Dahlgren Duck specialises in bespoke interior amenities for super-yachts and private aircraft. For Philip Brunger, turning his VIP customers’ ideas into reality is what makes the job unique and very rewarding.
What prompted you to join Dahlgren Duck?
Fifteen years ago I was lucky enough to be an intern at the company. I was immediately intrigued by the niche nature of a business that over decades had developed unique relationships with a mix of exclusive customers, creative vendors and leading luxury brands. When I was recently offered the opportunity to join Dahlgren Duck I jumped at the chance to be part of a fantastic team focused on modernising the business, developing contemporary luxury and raising the best-in-service concept to another level, across a variety of luxury lifestyle sectors.
What is your working week like?
Along with colleagues I spend the majority of my time with customers and vendor partners. The business thrives on successful relationship building, and customers sit at the core of our business. Understanding customer needs is crucial, but making their vision a reality, and enhancing it, is what we really want to do. To do this we work closely with our luxury brand partners to communicate customer expectations so they can provide, or custom design, luxury amenities. We create one-of-akind solutions, some of which will one day be museum pieces, and that takes real teamwork across the board. We also dedicate time to keep up with the ever-changing aviation landscape; as well as trends in design and functionality.
What are your challenges?
Satisfying the world’s elite – royal families, heads of state, celebrities and affluent clients – is a pretty huge challenge. No matter how demanding the request, we won’t say no. Our bespoke design division has received countless unusual requests. Designing flatware inspired by a conch shell found on a beach, creating dinnerware made from mother-of-pearl, or inventing a system to light up the bubbles in champagne flutes exemplify an average week! We bring specific visions to life, no matter how elaborate or distinct, by tapping our project consultants, artisans and craftsmen. It’s certainly a challenge, but one I relish.
What do you enjoy most?
Building relationships with our niche customer base and luxury brand partners to provide the finest amenities is so gratifying. Developing the team and the unique skills each possesses that enable them to create customised solutions in a timely manner for our customers is really enjoyable. Their dedication is a testament to the services we provide and the relationships we’ve built with our customers and partners.
What trends are you noticing at the moment and what does the future hold for Dahlgren Duck?
We have seen a rise in demand for traditional pieces but with a contemporary twist – there’s a trend for blending styles right now. We’re also seeing many of our heritage brand partners, which were historically more traditional, evolve and offer 21st century styling. Cultures around the world are also affecting trends. For instance, we’ve seen an Asian influence in dinnerware and amenities offerings, so designer chopsticks or modern tea services are becoming popular. Looking to the future, we will continue to build upon the legacy of providing exceptionally high customer service. Our client base is growing, the private aviation landscape is increasingly diverse, yet global at the same time, and new channels are opening up around the world. We are committed to responding to the demand for modern luxury.