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Manila exhibition focuses on Pinoy craftsmen

/ 12:08 AM October 20, 2012

SEN. Loren Legarda with the Subanen mat weavers from Zamboanga del Sur.

AIMING TO return true craftsmanship and beauty to contemporary living, Manila FAME 2012 has made “the art of the craftsman” its theme this year. The annual exhibition focuses on Pinoy craftsmen, who work with local materials like rattan, buri, tinalak, bamboo, abaca, shell and paper-mache furniture, and other furnishings that are uniquely Filipino.

The full theme is a mouthful, “The art of the craftsman equals the soul of the Philippines,” but the spotlight is clear. Manila FAME is all about the country’s top creative professionals and homegrown brands in the design industry.


KENNETH Cobonpue and Roselen Ocampo, showroom director of Kenneth Cobonpue/Manila

The event highlights this year are the Ten Design Houses, Garden and Fashion Pavilions, and the Crafts and Style Spots. There are also specialty areas like the Otop Marketplace and Hibla.

10 Design Houses


James Booth, project director for Manila FAME 2012, was tapped by Citem to put together a team of lifestyle designers and marketers. Selected internationally acclaimed and upcoming Filipino designers created the 10 Design Houses. Taking design to the ultimate level, these designers cleverly combined the country’s indigenous materials with their individual sensibilities.

The Garden Pavilion connects buyers and visitors alike to the environment, with a refreshing setting called Joys of Life Alfresco. It is a collaboration among Manila FAME’s creative team: project director James Booth and internationally renowned designers Josie Natori, Budji Layug and Kenneth Cobonpue, and visual merchandise specialist Ito Kish.

Garden Pavilion

Kenneth Cobonpue’s special setting stands on the left of the Garden Pavilion. It features his signature and innovative pieces with a minimalist black backdrop. Kenneth has new lines showing his whimsical side like the Zaza Chair, with a palm leaf fanning over a dining seat. The Tropez collection uses finely woven rattan over a solid wood base to continue the timeless elegance the brand is known for. The HIVE collection of lighting and accessories also introduces new designers like Harry Allen from New York, Olivia D’Aboville from Manila, and Mona Alcudia from Cebu.

KENNETH Cobonpue and HIVE showcase their newest collections in the recent Manila FAME. Ziggy, Tropez, and Rapunzel headline the exhibition. Paperwork, Managerie and the Anemone features HIVE’s original and organic take on home lighting and accessories.

Kenneth is excited to announce the opening of his first stand-alone showroom in Metro Manila in March 2013. Located at the ground floor of the Greenbelt Residences in Makati, the 390 square-meter space marks the beginning of a new era for the brand by celebrating its origins with innovative and classic products over the past decade including the HIVE brand of unique lighting and accessories.

For Craft Spots, Filipino artisans elevate Philippine design and artisanship through their live presentation of age-old tradition and centuries-old discipline, which are also useful to the export industry. On the other hand, Style Spots display avant-garde products from a cross-merchandise presentation of color, texture, material and form focusing on the three leading macro trends in the world today—eco-sustainability, hyper-localism and being in connection.

Manila Wear collection


Manila FAME also continues the Manila Wear collection in the Fashion Pavilion, curated by Josie Natori. Manila Wear aims to catapult the Philippine fashion industry into the global market. This is my favorite section with lots of accessories and décor in every color throughout.

From scarves made from handloom fabric with gold leather inserts to an exclusive clutch featuring textured shell inlay to bold fashion jewelry and gift items using irregularly cut stone handcrafted by brass artisans using the ancient lost wax method, Manila Wear showcases individualized and personal fashion styles that caters to a world market that only sees mass production of similar styles.

Budji+Royal Booth at Manila Fame David Layug, Tessa Valdes, Budji Layug and Royal Pineda

Hibla Pavilion of Textiles and Weaves of the Philippines is an exhibition aimed at showcasing our rich and colorful heritage through the Schools of Living Traditions. Sen. Loren Legarda is the head of this wonderful program, ensuring indigenous techniques in textile weaving, basket making, beadwork and embroidery are passed on to the next generation. These creative endeavors reveal anecdotes of the individual soul, of the community, and of our Filipino saga. At the opening, Senator Loren was joined by Bea Zobel de Ayala and Rep. Teddy Casiño.

Manila FAME 2012 showcases over 350 exhibitors. Check it out at the SMX Convention Center as today is the last day. Check for details.

Follow @tessavaldes on Twitter or email her at [email protected]

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