DEDON Collections 2011: Ready for Take-Off14.10.2010 / 15:27
Text by Felicity Fiber Photos by Mikhail Wassmer
DEDON Collections 2011: Ready for Take-Off
Berlin's Flughafen Tempelhof, one of the oldest and most storied airports in the world, site of the legendary Berlin Air Lift of 1948-49, officially closed more than two years ago. But the airport's vast and stunning departure hall, part of a complex that is claimed by some to be the largest built entity in the world, still sees active duty on special occasions. And last Thursday's DEDON Dealer's Day, a festive gathering of retail partners from across Germany and throughout Europe, was just such an occasion.
A quick scan of the airport's departure boards said it all: "Now boarding" was the DEDON Tour du Monde, its various destinations, from Kenya to Capetown, animating not merely the airport signage up above but the collections carefully arranged at ground level. For each collection on display — whether a classic like ORBIT or a brand new offering for like MU — was accompanied by its own Tour du Monde-inspired shop-in-shop system, complete with imagery and souvenirs from a stop on the Tour.
The departure hall opened to DEDON dealers at 4pm sharp. As hostesses dressed as flight stewardesses ushered the international crowd through the massive doors and down the steps, one might have been forgiven for assuming the airport was back in full service. But the carefully installed collections, the mood-altering music (courtesy of Berlin's DJ Naughty) and, above all, the open bar and waiters carrying trays of hors d'oeuvres and free drink — all strictly first class — quickly dispelled such a notion.
DEDON flight captains Hervé Lampert and Jan van der Hagen, accompanied by co-pilot Tom Wallmann and a bevy of flight attendants, soon took the stage, greeting the assembled guests and offering up some inflight entertainment in the form of short films introducing the new collections. Then it was time for the crowd of dealers to experience the furniture for themselves. NESTREST was an immediate hit, judging by the number of people surrounding it from the start, but TRIBECA and MU, with their subtle sophistication, proved equally successful in the end.
At 7:30pm, the flight crew returned to introduce the Tour du Monde catalogue, available to guests at the pop-up DEDON bookstore installed nearby. Next door to it was the DEDON travel office, where guests could admire the plans for the forthcoming DEDON Island Resort. Lounging about on the new collections, huddled around the Tour du Monde catalogue, the sophisticated crowd seemed fully absorbed in the world DEDON has been steadily creating over the last year. As Dealers' Day turned into Dealers' Night, the alcohol, still freely flowing, one had the feeling we were all on the same journey, bound for a successful 2011 and beyond.