How did you come up setting up a retail company that curates luxury interior products?
We decided to defy the market. It was a long time ago, myself and Ricardo Magalhães, the creative director for Covet House and Cofounder of the group, left college in the pursuit of the Portuguese true craftsmanship represented in the interior design and furniture world. We clearly found a gap in this field, we’ve searched, studied the markets and come up with the first designs: a collection of more conservative furniture and another much bolder. The market had a great response to the bold collection, and the eagle took flight from there to now.
What is your approach to e-commerce versus brick & mortar? Why flats / apartments and not traditional retail space?
Today, from around 500 employees in the Covet Group, 200 are connected to production, 50 to central services and the other half connected to the commercial, marketing and design areas. So, we have a very strong presence in the online world. Although we have a very clear approach to the e-commerce we are currently expanding, and we’re creating more and more showrooms. We’ve recently opened and flat in NYC, the Covet NYC showroom, we’re about to inaugurate Covet Valley, our second house in the Douro’s margins, complementing the Covet Douro mansion.
We also have Covet London and Covet Paris, and all of these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the real world Covet experience. We’re still expanding and bringing closer all design lovers, giving them the opportunity to feel our pieces and get moved and inspired by them, and I think that’s much more of an experience than just open a store.
You recently introduced a ‘lounge’ concept. Tell us more.
An inspiring place where you can spend a pleasant time during every international tradeshow around the world. We’ve created a space where everyone can enjoy the experience with our specialized team of ambassadors and walk through beautiful high-end design creations and its stories while relishing good appetizer and taste great Portuguese wine. We aim to bring back the wonderful tradition of sitting face to face with our partners and friends, fulfilling their desires and establishing lasting relationships. The mission is very simple: “Celebrate design as friends”.
What is the selection criteria of your products / brand which you include in your offering?
We want to celebrate and honor the craftsmanship and every single person who creates soulful pieces with their own hands. We want to create a tribute to all makers for their wisdom, storytelling, and for building history with beautiful creations through ancient techniques and raw materials. We stand up for the ones that keep the art of craftsmanship alive. A desire to reveal the process as a peer of the finished product itself. In this journey from the past towards a new cultural progress, we are committed to promoting creativity and innovation, to respecting traditions and safeguarding the heritage. We support those who devote themselves to the excellence of craftsmanship, and that’s the soul of every single piece of furniture, upholstery, lighting and accessories produced by out amazing artisans. The mission I started after college is much clearer now.
Which are the most effective marketing tools nowadays? How important is still traditional print media versus online?
Like I’ve said before we have a very strong online presence. Social Media, Marketing and E-commerce represent almost half of our efforts. But in the same way I recognize the true value of a handcrafted product, that feeling of touch a magazine or a newspaper will never begone. We also have a press department, and we do recognize the importance on having our products and projects projected not only online, but in those physical publications. It a very important tool, mainly because interior design agencies, influencers, designers, and also finals buyers do prospect in those magazines and look for inspiration, and we want to be that source of inspiration.
We also have produced a trendsetting, Luxury and Design Magazine created to bring the latest design news from around the world. We attract a sophisticated global audience of both professionals and design lovers by presenting a unique, curated selection of interior design projects, exclusive interviews with the world’s best and collectable travel guides. International, influential and trendy, CovetED is the world’s top collectors source for interior design and luxury lifestyle news. Every three months, we distribute 20.000 copies directly to professionals, in new stands in the major capitals worldwide, and we cover the best design events around the world – Milan, Paris, London, Singapore, New York and Miami. We recognize the importance of the printed publication and that’s why we’re invested in getting through these markets.
To what extent your brand is related to lifestyle? Do you provide a ‘full option’ design solutions? (i.e. clients who would trust you to select all the products for your interiors?
We do offer the opportunity to inspire and select products for a project. COVET HOUSE offers a curated selection of contemporary designs from the world’s top furniture, lighting and accessory brands, together with unique marketing tools, with the clear mission of boosting the creativity of the interior design community.
Covet House is one of the best examples on providing the most powerful to creativity, by offering interior design services and produce ambiences and give tips on how to construct amazing design from our products, from a wide range of luxury brands under the Covet House name like Boca Do Lobo, Delightfull, Brabbu, Koket, Maison Valentina, Circu, Luxxu, Essential Home, Rug’Society, Foogo or Pullcast
Are the specific trends in interior design which you would highlight for this year?
Being a part of the trendsetting world is one of the missions of the group for this year. We want to be in the frontier of the trendsetter brands. We have an amazing panoply of trends prepared for the year 2019. An amazing assembly of products ready to make anyone fall in love with our pieces. I stand out the Art Deco Retro Vibe Floral for the Spring 2019, the Abstract Art Geometric, a trend mostly inspired and using some cantaloupe and living coral tones, the trendiest color for the year 2019.Along the year, Covet Group will present their trends and give opportunity for our clients to be truly inspired, but also inspire the world.
Have you considered branching out into providing interior products for hospitality?, in particular, hotels.
We currently have our hand full with astonishing hospitality projects. We’ve also promoted the Covet International Awards, which some of the awards given were in fact in the hospitality category. Our brands are represented in some of the most renowned names in the world, like Hilton Astana, Pestana Palácio Freixo, Paramount Dubai, Hotel Providence, Four Season NY, Loews Regency Hotel, The Langham Hotel London, Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Hamburg and Hotel Castelbrac. We offer carefully curated options and customization for every kind of project.