Ozlem at home in Echo Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Tell us a little about your background in life and in your career.
I grew up in between Turkey and Sydney. My passion lies in making things. I spent a lot of years on music…touring and recording as rapper and singer in a few different bands. I don’t have time for that these days but I still get to DJ.
I had a clothing company called ‘Children of the’ years ago. I now have a shop called a.muse concept store. I am a fashion editor for two magazines which keeps me traveling. I also make jewellery. I am about to open a boutique hotel in Bali at Canggu Beach with Adam Hall from Mexicola restaurant.
In the last 6 years I have always done a million things and thrived on the challenge of the juggling act but I am looking forward to honing in my new love of architectural design and saying no to a lot of new projects in 2015 to focus on just the hotel…Bali is amazing in that whatever you can dream up can be made which is very exciting for me. I get extremely bored once I conquer a challenge which makes it hard for me to focus. Once I have done things and have hit my plateau I long for a new challenge… I feel I have crossed off all that I have wanted to conquer in terms of fashion so I am so excited at the prospect of furniture design and the hotel design itself.
What brought you to Bali? What do you love most about living there?
I wanted a change from conventional living. It felt like everyone I knew was on a rat wheel in Sydney working 9-5 / 6 to 7 days a week. Living in tiny over priced apartments was torture for me. In Bali I love how there are no rules, no tolls, homes are all centered around outdoor life and gardens. The freedom of being on a motorbike. The crazy people I meet daily with stories of things they have run from or are running to. In Sydney I went to the same parties with like minded people wearing the same type of clothing obsessed with labels talking about the same things which was mainly other people. I am not saying everyone is like that in Sydney it just seemed to be where I was at that time. Here I hang out with the gentle-souled locals, meet old hippies with stories of their crazy pasts, my friends can range from chic Parisian designer to San Fran burners to Ubud ayurvedic friends to the wax heads to musicians and artists. Each with a story to tell and something new to teach me. There is no judgement amongst my friends, no class structure.
Would you say you have changed since you relocated to Bali?
Absolutely in every single way possible…I feel like Bali has rebirthed me in a way. I look back to who I was back in Sydney, my ideals, my goals, my inspirations and what I placed value in. I loved clothing, labels, the fancy parties…Since coming to Bali all of my values lean towards the simple things in life, the sunshine, the smiling children with their families with nothing else but the clothes on their back, waving as you go by. I was always rushing in Sydney and missing the small things that are everything….Instead of my designer shoes I walk barefoot to the beach each morning greeted by the cows and dogs. I feel I have more compassion towards people, to the things going on around me and that I live in the moment.
What does a typical day for you usually involve?
Waking up to meditate with my husband, then I watch him surf with my puppy. Breakfast and cuddles… Mornings are very special to us… We spend the midmorning working together…we tend to argue over who plays what song next…
Can you name your favourite places in Bali?
I still love Ku De Ta even though there are many new places…Old Man’s on a Sunday afternoon, The W Hotel for brunch on a Sunday, I love going to Bedugal to a place called Sanak Hotel, it is incredible and so well priced. I am really looking forward to my dear friend Gonzalos’ new place opening called La Laguna, he is a genius and after La Favela, this place will knock your socks off.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style is so hard to define. It changes from day to day, city to city… In Bali it is cut offs and singlets – extremely tomboyish. I love props hats, crazy sunglasses and jewelry so i tend to wear block colours and simple cuts so I don’t look too over the top. I love everything from a black sleek dress and red lipstick to a good mens style suit… Lately I have been into 50’s hats and pretty dresses – I think it’s the new wifey in me! In Turkey I love to dress everything up and in Tokyo I love playing crazy dress ups.
What are your favourite fashion brands at the moment?
My favorite brands will always be Givenchy, Balenciaga, Chanel but I am a sucker for all my dear friends’ labels Yazbukey, KTZ, The Prisioners of St Petersburg, Shakuhachi, N.L.P, State of Georgia, Miss Milne, This is Genevieve, Just for the money, Black heart and the list goes on…
How would you describe your home in three words:
Open, secluded paradise.
What influenced you when decorating your home?
Moroccan flavours, old black and white photography, nature, I wanted the whole house to be framed by living plants…the fact that the whole house is open and has super high walls and ceilings gave me a chance to have a lot of things hung, draped and dangling from the ceiling…mixed with the plants growing all over the balconies and walls the every inch of the house feels alive and like it is breathing. I love wood, earthy tones, different lighting tones, particularly over the pond and pool its always about a mood set in my place….
What of your personalities can we see in it?
I love animals so there is normally stray cats and dogs hanging around before you even come in due to me feeding them every morning… My love of nature is predominant in all areas of the house…I have a style of hanging pictures in a collage manner…
If your walls could talk, what would they say?
They would start by saying “Do I have some stories for you!”…..
What was the best party in your life?
Hmmmmm that is a hard one, it would be a toss up between Damon Dash’s party he threw on the river in Berlin, but I would have to say the parties Royal Elastics used to throw in the Botanical Gardens were amazing. The strangest party I ever went to would have to be the Olsens’ 21st suprise party!
If your life would be a song, what would be its title?
Devandra Banhart’s “I Feel Just Like A Child”
Famous last words?
Live every minute of your life to the fullest, full of love and compassion. Don’t miss the things right in front of you searching for bigger things that are not necessarily better. Do random acts of kindness every single day. LOVE LOVE and more LOVE!!!