Rifat Özbek

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Rıfat Özbek

Rıfat Özbek (Turkish: Rıfat Özbek, pronounced [ɾɯˈfat ˈøzbek]; born in 1953 in Istanbul, Turkey) is a Turkish-born fashion designer, known for his exotic, ethnically-inspired outfits.[1] He was named British Designer of the Year in 1988 and 1992.[2][3]


Özbek was born in Istanbul, Turkey and grew up in a yali on the Bosphorus.[4] He moved to London in the 1970s and lived in his parents flat in Belgravia whilst he was studying architecture and then fashion at Saint Martin's School of Art.[4]

After graduating in 1977 (or 1978), Özbek went to Italy where he designed clothes for Monsoon. In 1984 he established his own company and then began to show his yearly collections in Milan and New York City, and more recently, in Paris.

In 1987 the production of his studio line, Future Ozbek, was licensed to Aeffe SpA, in Italy, and his notoriety continued to grow. By 1995, Özbek had launched his own perfume called "Ozbek", and later a second perfume called "Ozbek 1001".[5]

The fall 1999/spring 2000 collections of many designers reflected the very aesthetic that Ozbek valued for over a decade—the artful mixing of unlikely patterns, shapes, and ornamentation, rowed from a global grab bag.along with bits and pieces borrowed from a global grab bag.[6]

In 2010, Özbek launched a new business called "Yastik" which means "pillow" in Turkish.[7][8] Özbek was an interior designer for Robin Birley's new nightclub, Rupert's, which opened in 2011.[9] He lives between London, Istanbul and Bodrum, where he resides with his partner Erdal Karaman.[4]


Rifat Ozbek is inspired by adornment. He is an observer of culture and subculture, from Tibetan to American Indian, and his interest in decoration is evident in his ornamental clothing. He gained notoriety by combining the decorative symbols and shapes of diverse cultures, such as the Far East, Africa, and his native Turkey, with the classic silhouettes of the West. Ozbek created eclectic clothing which encouraged the urban consumer to embrace “ethnic chic.” His use of embroidery, tassels, and vivid colors like turquoise and fushia was completely at odds with 1980s power dressing; nevertheless, his antifashion approach to modern dressing received quite a bit of attention from those who appreciated the departure from sharp-edged suiting.[6]

Ozbek’s designs reflected both club scene and New Age influences, when in 1990, he made clear his faith in spiritualism by presenting an all-white collection. His popularity ontinued throughout the 1990s as he continued his investigation of culture and subculture, taking street fashion to the run way with the addition of baseball caps covered with sequins.[6]



  1. ^ Seeling, Charlotte (2000). Fashion: the century of the designer 1900-1999. Könemann. p. 471. ISBN 978-3-8290-2980-3. 
  2. ^ Vogue. "Pollini-Rıfat Özbek". Retrieved 08-06-2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d British Fashion Awards. "BRITISH FASHION AWARDS – FACTS & FIGURES" (PDF). Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c The Telegraph (26 January 2009). "Rıfat Özbek's Turkish house: Aegean genie". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  5. ^ IPD Fragrances. "Rıfat Özbek". Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c KELLOGG, Ann T. (2002). In an Influential Fashion: An Encyclopedia of Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Fashion Designers and Retailers Who Transformed Dress. USA: Greenwodd Press. p. 237. ISBN 0-313-31220-6. 
  7. ^ The Telegraph (8 December 2010). "Rıfat Özbek returns with new textiles range". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Vogue. "Need It Now: Rifat Özbek’s "Yastik" Cushions". Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Pelly, Sam. "New club openings: London March 2011". High Life. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 

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