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In just over 20 years, RKF Luxury Linen has brought a breath of fresh air to the world of hotel linens, combining ultimate comfort with relentless innovation


In just over 20 years, RKF Luxury Linen has brought a breath of fresh air to the world of hotel linens, combining ultimate comfort with relentless innovation

Category: Worldwide - Suppliers - Providers - Interviews
Interview made by Vanessa Guerrier-Buisine on 2023-08-03

Riadh Bouaziz, CEO of RKF Luxury Linen

Riadh Bouaziz, CEO of RKF Luxury Linen
Photo credit © RKF Luxury Linen

Founded in 2000 by Riadh Bouaziz, then an engineer by training, RKF Luxury Linen has since set itself the ambition of creating and supplying linen collections worthy of the exacting standards of the luxury hotel industry.

The fast-growing company, which already employs more than a hundred people, is built on three pillars: technical innovation, preservation of traditional textile know-how - possible in a factory that has been in operation since 1834 - and influence from Haute Couture.

Combining research and development with respect for the codes and traditions of French craftsmanship, RKF Luxury Linen takes French elegance to the international stage. Le Journal des Palaces caught up with Riadh Bouaziz, the emblematic founder of RKF, to find out the ingredients behind such success.

Journal des Palaces: What types of products does RKF Luxury Linen offer?

Riadh Bouaziz: RKF Luxury Linen produces bed linens, restaurant linens, bath linens and, of course, spa linens. We adapt to the expectations and needs of our customers, to provide them with exceptional products that respect their constraints, their graphic universes…

But we also try to go beyond their expectations, proposing innovative concepts and designs imagined especially for them in our creative workshops. And that's where our added value lies, putting our unique know-how to work for our customers.

What is your vision of luxury?

Our vision of luxury is inspired by French Haute Couture, with the finesse of the materials, the refinement of their enhancement and the elegance of the finished products at the heart of our concerns.

The aim of RKF Luxury Linen is to transform functional objects, such as a bathrobe, into genuine fashion accessories. In this way, we give these finely crafted products a new lease of life, enabling our customers to enjoy unrivalled comfort and elegance.

What are the expectations of your hotel customers by type of linen (bed, bath, spa, catering)? How have these expectations evolved?

Our customers are mainly looking for two things: excellence for their guests, and easy care for their staff. Our mission is therefore to provide them with quality linen that meets their specifications, and to be able to use it for as long as possible without the slightest loss of quality. We must therefore offer them noble materials that stand the test of time, as well as their industrial laundries.

And, as sustainable development is now a central concern, we strive to offer them products that require less water and less energy to maintain. This is good for both the planet and our customers, since these patented materials can cut maintenance costs by up to 50%, while lasting much longer than conventional linen.

What prestigious establishments in France and abroad do you work with?

To date, we have worked with over 40,000 establishments in 85 countries. In St Barts or the Maldives with Velaa Island, Cheval Blanc Randheli and with the grand palaces of Paris, such as the Four Seasons Hotel George V, the Fairmont in Doha, the Claridge in London and the Jumeirah Carlton Tower. We also work with major hotel chains such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Mandarin Oriental or Marriott International.

We also work with iconic cosmetics brands for their spa linens, such as Guerlain, Dior and Givenchy, as well as for the private residences of the world's great and good, from presidential palaces to royal palaces and embassies.

How do you stand out from your competitors? What are RKF's strengths?

There are several elements that set us apart from the competition. First and foremost are our exclusive materials, which offer far greater comfort, softness, and durability than conventional fabrics. Then there's our ability to provide top-of-the-range finishes thanks to our historic factory and the talent of our staff.

And finally, there's our creative workshop, which is available to all our customers to offer customized solutions tailored to their needs. Finally, we continually draw inspiration from Haute Couture to surprise our customers by going beyond their expectations. This is how we often set new trends in the home linen market.

In your opinion, how does the quality of linen influence the guest experience in a hotel?

Although we sometimes forget it, linen is a fundamental element in the experience of a great hotel. A good night's sleep always depends on good bedding and quality linens. Linen meets our skin and hair, and must be soft, breathable and, above all, up to the standards expected in this type of establishment.

A good night's sleep is essential if we are to face a long day with peace of mind, and the noble materials used in bed linen offer customers guarantees of a good night's sleep.

This is even truer for spa linens, since the very experience of treatment begins the moment the customer sits down on the massage table.

For all these reasons, the quality of spa linens is essential for the ultimate spa experience!

Do you have an example of an extraordinary request from a luxury hotel?

After more than two decades in the business, there are bound to be many anecdotes that come to mind. There was the time when a Palace on the French Riviera contacted us because a visiting American celebrity wanted a bathrobe to match his own for his dog. We made her a bespoke bathrobe, along with four matching slippers and personalized linen for her basket. The owner was delighted, and so was the hotelier.

I also remember that we had to urgently create bed linen for a Relais & Châteaux that had a round bed 2.40 m in diameter, in a suite located in a dungeon. We therefore had to produce a set of circular bed linen, including comforter covers with a diameter of 3.40 m to ensure that, whatever happened, the 50 cm flap would always be available all around.

Finally, I also remember a hotelier who called me because he had a loyal oversize customer who could never find a bathrobe in her size. In 48 hours, we produced two bathrobes for her in size 10 times XL. Thanks to these bathrobes, this very complex lady was able to enjoy the spa and bathing areas for the first time, walking around as she pleased, just like any other guest at this prestigious hotel. The story touched me deeply.

The textile industry is associated with a considerable carbon footprint. What sustainable efforts have you implemented at RKF? Are the luxury hotels you work with sensitive to, or even demanding of, this commitment?

We can no longer afford not to be concerned about our carbon footprint. Climate change is a reality, and we must all do our outmost to reduce it as much as possible.

Major hotels are increasingly aware of this issue, and so are their customers. For our part, it's a concern that we've had for over a decade, and it's integrated into our processes right from the research and development phase.

In the very design of our patented materials, durability and lightness are mandatory constraints. Durability, because we want our products to retain all their qualities for as long as possible, which is the opposite of “fast fashion”. Lightness, because our patented materials are luxurious yet very light, which means we can make considerable savings in terms of maintenance. These include Microfeel®, Dreamsoft® and Timeless®, three materials that are lighter, stronger, more absorbent and require less energy to maintain.

So, the lighter our products are, the more linen can be put into an industrial machine, reducing the number of cycles, and therefore water and energy consumption, and the faster they dry. Dreamsoft®, for example, can reduce the moisture content of a towel by up to 80% simply by spinning, whereas a conventional terry towel is likely to be around 20%. This means shorter drying times and much less energy consumption.

All in all, our linen lasts twice as long on average, and its technical characteristics enable it to save at least 50% on water, energy, and cleaning products.

Finally, we are also increasingly working with natural raw materials in our various processes, such as the preferred use of organic products for our dye house, like grenadine, black grape, olive leaves or saffron.

How do you choose the raw materials for your linen? And where do they come from?

We always select the best raw materials to produce our top-of-the-range linens. We pay particular attention to this. For example, we prefer American cotton and Egyptian cotton, which have the longest and finest fibers. This enables us to obtain the best yarns, and consequently the best fabrics. We also monitor the origin of our silk, linen (which is produced for us in northern France), cashmere, and all our raw materials.

Finally, the entire chain, from raw materials to the final processed product, has been awarded the independent Oeko-Tex 100 label, which enables us to identify and eliminate potential sources of problematic substances at every stage of processing. It also allows us to be certain that each of our suppliers respects our ethical commitments, such as banning the use of child labor. Finally, to be Oeko-Tex-labeled, we are required to work only with suppliers who are themselves Oeko-Tex-labeled, so we can be sure that 100% of our supply chain respects these principles.

You are present at and partner events such as the Sommet du luxe et de la création and the HOTel&SPA Forum. Beyond the commercial aspect of such an approach, what do these events bring you?

Of course, these events give us a certain amount of visibility, but they also enable us to maintain links with our customers. What's more, they enable us to keep abreast of the latest developments, advances in the sector and current issues that are of concern to our partners and customers.

Take the spa and wellness industry, for example: it's a relatively young industry, constantly on the move, with techniques that are constantly evolving. And we need to know this sector inside out so that we can always adapt to meet the expectations and needs of industry professionals.

And these are also rare moments when we can take a step back from highly topical issues and share our thoughts. We like to share our expertise at round tables, and we strive to be a source of inspiration for the entire industry.

Do you partner with artists for special creations, or work with craftsmen for certain designs? Could you give some examples of such collaborations?

Within our group, we have our own art direction, our own designers, our own milliners, our own creators, and above all, we try to maintain a great emulation within the RKF house.

Of course, we have our own influences, and we also draw inspiration from a wide range of arts and crafts. We already have some exceptional collaborations planned, but it's still a little too early to talk about them!

What are RKF's future projects?

We have so many… For example, we've just developed a new concept of a two- or three-piece bathrobe with pants and fitted jacket, available with or without a matching T-shirt (the DresSoft®). Its philosophy is “homewhere everywhere”, i.e., an indoor garment that can also be worn outdoors. The bathrobe jacket is elegant and comfortable and can easily be paired with jeans. We add a touch of glamour to this functional garment, turning it into a soft, comfortable fashion accessory for men, women, and children.

At the same time, we continue to develop new trends and patents, to keep surprising our loyal customers in the hotel, spa, and wellness industries.

Finally, after receiving numerous requests from individuals who have discovered our products in leading hotels, we are also preparing the launch of our e-shop. This will be the first opportunity to supply our linen to private customers so that they can enjoy the same standards of quality and elegance as they would in a Palace. It's called RKF Home and will be available very soon!

Bathrobe by RKF Luxury Linen

Bathrobe by RKF Luxury Linen
Photo credit © RKF Luxury Linen / Vincent Muller

Spa linen line by RKF Luxury Linen for Maison Codage
Photo credit © RKF Luxury Linen

Bed linen collection by RKF Luxury Linen
Photo credit © RKF Luxury Linen

More about...
RKF Luxury Linen
Techn'Hom 1 - 6 Rue de L'Etang


About the author

As a journalist and luxury hotel expert inspired by the men and women who embody it, Vanessa aspires to enhance and sublimate the beauty and elegance of palaces through her writing. "In a palace, simplicity serves the quest for excellence" she admires.

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