Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Ritz-Carlton Magazine Feature

Ritz-Carlton Magazine 4 in Studio

4in studio

They are world-class entrepreneurs, but artists at heart.
They find inspiration in a piece of fabric, a rooftop or an
empty stage — wherever a blank canvas exists upon which
innovation takes flight. Indeed, when it comes to theater set
and costume designer Garance Marneur, weaver and restorer
Hayk Oltaci, furniture architect Werner Aisslinger and fashion
legend Miuccia Prada, their legacies will not be defined by sales
and merchandising. They will instead be remembered for the
passion they brought to their craft.

by karlin mccarthy

4 in studio inspire hayk oltaci

4 in studio
Name: Hayk Oltaci

Where in the world:
New York, where his business,
Hayko Fine Rugs and Tapestries, has operated at 857
Lexington Ave. (at 65th Street) for 12 years.

Known for: Celebrating his heritage through sublime
rug designs. Oltaci’s showroom is the place where
patrons worldwide come for the finest in authentic rugs.
He works closely with museums, private collectors and
auction houses such as Christie’s, often over Turkish
coffee. Born in Istanbul to Armenian parents, he came to
New York City in 1988 with his wife (both of his daughters
were born in the U.S.). He learned his craft while
living in Strasbourg, France, for 10 years.

Quote: “Above all things, an honorable and forthright
relationship is by far the most important thing to me.”

What inspires him: An experience from his youth
sparked a lifelong pursuit of excellence, as Oltaci explains:
“My grandfather gave me a beautiful Turkish prayer rug
from the Konya Ladik region when I was 17. There was
a hole in the center of the rug and the selvage end was
missing. We knew a repair man and we brought it to him.
Three months later, we got it back. My heart was broken;
it was horrible what they did to it. They put a patch on the
hole and cut off the ends! It looked like a cheap machine-
made rug. This rug had been a beautiful work of art, like
a great painting. Now it was ruined by bad repair. I knew
at that moment I wanted to help save these great works of
art from my country.”

Next projects:
Oltaci will be conducting classes in
the ancient art of rug weaving every month, a way to
share his passion with patrons. “Most of our clients are
by now old friends — they come back over and over
through the years,” he says. “We greatly value these
long-term relationships. We hope to meet more new
friends and look forward to working with them in the
coming years.” (To find out more, go to
or call Oltaci’s showroom at 212-717-5400.)



devoted to the arts

The Ritz-Carlton hotels around the world celebrate and sup-
port the arts in so many unique ways, we felt it was important
now to present some of these experiences in our magazine.

Considering the beautiful objects and collections we display
in our hotels and resorts, the local exhibitions we underwrite
and partner with, and the launch of the new Ritz-Carlton Film Se-
ries (which you can read more about in our profile of cinematog-
rapher Joshua Hess on page 154), it’s more timely than ever to
introduce — or re-introduce, as the case may be — the people
who literally design, create and color our world.

What better way to announce this special issue than with
an original work of art on our cover? Having the opportunity to
review the work of illustrators from around the world was a real
treat for me, and when we decided to commission a piece by
the international artist Brett Ryder, I was thrilled with the beauti-
ful piece he came up with. The more I look at it and its sugges-
tion that we are virtually limitless in how our imaginations can
fly forth, the more I feel it portrays not only who we are as a brand, but
what we truly offer our guests in the way of thrilling experiences in the
arts. From Picasso exhibits in our lobbies to nature programs on our
beaches to packages that let our guests get behind the scenes at local
museums, The Ritz-Carlton celebrates the arts every single day.

When I was in Palm Beach recently, I noticed the unique collection
of “shoes” in the presidential suite (anytime I see shoes I am auto-
matically intrigued — what girl is not?). The story behind the design
of these shoes and the artist who creates them is fascinating, as is
the curation of the glass and sculpture collection at The Ritz-Carlton,
Westchester. You’ll see those and more about making a hotel room
feel more like a home in our story “Hotel, um ... Art?” on page 136.

Deciding which craftspeople to profile for our “In Studio” feature on
page 127 was an artistic exercise in its own right. We had to narrow
a list of more than 15 fascinating people down to four, and I’m sure
you’ll like whom we have decided to focus on. I am especially touched
by Turkish rug designer Hayk Oltaci’s story about how he become
involved in restoring these precious works of art.

Finally, though not technically part of the art theme, this issue’s spa
feature does have its artistic elements — and a very special meaning
for me. When I was pregnant last year, one of my favorite ways to relax
was to enjoy several maternity-specific massages and the VIP treat-
ment one receives at our properties when one is a “nurturer to be.”
You’ll learn all about that (and the fabulous Mama Mio products that go
with these treatments) on page 148. I’m still enjoying the line’s Tummy
Rub and Shrink to Fit lotions even with no baby on the way.
Have a great summer. We hope to see you around the world,

Jamie M. Hoffman

Corporate Manager, Marketing

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

The Ritz-Carlton Magazine
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