By KERRY TINGA
Throughout the Philippines are innovative designers, skilled manufacturers, accomplished weavers, and promising entrepreneurs that take inspiration from the country’s bounty of natural, sustainable resources and rich history of cross culture traditions.
Exquisite Filipino craftsmanship is a tale as old as time. Across 7,100 plus islands is this diversity and range of customs and practices that Filipinos leverage to make thoughtful, inventive, and original designs unparalleled in the international market.
Every year, Manila FAME showcases the best products of Filipino craftsmanship and design to the global market. Last year’s edition of Manila FAME hosted a total of 364 exhibitors with over 6,800 buyers from around the world in attendance. This year they are poised to outdo themselves with a modern, creative vision fit for the competitive, contemporary market.
Pauline Suaco-Juan welcomed media guests to a preview of the 69th edition of Manila FAME at Artelano 11 at the Henry Hotel. As the executive director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the former editor in chief of Preview Magazine adds a fresh perspective to the country’s premier design trade fair.
I am not going to go on about I am not going to go on about how great our designers and manufacturers are because you already know that… The important thing is for us to tell the world the story of Philippine design and ingenuity. —Pauline Suaco-Juan how great our designers and manufacturers are because you already know that,” she said, “The important thing is for us to tell the world the story of Philippine design and ingenuity.”
Vince Uy, known for his sharp editorial eye and creative acuity, leads Manila FAME’s creative team, which features impressive industry mavericks and leaders such as Stanley Ruiz, Nix Alañon, André Chang, PJ Arañador, and Maco Custodio. Together they bring their experience and expertise across design disciplines to guide, mentor, and aid local up-and-coming entrepreneurs to find success in the international market.
“Working with local entrepreneurs is such an honor for me because I believe in Filipino talent,” said Chang, a stylist and product and design consultant involved in Manila FAME’s product development initiative for the fashion sector, “There’s so much creativity, expression, and ideas from local brands. To be part of that and to be able to collaborate with these people and these brands is a huge thing for me.
This year’s edition celebrates the legacy of excellence in Filipino design and craftsmanship by showcasing iconic pieces from its deep 30-year archive, in a timely manner. In 2018, the edition developed and launched over 800 new products through the Design Commune, a curated exhibit venue and merchandise development program within Manila FAME. This year, the Design Commune, now on its fourth run, will highlight the skill and originality of local artists and craftsman with a forward-looking, modern approach under the theme “Heritage Reimagined.”
Among the collaborations in the Design Commune this year is the one between Chang and Albay-based bag and shoe designer Jelvin Mujar of EMBE Creations, as well as Nix Alañon, furniture designer and one of the country’s most sought after interior and space planner, and South Sea Verneer.
“The recent nostalgia over past trends and the revival or reinvention of iconic design pieces are going back in style,” noted Suaco-Juan, “It is through this resurgence of design sensibilities that we will redefine and showcase our heritage of Philippine design. Our goal is to highlight the most iconic styles and elements of past products and reintroduce them through modern interpretations.”
Manila FAME is one of the longest running trade shows in the Asia Pacific. It maintains a competitive edge by adapting to the modern changes of the marketplace. An exciting new feature in this year’s edition will be the Fashion E-Tailers setting. It brings the online retail marketplace to the trade show floor and brings the trade show to the digital age.
It will feature the latest trends in both couture and ready-to-wear designs. The setting is dedicated to 20 of the country’s most promising fashion entrepreneurs and brands in the e-commerce space, including Toqa, Ava, and Quiddity.
Furthermore, the trade show aims to lead community empowerment advocacies through initiatives like the Artisans Village, an avenue for local MSMEs to introduce regional crafts to the global market, and the GREAT Women Project, which assists female entrepreneurs through economic empowerment.
Manila FAME is a design trade show that celebrates an entire people and their diverse cultural traditions, enabling young entrepreneurs to showcase their products and talents to the world.
Visit Manila FAME from April 25 to 27 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. www.manilafame.com.