Weekend Five: A Family Affair with Kettal’s Alex Alorda

Alex Alorda leadership at famed Spanish design firm Kettal is something to admire. Taking after his father, Alorda learns that with hard work, common sense and some fun, anything is possible. Alorda’s passion for the brand and it’s future is contagious, not only to his dedicated team but also to anyone who walks around Kettal’s offices and manufacturing plant. Trust us, we have experienced it first hand.

Alex Alorda leading Kettal to an even brighter future

FashionRepublik visits Kettal’s manufacturing plant in Tarragona (Spain) and talks to Alorda about his father, the company and his plans for the future. This fine heritage, since 1964, has always been marked by amazingly high quality outdoor furniture, wonderful collaborations with the world’s leading designers, including Patricia Urquiola, Rodolfo Dordoni and Jasper Morrison and the future only looks brighter.

Maria and Nadine visiting Kettal’s manufacturing plant in Tarragona

What did you learn from your father when you took over Kettal and what was your input in taking Kettal to the next level?
What I learned was “common sense and hard work”, my step to manage the company was a natural step forward, I started in the factory, then marketing, products, sales, etc. It was a natural progression. Since I had seen the many faces of the company I had my mind set on what I wanted and what I didn’t want – so the work and strategy has been very clear, I guess that working helps me to find the next challenge, and I enjoy challenges, and so does my team.

Busy team around the factory

What is Kettal’s identity?
A mix of a lot of things, color, quality, materials, our staff. We have a very motivated team, we work a lot and we have fun.

Happy Kettal staff at the factory

All Kettal products are made in Spain – in a small family factory near your headquarters and by local people. How important is this?
We have many partners and suppliers that help us everyday, but it’s important that we adapt our projects in terms of selection, color and time, that is why we need to produce in Europe. More and more we have more complex projects and once the customers see the results of these projects, when they combine colors, materials and designs, the more complex the projects gets and this is only possible when you are manufacturing under one roof.

Every product is checked and tested over and over until perfection

You create your own material, fabric and paints, how important is this to Kettal?
Some years ago, we believed that we needed our own identity, we meet Nipa Doshi and we saw that she could help us with that, that is how we started with our Terrain Fabrics and aluminum color palette, later came the Bela Ropes and Pararalel, all designed by Doshi Levien. We try to design and control every single detail of the process, in order to be able to give our customers the best materials, 100% UV, Fire retardant, easy to maintain, etc.

Kettal’s head office in Barcelona

How do you choose the partners you work with?
I guess it is a matter of personal taste for my team and I, later, with time, it comes down to the personal relationship, we enjoy very much our collaboration with all of them, for us they are the best in their categories.

Skilled staff member prepares the special material for Kettal products

You have started working on pavilions, can you tell us why this is now Kettal’s next big thing?
We are just starting, everything started as a shadow and now is getting very challenging, we are listening to our customers needs and adapting to their desires. Regarding our new offerings, you will need to wait for Milan 2019.

Products from Kettal ready to be shipped across the world

Describe your (personal) ideal outdoor setting?
It is a comfortable place to share moments with family and friends, but this place needs to transmit part of your personality and needs to make you happy every time you see it. At the end it is an investment that makes you happy every time you see it…for example I have two Basquets indoor at home and every time I see them, they make me happy, it feels like home, this is the goal!

What’s next for Kettal?
You can expect anything; we are full of energy and ideas…

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