The developer of the first synthetic resin fibre and its unique range of outdoor furniture, Dedon is now developing resorts to promote its outdoor living ethos

Most brands aim to create an immersive customer experience, but outdoor furniture manufacturer Dedon has gone the extra mile with the launch of Dedon Places, a collection of luxury international holiday resorts. The first, Dedon Island Resort on Siargao Island in the Phillippines, opened in March, aiming to offer guests visitors a fun, relaxed retreat amid a high-design environment.

As Dedon global marketing director Tom Wallman explains, the project serves to further instill the company’s aspirational values in the minds of its clients. ‘We will always push for a bigger idea than just the next piece of furniture,’ says Wallman. ‘The island offers visitors a chance to experience Dedon’s open-minded spirit and reconnect with the outdoors, something that is core to our identity. Essentially it is an outdoor-living experiment to help us explore what we want to be.’

The Dedon Island Resort’s nine villas were designed by Jean-Marie Massaud together with Daniel Pouzet and are furnished, of course, with the latest and best pieces from Dedon’s vast collection, as well as some one-off designs created using locally sourced materials. This is part of Dedon’s eff orts to make a positive impact on the surrounding area, which includes supplying the local school with fabric for uniforms and establishing a farm to be used by the local community.

The brand’s connections with the Philippines are an important part of its fascinating history. Dedon was created in 1990, when founder Bobby Dekeyser left his career as a professional footballer for Bayern Munich FC and went into the family business of plastics extrusion. With his uncle, he developed the world’s first synthetic resin fibre (now called Dedon fibre), a durable, flexible and weatherproof weaveable cord, and saw its potential for outdoor use.

After initial development with an expert Filipino rattan weaver, and some years of brand building in Germany, in 2000 Dedon opened its own factory in the Phillipines, in Cebu. The company initially grew at a rate of 80 per cent a year, and in the past decade has gone from a team of three to 3,000 employees, with furniture sold in more than 80 countries.

Dedon is known for its work with star designers such as Philippe Starck (for the collection Play), and is the first furniture company to work with fashion photographer Bruce Weber, who shot its 2010 ad campaign.

Another key strategy is staying on top of a fast-changing market says Wallman: ‘The standard is far higher than ever before. The number of communication outlets is huge, and the consumer is much smarter. We have to be more 360 degrees than ever.’

With the launch of an in-house travel agency, the 2012 collection and now Dedon Places, this brand is certainly doing all it can to stay ahead of the curve.

This article was first published in idfx Magazine.

Working on something exciting? Submit your project to Design Curial.

Submit project to DesignCurial