Lead the way to global domination! – Middle Eastern design
Rami Silo, Chief Operating Officer at Cedar Global, He discusses the design philosophy of his family business, how he was drawn to the company at a young age, the latest offerings, how he strongly believes in the potential of using technology to attract potential customers – Generation Z, and his vision of putting the brand on the global map.
Written by Roma Arora
It is one of the few companies that is synonymous with progress in the region, and for Rami Silo, CEO of Sedar Global, it has been a fruitful and fulfilling journey, and seeing the evolution of design across residential and commercial spaces over the past several years is fascinating. An amazing achievement. When it comes to curtains, blinds, shades, wallpaper and folding doors, Sedar Global is the only name that comes to mind. This is the impact it has made in the region through its wide range of designer products and international collaborations.
Rami’s early involvement in the field of design stems from the fact that he grew up in a business family. His father would take him and his brothers to the factory and various ateliers around the world to see how the world of design and fashion had changed. This attracted him to the field of design, which he knew he wanted to follow and make a name for himself in. Rami says: “I graduated with a degree in interior design from the American University of Sharjah. She has been with Cedar since 2006 and has since embarked on various projects within the company, leading processes such as manufacturing, operations and strategic planning as well as pioneering design innovations. I am passionate about understanding design differences and global trends in our field. For more than 130 years, Cedar Global has been an iconic brand firmly established in the heart of the Middle East. I belong to the founding family of Cedar, and since joining the company, I have seen how our brand is transforming residential and commercial spaces throughout the region.
So, one of the most important questions we asked Rami was: “What is the recipe for this amazing growth and success?” He then quoted, “Our commitment to providing the finest window dressing in curtains, blinds as well as wallpaper has set new standards in the industry. We have not only furnished spaces, we have also contributed significantly to the evolution of interior aesthetics in the Middle East as we have been around for a long time and are seen as trend setters in the industry by ensuring a business model that continues to focus on high quality lifestyle products, and a portfolio of premium brands. required global business and delivered what Cedar had become known for – “Gold Service” with meticulous customer care, on-time delivery, follow-up, and ultimately a customer-centric attitude.
Sedar Global has reinvented itself many times over the past 130 years, matching and trying to stay ahead of the changing goals and tastes of its customers. Surprisingly, the company started out as a parts warehouse before evolving into its first window covering, the vertical blind. The aim was to provide a practical solution for sun protection as well as privacy. “In fact, many people in the region referred to the vertical brand as ‘Cedar’ in the same way people these days refer to ‘Kleenex’ as a handkerchief,” Rami recalls proudly. “Later, the folding door and roller blinds were introduced, Soon after customers shifted to focusing more on aesthetic and practical solutions, and curtains and fabric blinds were introduced into our product lines.
Cedar has always been a lifestyle-focused brand rather than just products or services, which is why, in addition to developing product and service lines, the family and the entire team have focused their efforts on ensuring that the shopping experience moves with the times. . Rami believes in the power of technology, saying: “Recently, we have introduced a new look and feel in a number of stores across the GCC to give consumers a more friendly and approachable visual identity.” Our e-commerce has also been updated, with the addition of a virtual store and a state-of-the-art virtual reality shopping experience.
Cedar’s design philosophy is closely woven into the rich tapestry of Middle Eastern traditions. They are inspired by local architecture, traditions and landscapes, as well as favorite color palettes, which are then translated into exquisite textiles and finishes. Best of all, their collections are a harmonious mix of old and new. “It reflects the region’s preference for extravagance but with contrasting lines that provide sophistication and modernity,” explains Rami. “We are always up to date with the latest interior trends by attending major exhibitions and talks around the world. Our team of skilled designers attend these exhibitions to ensure that our products stay on trend and continue to meet Evolving tastes of current customers while attracting consumers of the future generation.
Rami believes that customers in the GCC countries have high standards and distinct preferences. While meeting their changing tastes is difficult, it is also rewarding. “With customers who have very high expectations, especially those who pay for premium products, we are always expected to be at the top of our game, so their deep appreciation for quality and aesthetics drives us to constantly raise the bar on our offerings,” he asserts.
According to Rami, the creative process is crucial to the success of the product and thus the project. Extensive market research, brainstorming discussions, awareness of current trends, and a thorough dive into Middle Eastern aesthetics are all part of his process. “Our teams work together to bring these concepts to life. We realize that each market has its own set of interests and tastes. Some markets prefer more detailed and complex styles, while others prefer simple, contemporary designs. We always strive to ensure that each product embodies “Cedar promises luxury and quality, always designed with our customers in mind.”
Sedar Global is known for its collaborations with famous designers and artists; We asked Rami how these collaborations benefited from the brand’s product diversity and global image. “These collaborations have infused new perspectives into our collections, ensuring that our collection has global significance while maintaining regional charm,” he says. We are proud of our collaborations with Somfy, Swarovski, Armani, Versace, Missoni Home, Karl Lagerfeld and many other global companies.”
He then goes on to reveal some details about their historic collaboration. “Our soon-to-be-announced relationship with the MET Museum will be a huge step for Sedar, incorporating world-famous art and history into our product ranges. By incorporating aspects of the MET’s historic collections into our designs, we have perfectly combined timeless art with today’s interior fashion,” he says. Rami: “These collaborations not only enhance the global reputation of our brand, but also reinforce Cedar’s commitment to integrating culture, heritage and luxury into every production, while also expanding our catalog as a brand synonymous with international standards.”
He talks about the styles and trends that are making waves in the industry. “Our latest collections feature contemporary, basic and minimalist designs,” says Rami. Draping and curtain textiles incorporating the principles of minimalism are becoming fashionable in neutral and earthy tones of linens and cotton. Customers want to improve daylighting while also providing shade in their homes. Aesthetically, consumers want to embrace simplicity and functionality in their living spaces, which has led to increased demand for Somfy, our automated window decor technology. This window style goes well with contrasting textures. Recently, we have released a very luxurious range of wallcoverings that represent this trend, with interwoven natural fibers providing a tremendous tactile feel.
The company is pushing the boundaries of wall covering lines with designs available in bamboo, rattan, grass fabric and silk with practically any design. “We continue to value bringing the outdoors in; nature-inspired design is difficult in desert locations, but our wallpaper collections with nature-inspired graphics provide a fun break and diversion from cityscapes. We see consumers experimenting with dopamine hues within interiors again in 2023, and they have added pastel and candy colors to their upholstery and fabric lines to capitalize on a trend that has seen a resurgence in interiors largely due to its coverage on social media platforms like TikTok,” notes Rami.
The newest addition to Sedar Global’s product services for summer 2023 is upholstery, which was created out of the industry’s need for sustainable interior options. When it comes to renovating home decor, consumers can be more environmentally conscious by transforming existing furniture.
Rami enthusiastically shares, “Our new upholstery service is pioneering in the UAE, and is a natural extension of our commitment to providing comprehensive interior solutions. The new service was created in part to meet the industry’s demand for sustainable interior options, and reupholstery is the ultimate commitment to recycling and reusing.” Pre-loved furniture. We will soon expand the service to other GCC countries. Customers can visit our store and choose from a wide range of upholstery fabrics and then leave the rest to us. We will transform their furniture to ensure a seamless design flow in their spaces.
Rami realizes that the market in which he works is competitive, but he has learned from the best over time to achieve success and leadership. It is noted that the Middle East blends a rich culture with rapid growth, which leads to a wide range of interior design needs. This means that there will be a lot of competition as companies try to meet old and new needs. Sedar Global services both. He further explains: “Our main clients are quality-conscious individuals with an interest in maintaining aesthetic levels. Top design firms work with us, and large venues such as hotels, schools, hospitals and government buildings choose our services. We succeed by blending traditional values with modern approaches. Given this dynamic landscape, Competition is fierce as brands strive to cater to both heritage and innovation.What sets us apart from the competition is that we offer comprehensive services ranging from manufacturing to delivery and after-sales installation.
Fashion is constantly changing, and so are audience behaviors. He knows that their biggest mission will be to anticipate, adapt and lead design trends in order to remain the first choice for their clients. He continues, “Gen Z are our next potential customers, and given their nature, we need to emphasize the personalization part of Sedar, as GenZ is more interested in self-expression, personalization and art. With the advent of e-commerce, our biggest challenge is to adapt and simplify the journey for our customers, especially And with the nature of our products and all the complex details that go into it, customers still prefer to order online, so we’re looking at ways to bring our store experience to them. The challenge is translating the online Sedar experience through a virtual metaverse experience, which makes it difficult given the nature of our products.
In the future, Rami sees Cedar expanding its horizons even further, influencing global design narratives while remaining true to its Middle Eastern roots. For me, I want to continue to nurture innovation, and ensure that Cedar is synonymous with luxury and pioneering design in the world of interior design. I want to expand the concept of one-stop shop, in its complete and unique concept. Offers quality services, products and brands, taking it beyond the Middle East and enhancing the CEDAR experience on a global scale.