A backyard in the midst of Munich’s Bahnhofviertel: in between the sewing machines mountains of books and material samples. The studio is simultaneously a living and working space for artist and designer Ayzit Bostan. Here in her environment of creative and productive chaos arise a range of linear, almost minimalistic designs. For more than 15 years, Ayzit has enriched German fashion and art worlds with her critically acclaimed and stylistically confident products and experimental site specific installations.
Ayzit recently received outstanding recognition for the sophisticated handbag designs in collaboration with Phillipp Bree owner of the newly launched label „PB0110“. PB0110 is the result of his vision to design the perfect bag which ages beautifully the longer it is worn. Ayzit has been instrumental in assisting with this ambition, specifically with her selective sourcing of quality materials. Within nine different designs Ayzit implemented her very own concept of resistance with the approach of designing timeless classics. She opens the doors to her personalised atelier in the most beautiful part of Munich: an inspired and artistic microcosm. Here she discusses why she continues to cross her fingers for the Turkish football team while giving her top tips on the best places to see cutting edge contemporary art in her hometown.
Is there anything that would give away your Turkish heritage?
I am looking increasingly more Turkish as the years going by. But even though my roots are from Turkey, I have lived my life here in Germany since I was four and have adapted in the sense of leading a European life. When it comes to football I completely support Turkey, however, because they don’t often succeed in it.
What do you say to people that describe Munich as an ostentatious city?
There are wealthy mansions in corners of every city and Munich certainly possesses areas where socially weaker income groups live. Of course Munich appears as a very slick place, just like Disney World. After having been to Berlin for Fashion Week, I realized how well organized and clean this city is. But there are many wonderful people here, just like in Berlin.
Where can I find you on a Sunday in Munich?
Most likely at my atelier. I love being here, especially on weekends because that is the time I have peace and can be alone. It is my very own cosmos. That doesn’t mean that I work every single minute here. When I am alone I often sit on my couch and read a book. I am simply more often here than at my flat. I often prepar my seminars for my professorship at art school Kassel as well.
What do you try to convey to your students?
The goal is to create interesting and passionate projects by having exciting topics that hopefully result in something good. It is about doing something and it is alright to fail at it. Failure is a much better mentor than trepidation.
Back to Sunday: let’s take a special scenario and pretend you are having breakfast with a friend!
You are a quasi expert when it comes to art. Where would you take friends that are in Munich for a visit?
I would recommend Haus der Kunst because they have always exceptional exhibitions. Also I recommend the Götz collection and the Kunstverein. I am really looking forward to the new Lenbachhaus. It will be an architectural highlight. I would also suggest going to Schumann’s for schnitzel and beer in the early afternoon afterwards.
The project ‘Replica‘ was realized at the Hofgarten – what other place would be tempting for a project?
I definitely would be tempted to realize a project within an open space again. Maybe even a not just visual one. I find it really exciting to intervene without some kind of premonition at public space that is so often used. The Hofgarten is a beautiful, central place that has an international flair. I am also extremely proud to have won a prize and that invited me to present a project at the Philharmonie.
You are very connected with art and your works are often exhibited. What do you answer when a stranger asks you about your profession?
I say both. When the question stems from an art perspective, I say I am an artist and designer. If someone asks me in regards to fashion, I say I am a designer and artist.
How did you get into fashion?
Honestly, it really started because of a desire to possess clothes that I couldn’t afford and avoid walking around in mass produced garments. Additionally, I am lucky to say that I am very good with my hands. I did an apprenticeship as a tailor. After that I worked so much on my own that I didn’t even realize that I was self-employed. I didn’t want to work for another label and was also unable financially to go abroad for a year.
Does designing take all your energy or is it a natural process that happens easily?
It is my cosmos and is with me 24 hours a day. Of course one faces difficult tasks but that is the very challenge: to not stand still. I am very fortunate to do what I want to do. Even though there are exhausting sides to it, I still like to grapple with design and its problems.
You designed a very classic but modern Chelsea boot. How do you approach a draft like that?
My intent is to bring more sexiness and even more modern timelessness to an existing classic design. A friend, who owns the shoe store, asked me to collaborate with her. Half a year later I had the idea of making a varnish cap for the classic Chelsea boot. It gets noticed without screaming fashion.
What are the reactions to your prints like Blackflag?
It varies. I always get feedback by friends and clients who are approached by people due to the prints – they are ‘conversation pieces.’ People really appreciate this within the area of the central station because it is Turkish and they feel flattered.
Let’s talk about your current project: the bag collection for PB 0110.
I did the women’s collection. I had previously worked with Bree and was very happy to be asked by Philipp Bree. As soon as I saw the concept I really wanted to collaborate with them. This was not about ‘fashion-mania,’ but about designing a favorite bag. I was excited about making more mature bags that would look good for women of many different ages. For instance these bags look much more punk on me than on others.
Where are the PB 0110 bags produced?
They are produced in the Czech Republic, the fittings are from Italy, and the leather comes from Belgium.
Is there pressure when someone puts such great trust in you?
Not really. Rather, Philipp Bree and I are under the same pressure with the material needing to be top quality. This is something very different for Bree, as he is used to mass production. The details and fashioning were important this time. It is also a very different price range. I didn’t want to design one hundred bags for each season. I do two or three, each one of them being classic and modern.
What is the next step for you?
We are meeting soon for the new collection and will do additions or new colorations for the already existing models. It is important to me that the pieces are being accurately and well presented in Berlin. This includes the fair appearance and off-location, through which we are able to celebrate the brand again.
Ayzit laughs heartily. This charming statement is very modest, because the bag collection was excellently received by the press. With their first collection, Phillip Bree and Ayzit Bostan achieved their goal for PB0110 effortlessly: Creating timeless special pieces. The collection will be available from Mai 2013 onwards.
Ayzit it was wonderful to talk to you about your art and fashion projects and hear about life in Munich. If you would like to find out more about Ayzit’s work see her website here.
Photography: Christoph Schaller
Interview & Text: Isabelle Braun