Five Notable Designers To Expect in 64th Manila FAME


ANTONIO ‘BUDJI’ LAYUG is a globally acclaimed designer whose works can be seen in shops in Thailand, Malaysia and United States. He is a co-owner of BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture+Design firm, and founding member of Movement 8, a group that made Filipino design shine in the global market in 1999.

Layug’s devotion to modern craftsmanship gave him success in utilizing bamboo for his designs. He is the first Filipino designer featured in Bloomingdale’s magazine for his Giant Bamboo furniture collection.

For more than three decades, the veteran designer has developed a holistic approach in combining innovative eclectic techniques and indigenous organic materials to build contemporary furniture with superior quality in form and function.

Layug will be the overall creative director of the 64th Manila FAME. He will also showcase his modern uptake of the “Philippine Chair” from 1900s in the ‘Icon: Peacock Chair Redux’ special setting exhibit.

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NELSON SEPULVEDA is a world-renowned Chilean stylist, scenographer, and designer. For more than 20 years, he has served as a creative director for Studio Edelkoort Etc, an international trend consulting company based in Paris, France.

Sepulveda began his career as a make-up artist and consultant for major cosmetic brands. Later on, he was named art director of Bloom magazine, a trend revue about nature, flowers, and plants, and the way they impact design.

Since then he built several collections for design brands–Ay Illuminate, ABC Pottery, Cinq Étoiles–in different parts of the world. Subsequently, he has been traveling in Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and several Asian countries to help artisans gain deeper understanding in crafting works that reflect their inner soul.

For the October edition of Manila FAME, Sepulveda will help develop designs for Philippine handcrafted baskets using natural materials in the ‘New Generation Weaves, Basketwork, and Related Wares’ exhibit.


STANLEY RUIZ is a multi-awarded international designer and the creative director of Estudio Ruiz Design Consultancy, a design studio he founded after working in Bali, Indonesia, and New York City.

Ruiz has been involved in seven editions of Manila FAME as a product specialist, assisting Philippine manufacturers in creating globally competitive and export-quality products.

This October, he is working with the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) and nine local manufacturers to brighten up the 64th edition of Manila FAME through their ‘Lucent Objects’ exhibition.  His special setting is the result of several months of experimentation with indigenous materials – such as corn husk, peanut shell, palm husk, pandan leaves, anabo fiber – and turning these materials into lighting objects.


WATARU SAKUMA is a Philippine-based, Japanese designer recognized for his intricate organic pulp art. He is currently the president of Masa Ecological Development, Inc. (Masaeco), a Cavite-based pro-people and pro-environment company known for its paper artistry.

A graduate of Memphis College of Art and at the New York Studio Program, Wataru already made a name in international exhibits held in the US, Taiwan, Germany, and Japan.

In his creations, Wataru uses even the most basic materials to craft functional yet artistic pieces for urban living. Evident in his work is his profound respect for nature and an innate ability to see the beauty inside discarded or overlooked materials.

For the 64th Manila FAME event, Wataru completes the creative ensemble with architectural firm Manosa & Company, Inc with the gamut of exquisite to practical décor pieces—all crafted from the many functional parts of the coconut tree.


REY LUCIANO SOLIVEN is a multi-awarded Filipino artist and educator with more than 20 years of expertise in industrial product and design consultancy for international and local trade fairs.

Soliven honed his artistic expertise and knowledge by having virtually traveled almost every region in the Philippines, where he gained insight on innovative local techniques, as well the lifestyle of local artisans. He also observed best practices in the international exhibits by working with clients in the US, and key European and Asian countries.

Having dedicated more than half of his life in arts and crafts, this 45-year-old artisan professes a deep commitment to developing the craftsmanship of fellow Filipino artisans. In the 60th Manila FAME, he curated exhibits to develop the craftsmanship of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines.

This coming October, Soliven will once again work with local craftsmen in the ‘Materia:Bamboo’  exhibit to showcase the practical use and innate flexibility of bamboo materials.


The Peacock Chair Reemerges at Manila FAME, October 20-22


Like a party of peacocks, nine emblematic chairs are poised to enthrall global buyers this October 20-22 at the World Trade Center in Manila FAME, the country’s premier design and lifestyle event. In collaboration with top Philippine SMEs, nine young and notable designers will recast the Peacock Chair (also called Philippine Chair) in uniquely modern versions, founded on the original design that captivated the world since its debut in the early 1900s.

Collaborating in this special showcase titled, ICON: Peacock Chair Redux, are Leo Sano for Locsin International, Mark Gerby Rivera for Country Accents, Inc., Jim Torres for Industria Home Vico Design and Manufacturing, Corporation, Tony Gonzales representing his own brand, A Greeting Card Co., Budji Layug for Kenneth Cobonpue, Jinggoy Buensuceso for Prizmic and Brill et Compagnie, Inc., Val Padilla for Luzon Rattan Industries, Leeroy New for MCCA Industrial Corporation, and Tes Pasola for Prado Filipino Artisans, Inc.

In a simple and organic design using steel frames and arorog weaves, internationally trained designer Leo Sano, in tandem with Locsin International, aim for the light, airy, and fluffed-up look, resembling the peacock’s feathers in its wide-open magnificent spread.

Country Accents, Inc., which collaborates with designer Mark Gerby Rivera, explores the essence of a peacock’s beauty and references on royalty. Using eyespots in resplendent hues of blue and yellow as highlights of a “birdcage-like” form, their design succeeds in combining the flexibility of rattan and firmness of steel and acorn wood.

Industria Home Vico Design & Manufacturing Corp. taps Jim Torres, a young Filipino designer for its Peacock chair entry in Manila FAME. Jim chooses metal to demonstrate the design values of the original Peacock Chair, including its intricate details, dramatic upper tail called coverts, and distinct hourglass base.

Designer and artist Tony Gonzales, who authored out of the box and globally acclaimed creations such as the Genie and the Melon chairs, is designing the peacock chair for A Greeting Card Company, a firm which Gonzales also heads. The company, which has been creating products out of handmade papers, is expected to produce a standout metal piece worthy of another global design award.

Kenneth Cobonpue, the self-titled company whose exceptional creativity and ingenuity has been recognized in various countries, including London, Italy and Germany and by renowned Hollywood celebrities, partners with designer Budji Layug to create its version of the iconic chair. With these two design bigwigs coming together to create a piece, nothing less than superlative is certain.

Prizmic and Brill et Compagnie, Inc., a company known for its signature style of juxtaposing the raw and traditional with choice modern materials such as select hardwood, hand tipped hides, brass, rattan, steel, glass and textile, very well complements the skills of visual artist and sculptor Jinggoy Buensuceso. Buensuceso, who made the 2,000-scale monumental modern dragon sculpture that wraps around the Green Sun Building in Makati City, is expected to produce a modern statement this October.

Luzon Rattan Industries picks veteran designer Val Padilla for its chair entry in Manila FAME, a challenging feat for the company that has been manufacturing and exporting original Peacock Chairs as well as other rattan furniture since the 1940s. Padilla, however, gamely accepts the opportunity to contemporize the once globally acclaimed design without losing its essential Filipino roots and taking advantage of the company’s deep weaving expertise.

Leeroy New, one of Lady Gaga’s costume designers in her music video, Marry The Night, designs for MCCA Industrial Corporation, an internationally renowned wrought-iron and glass-blowing company that produces indoor and outdoor furniture and decorative accessories. New, who has partnered with MCCA in the past, presents a stunning design of the peacock chair in all its bluish iridescence, achieving it through glass and metal.

The peacock chair has been described as “the fan chair, with its flared back and intricately woven details and throne-like, (its) head-framing seat reserved for royals.” More interestingly, the peacock chair carries its personal cachet, as narrated in “The Development and Effects of the Twentieth-Century Wicker Revival” by Emily A. Morris in her thesis for the Smithsonian Associates and Corcoran College of Art and Design in 2012. She stated that while few sources can track the accurate origins of the peacock chair, which she tagged “Manila” or “Philippine,” the American critics wove fantastical tales that involved Southeast Asian royalty and lush surroundings.

Come October Manila FAME, worldwide buyers will be treated to this one-of-a-kind metamorphosis and evolution at its ICON: PEACOCK CHAIR REDUX showcase.


Capture another piece of Philippine history as Manila Peacock Chairs preens its feathers again, this time in all its glorious plumage for the world to see!

Manila FAME, the country’s premier design and lifestyle event, is organized by CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). For more information, log on to

DTI-CITEM and LOCALE Magazine Tie-up Generates over 10M Worth of Global Publicity to Philippine SMEs

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and LOCALE Magazine of the media and publishing giant ALC Group of Companies, are teaming up to connect to millions of readers worldwide the Philippine SMEs exhibiting at the 64th Manila FAME on October 20-22, 2016.


Front/Seated from left to right: CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos and LOCALE Publisher Dominga Cabangon Chua
Back/Standing from left to right: CITEM Marketing Communications Department Manager Arturo Cruz Dimaano; CITEM Media Communications Chief Marilou Farnacio-Cantancio; CITEM Project Management Department Manager Romleah Juliet Ocampo; CITEM Deputy Executive Director Maria Rita Matute; LOCALE Advertising Manager Gina Verzosa; LOCALE Editor-in-Chief Carla Mortel.

“The partnership with LOCALE makes possible achieving over PhP 10 million worth of local and international publicity that would promote Philippine home, fashion, and gift products in the Philippines and abroad, reaching significant audience with interest in design, craftsmanship, business connections, and quality products,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos.


CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos and LOCALE Publisher Dominga Cabangon Chua

img03LOCALE, which will be launched at the World Trade Center on October 21 during the second day of Manila FAME, is a bi-monthly magazine for the well-traveled decision makers from various industries.

The partnership between CITEM and LOCALE also extends to the magazine’s sister publications such as BusinessMirror, the Philippines’ leading business newspaper, and the Philippine Graphic, the longest running newsweekly and literary magazine in the Philippines (88 years).


img04Manila FAME will be held at the World Trade Center Main Hall and Tent, Philippine Trade Training Center, HallONE, and Intramuros. The trade fair will showcase the best of Philippine craftsmanship and offer a dynamic business-to-business (B2B) platform for international trade buyers and visitors.


Manila FAME is the only trade event in the Philippines approved by the Union des Foires Internationales (UFI), or the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, a Paris-based association of trade fair organizers founded in Milan, Italy in 1925.

For more information on Manila FAME, interested parties may visit the official Manila FAME website at

CITEM Extends RED BOX Design Program Entry Submission to September 16

With the success of the Cycle 1 of the RED BOX design program, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) has managed to highlight the promising brilliance of the young Filipino design talents at the Manila FAME October 2015 edition and in select trade shows in London, Milan, and New York. Due to the heightening interest among designers, CITEM has announced the extension of the submission of entries for Cycle 2 to 16 September 2016.


The RED BOX design program is a platform to discover and train young designers to become the next generation of movers and shakers in the home and fashion industries. The application is open to Filipino product designers aged 21 to 30 years old who have not yet received major home- or fashion-related awards.

Since 2014, RED BOX Cycle 1 Grand Winners for the Home and Fashion Sectors, Thian Rodriguez, Micki Olaguer, Kit Blancas, and Jim Torres, together with 10 other finalists, underwent an in-depth immersion in their respective industries. The program includes attendance to seminars and workshops on design and business; exposure to craft techniques through regional factory visits; first-hand learning experience from world-renowned design icons such as Kenneth Cobonpue and Josie Natori; and, development of product collections in close collaboration with manufacturers.

Their training came with an extraordinary opportunity to be mentored by the country’s designers of premier caliber – Budji Layug for furniture and home accents, and Lulu Tan-Gan for apparel and fashion accessories.

“The Philippines is full of talented young creatives. RED BOX opened its doors to them, so they can further develop their skills under the mentorship of Filipino design icons,” CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos states.

RED BOX Cycle 2 aspires to send more promising designers to international trade fairs such as International Fashion Showcase in the United Kingdom, Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Italy, and International Contemporary Furniture Fair in the United States of America next year.

CITEM has partnered with the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), a technical agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, mandated to promote industrial design as a tool for improving the quality and competitiveness of Philippine products. The partnership between CITEM and DCP aims to sustain development of the next generation of Philippine designers.

Applicants may submit entries for any of the following categories: furniture; home accents; apparel; and fashion accessories. Only one entry for a maximum of two categories will be accepted. Deadline of submission of entries is on 16 September 2016. For more information on the application process, please visit

ASEAN to Unveil New Creations by Master Craftsmen at Manila FAME October 2016

The ASEAN countries are now in full-scale preparation for the highly-anticipated ASEAN Master Craft Design Festival which will reveal the revolutionary crafts developed by the Master Craftsmen of the region.

Inspiring new designs and progressive applications of native materials and traditional techniques are up for public viewing at the upcoming Festival, to be held concurrently with design and lifestyle event Manila FAME on October 20-22, 2016 at the World Trade Center and the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City.

A key component of the festival is an exhibit dubbed “ASEAN Crafts to the World”, which will stage the first collection of crafts developed through the project “Improving the Current Status of ASEAN Mastercraft Designers.”

The project, initiated by the ASEAN Handicraft Promotion and Development Association (AHPADA) and PHILSMED’s Chair, Dr. Mina Gabor, was endorsed by the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA) through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and funded by the ASEAN – Republic of Korea Future Oriented Cooperation Program. Its thrust is to “strengthen and enhance the use of design in reinforcing cultural identity in design development, merchandising, packaging, and marketing of ASEAN products by supporting and sustaining the Master Craftsmen in the region.”

New home furnishings, gifts and housewares, garden accessories, and fashion merchandise by the first group of ASEAN Master Craftsmen Roselyn Long Lah (Malaysia), Al Valenciano (Philippines), Lim Masulin (Indonesia), Truong Phi Duc (Viet Nam), and Rush Pleansuk (Thailand) will be the highlight of the exhibit curated by Indonesian architect Cosmas Gozali. To date, 103 new craftsmen have been trained in the five ASEAN countries.

The Master Craftsmen from the second set of ASEAN countries Brunei, Cambodia, Laos PDR, Myanmar, and Singapore will observe the exhibit and prepare for the project’s next phase which will then feature their collection of crafts.

Al Valenciano, who has dedicated himself to the craft of Inabel, traditional textiles from the Ilocos province, is the Philippines’ Master Craftsman. Together with four other master craftsmen from Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, and Thailand, Valenciano will present new creations developed under the project established through the cooperation among AHPADA, PHILSMED, NCCA, DFA, and ASEAN-ROK. The presentation, themed “ASEAN Crafts to the World” is a special feature of Manila FAME, the Philippines’ premier event for design and lifestyle exports, to be held on October 20-22 at the World Trade Center and the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City.



For more information on the ASEAN Master Craft Design Festival and the ASEAN Crafts to the World, contact Ms. Oly Delos Santos on mobile number +63 918 929 3103. For Manila FAME, visit


palawanPhoto: Kayangan Lake by Eric Beltran

October is the much-awaited time of the year when the bi-annual Manila FAME, one of Asia’s oldest among its leading trade shows and also the Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event, rolls out its red carpet welcome for the world’s top buyers and excellent hunters of furniture, furnishings, accessories and artisanal crafts. The incredible crowd-drawing diversity of products in Manila FAME on 20-22 October 2016 is plushly laid out in four venues of invitingly walking distances to each other.

While on the lookout for premium products for trendy global buying seasons and demanding retail shoppers, catch intriguing lore on the origins, how and where on our exotic Philippine islands your next exciting product discoveries and design inspirations may spring from! Among these 7,100 islands is Palawan where an overseas trade buyer and a companion will get a chance to win a free and exclusive Luxe Escape package.

Let Palawan Island- voted Readers’ Choice Awards as “Best Island in the World” in 2014 and 2015 by Conde Nast Travel Magazine readers, preferred world’s best island 2013 and 2015 by readers of Travel and Leisure. Cap your buying visit! Overseas trade buyers are invited to simply register online or upon arrival at the Manila FAME to be immediately eligible for the raffle count. Get those bags packed for a quick buying visit, make your orders, and be sure you don’t miss this chance of a dream vacation getaway.

Sun, sea, sand – yes! Dive into clear waters everywhere reflecting exciting rock formations and the awesome tropical green splendor of lush forests. In the capital Puerto Princesa runs the world’s longest Subterranean River, a UNESCO World Heritage site and latest addition to the Seven New Wonders of the World. In the evening, ford placid waters for a glimpse of bats rushing out at sundown and fireflies lighting up the darkening islands.  Swim and snorkel, bask in the awesome beauty of reefs and stretches of white beaches. Wander into the El Nido marine reserve, the Tubbataha Reef, and the prehistoric site of the Tabon Caves.  Hop around the islands and feast on a choice of fresh seafood and island fiesta fare or sophisticated continental cuisine. Feel satisfied and sated in your own private adventure. Discoveries abound and await.

The Luxe Escape raffle promo consisting of two (2) free roundtrip tickets for a dream vacation to the lush tropical splendor of Palawan is open to all Manila FAME 20-22 October 2016 Overseas Trade Buyers who are at least 21 years old and not based in the Philippines. To register for Manila FAME and know more about the Luxe Escape raffle promo, log on to

The October 2016 show edition of Manila FAME runs from 20-22 October in the World Trade Center Main Area and its Tent, the Philippine Trade Training Center and HallOne, all contiguous venues in Metro Manila, Philippines. It is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Reimagined Traditions


The Philippines pavilion for the MAISON&OBJET PARIS 2016, after years of bringing the country’s top shelter brands to the fair, will usher Fashion Philippines’ debut on the international stage. This will be the first time ever that an exhibit will be devoted solely to fashion accessories in MAISON&OBJET PARIS, ably represented by 10 fashion-forward Philippine brands. The participation is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, or CITEM, an agency of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry.

The country’s showcase, which is entitled Reimagined Traditions, will highlight present-day iterations of Philippine jewelry and bag-making crafts which trace their roots to ancient times. A landmark exhibit titled Philippines: An Archipelago of Exchange held at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris three years ago showed an elegant assemblage of artworks that could be befittingly called traditional Philippine culture. It included an array of accessories that held symbolic meanings or served various functions—as ceremonial accoutrements, signifiers of social status and wealth, markers of rites of passage, utilitarian objects, or simply decorative vanities.

While paying homage to generation of craft skills and techniques, and inspired by the Quai Branly exhibit, the 10 brands this September are present day design ambassadors of the Philippines who come from the country’s main regions, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao — each represent the diversity that is the Philippines but united and reflect an intertwined story of passion and crafts. For the MAISON&OBJET PARIS 2016 edition, the 10 brands draw from this well of methods and styles as they express their own confident voice on contemporary fashion.

Crystal Seas is based in Davao in the Mindanao region, home to the indigenous T’boli people. The brand borrows the T’boli cloth’s T’nalak patterns for its MAISON&OBJET PARIS presentation. It veers away from literal interpretations, reappropriating the patterns to non-woven forms instead. Materials native to Davao—Paua shells, metals, abaca fibers (Manila Hemp), mother-of-pearl alongside snakeskin—will endow the brand’s pieces a unique sense of place. Hands of artisans from Mindanao will help realize the brand’s designs, with metalsmiths from one of Davao’s mining towns melding, plating, and polishing the various components of Crystal Seas’ jewelry and clutch bags.

Cebu, an island province that lies south of Manila, is recognized as a main hub for fashion accessories with its rich natural resources that yield a wide range of components, and its renowned handcraft capabilities. The province is expected to put up a strong show with four home-grown brands showcasing an expansive range of Cebu’s jewelry and bag-making traditions that honors the province’s exuberant tropical sensibilities.

For Avatar CEO Butch Carungay, the fair will be a momentous event as he is set to unveil his company’s reincarnation as ZAI Design Hive. He says that they will be presenting “a more refined aesthetic which combines cutting-edge materials, traditional Philippine craftsmanship and excellent attention to detail – all with the quirky idiosyncrasies that have characterized our work over the years.”

Mia Arcenas will reveal her Spring 2017 collection, a series inspired by technology and nature with the designer highlighting her signature materials—brass, shells and resin. Arcenas’ line typifies the contemporary approach adapted by Cebu’s designers, melding modernity, natural elements and handcraft techniques. “It is about nature as being the source of all things beautiful, and with the help of technology, we are able to adapt these organic ideas to our ever-changing world,” the Arcenas disclosed.

Floreia’s collection for MAISON&OBJET PARIS embodies the brand’s commitment to sustainable fashion. Floreia brings its conscientious slant to the fore with a series of casual jewelry and bags that are handcrafted using Floreia’s award-winning, patented materials—Nucast®, which is made from recycled paper products, and Naturecast®, made of agro-forest debris.

MegaBijoux completes Cebu’s stellar contingent. Its expertise in metal-plating and resin lamination will be fully exploited in a special collection that express MegaBijoux’s flamboyant—and playful—design philosophy.

Just a short drive from the country’s capital, Bulacan is a province renowned for its more than five centuries-old jewelry industry. Two brands harness the Bulacan’s jewelry-making skills to create contemporary styles. Lush metalwork defines Ann Ong’s design identity—a reinvention of the maximalist concept, tamed and polished for modern times. Ong says that she will be showing her signature pieces which make use of bamboo and salvaged wood, lavished with intricate handmade detailing.

Kit Silver is based in Meycuayan City, which is also in Bulacan. The brand exploits the Meycuayan artisans’ mastery of the filigree craft–skills passed on by the Spaniards during its colonial rule–for its initial presentation at the fair. A series of evening bags and jewelry accompany Kit Silver’s centerpiece for the exhibition—a bold reimagination of Philippine-Hispanic accessory, the balabal, or shawl, rendered in metal brass.

Three Manila-based brands capture the vibrant spirit of a fast-growing metropolis. Beatriz sets the agenda with bold colors and geometric patterns. For the brand’s casual line, texture and angled forms are created with fine yarns painstakingly attached to the pieces’ skins. The brand’s evening collection continues with the angular concept, this time expressed using metal with the surfaces lightly hand-polished and buffed to add a hint of understated glamour.

Jennifer Lo takes cues from her grandfather, using his favorite material, rattan for a collection of fashion accessories. Lo infuses drama with a broody palette of neutrals, black and gold accented with abaca, gold macramé and stones.

Michelline Syjuco brings a daring edge to the exhibition with a style philosophy that has captivated mavens who have sported the brand’s funky skulls, daring cuffs embellished with macabre creatures and other intriguing forms. The brand borrows from Goth elements which are lavishly enhanced with baroque treatments.

10 brands are set to regale the MAISON&OBJET PARIS 2016’s audience with spirited expressions of contemporary Philippine style. CITEM, through Fashion Philippines, invite visitors to examine and explore a new expression of national identity and the generation’s design sensibilities.

With the virtuoso workers’ indigenous knowledge on the different craft skills and commitment to traditions and the designers’ new interpretations to these artisanal crafts, MAISON&OBJET PARIS will be the focal point to experience Fashion Philippines’ Reimagined Traditions.

See you at Hall 7, Scène d’ Intérieur, Stand F 198 – G 197.