Q&A with Matteo Martini, Country Manager, UK & ROI at Dedar Milano16/10/23
Taylor Howes is proud to work closely with Dedar Milano, makers of Italian textiles and wallcoverings, on many of our most prestigious projects. In fact, we love Dedar’s fabrics so much that when it came to refreshing our own studio, we asked for their help!
We sat down with Dedar’s Country Manager Matteo Martini to talk about the current market and new developments in the world of interior design.
- How does the market respond to new products/trends you put forward in your experience?
I would say that the market is always very receptive and responsive to new products and new trends. London in particular, is such an incredible international hub for the interior design industry and a crossroad of different cultures and styles but with a strong heritage as well.
- How Is sustainability factored into your production? Is this becoming more and more important with regards to your clients’ requests?
Sustainability has become one of the key aspects of our future strategy, not only because more and more clients are becoming more aware and conscious, but most of all because we feel the need to do our part in the difficult journey to make the textile industry a more sustainable and responsible industry. It is not an easy task as production processes involve a very intricate and global supply chain.
Since 2020, we have committed to publishing the annual Sustainability Report, to transparently report on corporate impacts and present the areas and action goals for sustainable development. Since then, we have been following precise guidelines that have led us to use yarns from recycled materials, especially for our collection of “performance” fabrics – fire retardant and outdoor: today we have 36 products with recycled fiber components. Besides, over 75% of the Dedar collection is made in Italy and all our suppliers follow responsible production processes.
- Where do you look for inspiration when designing your products, in terms of material, pattern, colour etc.?
Fabrics and wallcoverings are designed by the Creative Department, under the Direction of Raffaele Fabrizio, Creative Director and co-owner of the company with his sister Caterina (CEO). We really believe in the expressive potential of textiles, their ability to evoke emotions and their capacity to transform spaces. We recognize fabric as a fundamental component within interior design. It alternates between being a centerpiece and a subtler, more understated element. We are aware that interior designers who opt for our fabrics perceive them as important for adding beauty, a feeling of excellence, and meticulous craftsmanship to any environment. More than just being useful, each fabric also has a special inspiration behind it, telling a different story each time and leaving room for imagination.
Fabrics from Dedar Milano’s Adorabile Alpaca (L) and Tabula (R) collections
- How do you think the interior design industry has changed over the last 5 years?
I have noticed two significant changes in the last 5 years, and in both cases I think the pandemic played a decisive role.
Firstly, the line that used to separate the language of residential interior design from hospitality design has become more and more blurred. Comfort has become a primary need for end consumers who, especially in the high-end markets, are looking for that sense of warmth and coziness in their travels, that ‘’home away from home’’ experience. This is a strong motivation for designers to adopt a different approach and, for brands like us, to develop products that combine beauty, quality and technical performance. At the same time, the pandemic has pushed some design studios that previously specialized only in commercial and hospitality more towards residential projects, for obvious reasons, and this phenomenon has accelerated the merging and blending of the languages and styles.
The second big change is related to sustainability and social responsibility. Not only the end consumers are becoming more and more conscious of environmental sustainability, pushing designers in that direction but also the designers, in particular the younger generations, are more aware of their social responsibility and the impact that their work has on the wellbeing of the people that will live in the spaces they design.
- What has been your favourite project to collaborate with Taylor Howes on and why?
We worked closely with Jane and the team on the refresh of Cheval Place, Taylor Howes Studio and it was such a pleasure seeing the creation process come to life in total freedom, without limitations coming from the client’s brief. After launching our new 2023 collection in January, the Taylor Howes team dived into our new books and samples and celebrated Dedar by choosing beautiful colours and textures for the furniture pieces. We were absolutely delighted and honoured to be involved in the project and it’s a joy for me now to visit the Studio and see all those beautiful fabrics in use!
Dedar fabrics in situ in the Taylor Howes studio at Cheval Place.
- What do you think sets Taylor Howes apart from its competition?
Attention to detail, passion for quality and familiarity. Every time you enter into the studio you are welcomed like one of the family. Jane and Karen have built such a lovely environment where you can really feel at home. You can see why their clients immediately feel the same, welcomed with kindness, competence and professionalism and inspired by beautiful designs. The attention to detail is always key with Taylor Howes, every detail is paid such close attention to. From the stone finishes in their side tables to the trims on the cushions, you know every detail will be perfect.
- Why do you like working with Taylor Howes (hoping that you do!)
My team and I absolutely love working with Taylor Howes. Karen and Jane are extraordinarily passionate, knowledgeable and professional businesswomen, who have built a team made of kind and talented designers with a deep understanding of the business and its dynamics. It is a true pleasure working alongside such a special group of designers who will always be great friends of Dedar.