A VIRTUAL ESCAPE WITH LES OTTOMANS

Most of us are longing to travel and fulfill that sense of adventure that has been sitting home for quite some time. While physical travels are still difficult, why not let our minds wander through virtual escapes? Bertrando di Renzo’s love for travel, and, in particular for the Turkish culture, led to the creation of his eclectic and vibrant homeware brand, Les-Ottomans.


“Istanbul is the key. That city is magical. You breathe history and you feel all the cultures that have passed through its paths.” Bertrando finds beauty and inspiration in every culture. While his inspiration began in Turkey, it certainly does not stop there. Les-Ottomans truly embraces the notion of ‘East meets West’ by combining elements of both cultures into one, creating collections that depict characters, animals and other figures from both worlds.“I try to bring all the cultures into my world and my mood, sometimes keeping them simple, and sometimes reinterpreting them.” His collections are exotic, vivid, adventurous - everything we are seeking right now.

Traveling is a way to re-set, to be inspired with another culture or landscape, and to connect with nature and with other people. And what better way to do so than with a themed dinner party. An evening that transports you to a different era or place in the world. A moment that revives feelings or thoughts inspired by the smells, the music and the visuals of the night. Well, the good news is that there is no brand more perfect for a virtual escape than Les Ottomans.

Invite a close group of friends and host a Turkish-inspired evening they’ll never forget. The Costantinopoli collection (one of our favorites) features dancers, soldiers, monkeys, elephants, dancing around the plates, bringing the table to life. Use a combination of candles, dried fruits, and nuts as centerpieces, and create a playlist with lively beats that enhance the feeling of the culture.

“Istanbul is the key. That city is magical. You breathe history and you feel all the cultures that have passed through its paths.” Bertrando finds beauty and inspiration in every culture. While his inspiration began in Turkey, it certainly does not stop there. Les-Ottomans truly embraces the notion of ‘East meets West’ by combining elements of both cultures into one, creating collections that depict characters, animals and other figures from both worlds.“I try to bring all the cultures into my world and my mood, sometimes keeping them simple, and sometimes reinterpreting them.” His collections are exotic, vivid, adventurous - everything we are seeking right now.

Traveling is a way to re-set, to be inspired with another culture or landscape, and to connect with nature and with other people. And what better way to do so than with a themed dinner party. An evening that transports you to a different era or place in the world. A moment that revives feelings or thoughts inspired by the smells, the music and the visuals of the night. Well, the good news is that there is no brand more perfect for a virtual escape than Les Ottomans.

Invite a close group of friends and host a Turkish-inspired evening they’ll never forget. The Costantinopoli collection (one of our favorites) features dancers, soldiers, monkeys, elephants, dancing around the plates, bringing the table to life. Use a combination of candles, dried fruits, and nuts as centerpieces, and create a playlist with lively beats that enhance the feeling of the culture.

  1. “ I don't follow a special process and I don't follow trends. I do a lot of research on the Ottoman culture, patterns and designs."
  1. We spoke with Bertrando to learn more about his passion for travel, favorite destinations, and the story behind his fabulous brand, Les-Ottomans.

 

What inspired you to create Les-Ottomans?

Les-Ottomans came out as a project after me living in Istanbul for almost a year. I already knew the city, and fell in love with it and with Turkey years before. So when I discovered turkish craftsmanship, I wanted to promote it and show that 'savoir faire' can be found everywhere in the world if we look with an open mind.

 

Tell us more about the process of designing a new collection

I don't follow a special process and I don't follow trends. I do a lot of research on the Ottoman culture, patterns and designs. The Ottoman empire was present in Europe as well as in Africa and the Middle East, so the sources of inspiration are many and different. Once I find the design I love, I start working on it, making it more contemporary. I also like to work in conjunction with my artisans as they know better how to transfer my ideas on a fabric, a plate or a rug.

 

The idea of ‘East meets West’ is a big part of your brand’s DNA. Tell us more about this idea - how does one culture influence the other, how are they similar, how are they different?

Istanbul is the key. That city is magical. You breathe history and you feel all the cultures that have passed through its paths. Long before globalisation, Istanbul was already the centre where the world met. You could find products from Damasco and Venice, from Marrakech and Poland. We think we invented many things that were actually there long before we knew them.

  1. “ When I discovered turkish craftsmanship, I wanted to promote it and show that 'savoir faire' can be found everywhere in the world if we look with an open mind."
  1. How do you find inspiration?

  2.  
  3. Reading, walking in the streets, travelling and meeting people that know better than me :)

     

    How do you decide which cultures or countries to depict in your collections?

  4.  
  5. I don't decide. It happens. I try to bring all the cultures into my world, my mood, sometimes keeping them simple, and sometimes reinterpreting them.

     

    What is the most exotic place you have ever been to?

  6.  
  7. The most impressive has been Lapland during the winter. The most touching has been Cappadocia. Having someone opening a hidden (and wall painted) church for you is an experience that has no value. The most overwhelming has been la Camera di San Paolo in Parma.

     

    What’s on your travel wishlist? Where do you want to go next?

  8.  
  9. I want to go back to Japan, a country that I loved, and to Georgia because the ex Soviet republics interests me a lot.

     

    Which new Les-Ottomans collections or collaborations are you most excited about?

  10.  
  11. All of them. Vito Nesta has a special place in my heart because it was the first one and because we became good friends. Matthew Williamson has been the kindest of guy and a unique talent and I was honoured he accepted to work with me. But then Andrea Ferolla and Daria Reina at Chez Dedè, Studio Pepe, PatchNyc - each one of them has helped to build Les-Ottomans.

     

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