Luxury Designer: Serdar Gülgün
Serdar Gülgün is the quintessential Renaissance man. He is a world-renowned interior designer, Ottoman art collector and expert, international lecturer at Sotherby's and Christie's, historian, and author - added to which you name any well-known artist or designer and you'll probably find Gulgun knows them too and has invited them to his 19th century mansion home on the Bosphorus (he once hosted a dinner of monkey brains in honour of , House of Waris,
Waris Ahluwalia's mother).
From his 19th-century mansion to his collections of historical art or his book,
The Grand Bazaar Istanbul
, Gülgün is known for his passion for bringing Turkish history to life.
In conjunction with Vakko* he designed a suite for
Radission Blu Istanbul
. Recently he also created a new look for
Four Seasons Sultanahment's
A'Ya rooftop terrace. He drew inspiration from the country's past: specifically, from the traditional Turkish coffee house, which had been the centre of society, culture and politics since the mid-16th century*.
Gülgün has combined his love of coffee culture and hospitality in a private tour which he runs with Four Seasons
. Guests can visit his exotic home on special tours. The opulant mansion
, Macar Feyzullah Pasha
, has been featured in
and a number of other design magazines. Originally a hunting pavilion built for an exiled Hungarian pasha in the 1850s it has been lovingly restored by Gülgün in an extravagant style. The house features finds from decades of exploring Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, antique and artwork. As a collector Gülgün specialises in historical interiors. His collection has been exhibited several times at
) so the house is extraordinary.
is the writer of the
Louis Vuitton Istanbul Guide
, he has also written a coffee table book on the Grand Bazaar. Gülgün shared with lookbooks.com
his three favourite shops inside the Grand Bazaar:
Doktor Antik in the Inner Bedesten is one of my favourite shops. In this shop I buy a lot of antique textiles, there are piles of them and I love the idea of being lost within the colours and textures. I also enjoy the oregano tea they serve. It is the best herb tea one can have in a cold day.
Sevan Bicakci! He designs the most extravagant jewellery. He produces so many jewels but I am very fond of his rings. That's why I call him 'The Lord of The Rings'. A ring in shape of a sultan's turban, or a belly dancer wrapped around your finger is considered a usual piece in this eccentric shop.
3. I love
Elif Kitabevi in the old book market. I adore being welcomed by the old owner of the place, Mr.Turkmenoglu. His old school manners and his advice about the old and new books are priceless. He is such a storyteller, you can easily listen to his stories about Old Istanbul for hours.
Tips for first time visitors to the Grand Bazaar
The best advice I would give (first time visitors) is to get mentally ready to be pleasantly lost in the alleys of The Bazaar. There is no danger but a great adventure and the feeling of being a treasure hunter ahead of you. The people are so helpful, they will help you to find your way and you will discover the 'out of the beaten track' shops and the most colourful and unusual people. On the other hand you have to be physically fit to survive this discovery and shopping marathon. Have the most comfortable shoes and outfit and plunge in the crowd of the oldest and the biggest surviving Imperial Treasure Chest of the world
One of Turkey's oldest fashion houses, Vakko carries its own lines as well as clothing, shoes, and accessories from high-end international labels at its flagship department store in Niþantaþý. The company is well known for its collection of silk scarves and ties
* Turkish coffee is made by combining finely ground coffee, sugar and water in a brass or copper pot, called a cezve or ibrik, and boiling the mixture three times. After you finish a cup, your fortune will be revealed in the remaining coffee grounds. It is said that drinking coffee with someone in Turkey will ensure 40 years of friendship.
The Grand Bazaar Istanbul is available for purchase at ASSOULINE Boutiques worldwide and a