sense was instantly recognised and together with his partner Erdal Karaman they created YASTIK (Turkish for pillow) and opened a small shop near Bodrum. YASTIK by Rifat Ozbek own brand stores followed in Istanbul, Alacati in Turkey and then launched in London in 2010.
YASTIK cushions are a luxury home accessory produced in limited editions using hand woven Ikats and Suzeni embroideries. Sourced in remote areas of Central Asia and Uzbekistan, these centuries’ old textile designs have their own language and stories are told using colour, weave and pattern.
To create the YASTIK collections Rifat and Erdal retell the stories by combining the fabrics and reworking them in a unique and contemporary way making them versatile and ideal in a traditional or modern setting.
To add the ultimate sensual touch - a handful of lavender flowers is added to the luxurious down filling in each cushion "Just enough to suggest a sense of tranquillity"
Now emerging as a global brand, YASTIK has been successfully wholesaling for 3 years with an established presence in renowned stores such as CFOC and Le Bon Marche in Paris and Dwell in New York. Collaborations with hotels include Amanzoe in Athens, Maca Kizi in Bodrum and YASTIK was showcased at RARE by The House of Waris at The Gritti Palace in Venice and on Net-a-Porter internationally. The company also works on high profile projects with many prominent interior designers such as Todhunter Earle, Michael Smith and John Stefanidis.
As with his fashion designs YASTIK by Rifat Ozbek has gathered an exclusive celebrity clientele - Tilda Swinton, Donna Karan, Jemima Khan, Rupert Everett, Femke Janssen, Cindy Sherman, Daphne Guinness, Daniel Craig, Aerin Lauder, Monica Bellucci, Elizabeth Hurley, Lily Allen, Graham Norton.
Alongside his YASTIK business Rifat has also been working as an interior designer, he created Loulou's club and restaurant for private members' club - 5 Hertford St in Mayfair which opened to much acclaim in 2012 and is hugely successful. He continues to work with owner Robin Birley as creative consultant on other projects.
Rıfat Ozbek was born in Istanbul, he came to London in the early 70’s to study architecture then moved on to study fashion at Central St Martins graduating with honours in 1977. He started his own fashion line ‘OZBEK’ based in London in 1985, inspired by his cultural heritage, music, architecture and his extensive travels he swiftly found a loyal following in the press and in the most prestigious fashion stores worldwide. Over the ensuing years OZBEK became a highly acclaimed fashion label with runway shows in London, Milan, New York and Paris working with all the super models of the day including Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Yasmin Le Bon and Kate Moss.
Among many awards Rifat twice received “Designer of the Year” by The British Fashion Council in 1988 and in 1992. He contributed to the Venice Biennale in 1998 and his work has been featured in many exhibitions including The V&A, The Design Museum and The Museum of Costume in Bath, Pecci Museum in Prato, Stedeligk Museum, in Amsterdam. He also worked on many stage events and music videos, OZBEK celebrity clients included Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson, Sarah- Jessica Parker, Jade Jagger and Tina Chow amongst many others.