Tagged: Nina Santamaria

Internationally acclaimed Filipino designer lights up Manila FAME April 2016

Stanley Ruiz

Stanley Ruiz

Stanley Ruiz, one of the Rising Asian Talents at the March 2016 Singapore edition of MAISON&OBJET Asia, comes back to Manila FAME for its April 2016 boutique edition.

Industrial designer Stanley Ruiz is currently collaborating with 10 exhibitors from Pampanga, Cebu, Davao, Negros Occidental, and Metro Manila to develop functional, stylish, and commercially viable lighting products. Together, they are exploring the themes of post-industrial design and Philippine heritage taken on a more modern-day level.

At the same time, Stanley is working with respected Philippine designers Nina Santamaria and Ito Kish for one of Manila FAME’s highlights this April: the Spring Forward special setting, which will showcase the three designers’ products, along with several Filipino manufacturers’ finely crafted seasonal indoor and outdoor product collections for the home. In particular, Stanley will be designing light and home accent pieces to complement the Spring-themed presentation.

Stanley, who took up Industrial Design in UP Diliman, discovered his passion for designing when he was a student. After learning about materials and the essentials of design and being able to apply what he learned, he embraced his major and began taking on designing projects for small and medium enterprises in the provinces while still studying in the early to mid-2000s. His efforts eventually paid off, and so he decided to work in the design industry.

As a designer, Stanley has limitless sources of inspiration. He gets ideas from everyday life, local industries and materials, and nature to name a few, and he transforms them into clever and exceptional design patterns. He shares some pieces of advice to other aspiring young designers: “Take it seriously, explore on your own, think outside of the bounds of the academe, read a lot—not only about design, but other disciplines like music, film, arts, social sciences because these all come into play eventually. It’s not only about being good at drawing, colors, or computer software. There is a lot that you can apply if you know the world more. So, travel—just expose yourself. That’s what I did.”

Today, Stanley is an internationally awarded designer who owns his own studio in Manila, the Estudio Ruiz Design Consultancy. Some of the awards and recognitions he has received include being listed by New York-based Surface Magazine as one of the Avant Guardians of 2010, getting the Bronze Award at the A’ Design Awards in Italy in 2013, and receiving the Outstanding Asia Talents award at the Bangkok International Gift Fair in 2014.

In spite of his accomplishments in the global design scene, Stanley continues to return to Manila FAME. “I love Manila FAME because this is the venue for local companies to show their prowess. It’s actually a showcase of real industry—what our resources are, who we are as a people, and what our crafts are all about, which are basically part of our culture,” he said.

Lighting pieces by Stanley Ruiz for the March 2015 show edition of Manila FAME.

Lighting pieces by Stanley Ruiz for the March 2015 show edition of Manila FAME.

Stanley has been participating in Manila FAME for six editions now as a product specialist, creating product designs for Philippine manufacturers under the Center of International Trade Expositions and Missions’ (CITEM) Design for Exports Program, which aims to assist Philippine manufacturers in creating globally competitive products with design support from some of the country’s top design experts.

“We get fulfillment out of it, like collaborating with companies. I learn from them. I was able to impart some of my knowledge with them to come up with some new products for their collections. In fact, that’s one of the main goals of my design studio here in Manila: to be able to contribute to the local design landscape. And by doing these consultancy projects, I think I’m partly on my way to achieving my goals,” said Stanley.

Aurora—A Light Imprint, designed by Stanley Ruiz, Jinggoy Buensuceso, and Wataru Sakuma.

Aurora—A Light Imprint, designed by Stanley Ruiz, Jinggoy Buensuceso, and Wataru Sakuma.

At the October show edition of Manila FAME last year, Stanley worked with Filipino visual artist and sculptor Jinggoy Buensuceso and Philippine-based Japanese designer Wataru Sakuma to create the northern lights-inspired installation titled, Aurora—A Light Imprint. Inspired by the ‘Aurora Borealis,’ the dreamy natural lights spectacle in the northern hemisphere, the ingenious display was made of over 20,000 chain-linked colorful glow sticks hanging from the ceiling.


The 63rd show edition of Manila FAME, the Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event, is scheduled on April 21-24 at the World Trade Center, Metro Manila, Philippines. The trade show is organized by the Center of International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions agency of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). For more information, please visit www.manilafame.com.

Young designer creates fresh holiday décor for Manila FAME April 2016

Nina Santamaria

Nina Santamaria

Nina Santamaria, interior designer and principal of the Grupo Santamaria design firm, is joining Manila FAME for the first time this April as a product specialist of the holiday décor and fashion sectors for the event’s boutique edition.

Currently, Nina is exploring organic forms and textures, metallic colors, and holiday hues to develop fresh and unique product designs for several manufacturers from different parts of the country, such as Quezon City, Laguna, Davao, and Pampanga.

Nina is also collaborating with Philippine designers Ito Kish and Stanley Ruiz for Manila FAME April 2016’s Spring Forward special setting, which will feature the three designers’ creations and some of the finest seasonal indoor and outdoor products of certain Philippine manufacturers. With the creative genius of these three designers, trade buyers and visitors can expect product collections that are classic and traditional yet with a dramatic twist—fresher designs, shades, colors, and materials.

As a product specialist for holiday décor and fashion sectors come Manila FAME April 2016 show, Nina feels pressured but at the same time thrilled about her assignment. “It’s very challenging yet also very exciting because I get the chance to work right there at the heart of where the action is—in the factories where the ideas are being developed and the materials are being explored, tried, and tested. Even if the work is a little behind-the-scene, I feel that it is such an important responsibility,” she said.

Nina’s early years played a big part in her career as an interior designer. At the age of seven, she was acquainted with art through learning from Philippine National Artist Jose T. Joya. As a small child, Nina also enjoyed playing with building blocks, playing house, working on coloring books, and reading her mother’s Better Homes and Gardens magazine collections. She was naturally curious about beautiful places and spaces as well. Growing up with these influences, she chose a career in interior design.  In 1999, she started designing after getting her license as an interior designer, and after a few years, she founded her own design firm, the Grupo Santamaria. The company has been operating for 10 years now, providing interior design for commercial, residential, institutional, and offices spaces, as well as events. Nina’s experience in designing various retail spaces—from bag and shoe retail stores to cafés and art galleries—helps her create designs for Manila FAME exhibitors.

To Nina, travel has always been a source of inspiration when coming up with designs. The places she visits open her eyes to different materials, cultures, and ways of life. “Travel is important; research is important. Even if you don’t travel physically, it’s good to travel through reading or surfing the internet, or just talking to people—getting to know their experiences. These things make up the fabric of how you approach holiday design,” she said. Nina is also inspired by the works of craftsmen and other designers in architecture and interior design.

Nina already knew about Manila FAME even before she was asked to become a product specialist for the trade show. In fact, she is a regular Manila FAME visitor who goes with her staff every year to look into the new collections of designers, both experienced and new. “[I love] the creative buzz of all the exhibitors and also the interest of the Filipinos—the growing interest of the Filipinos in attending and supporting these exhibitions. It’s great to see students lining up at Manila FAME; it’s great to see visitors from all walks of life: senior citizens, students, mommies, housewives. It’s not just limited to interior designers or architects or buyers,” she said.

Nina also offers some valuable pieces of advice to those who want to become designers as well. “Humility is always a good advice to other people, especially those who are starting out, because you can’t really buy or speed up expertise, experience, or knowledge in mastery of your craft. Whether you’re a furniture designer or a bag designer or a shoe designer or lighting designer, you have to keep on learning and you have to acknowledge that there are years of experience ahead that you have to go through in order for you to really master your craft. But with perseverance, you can really excel. And you have to be open to the criticism of others, but also stay true to your mission. And if you do that, you will come out as unique and strong. And remember always that you’re also representing your country and you’re doing a service to your country because it is an international exhibition. With all of that in mind, you will really feel humble and yet you’re one fish in a big sea of designers,” she said.


The April 2016 show edition of Manila FAME, the Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event, will be held on April 21-24 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City, Philippines. The event is organized by the Center of International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions agency of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). For more information, visit www.manilafame.com.

Manila FAME features home and holiday décor exporters that use indigenous and eco-friendly materials to craft top quality concept products with story and value.

DTI-CITEM empowers holiday décor exporters with a design update program

Design for Exports Program unites CITEM, local manufacturers, and designer Nina Santamaria in creating a brand new collection of festive décor for the global market

ProfilePhoto_NinaSantamaria-1

One of the leading Filipino interior designers today, Nina Santamaria has been commissioned by DTI-CITEM to create new product designs for holiday décor manufacturers. The collections will be showcased in the Manila FAME April 2016 Boutique Edition.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is working with interior designer Nina Santamaria and four handpicked Philippine crafts exporters – Accent Pieces, Basket and Weaves, Chilonia Fabrica, and Klassy Kollections – to develop a trend-forward collection of décor for Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, and other popular celebrations to be showcased in the April 2016 Boutique Edition of the country’s premier innovation and lifestyle event, Manila FAME. This project, under the Design for Exports Program, is one of the many export product development endeavors initiated by CITEM.

The Philippines’ Christmas tradition and décor export

The Philippines is known worldwide as the country that celebrates the longest and most lavish Yuletide season, beginning as early as September and stretching on as late as February.

Manila FAME features home and holiday décor exporters that use indigenous and eco-friendly materials to craft top quality concept products with story and value.

Manila FAME features home and holiday décor exporters that use indigenous and eco-friendly materials to craft top quality concept products with story and value.

Because the tradition of Christmas is deeply embedded in Filipino culture, the country’s holiday décor manufacturers understand both the religious and secular meanings of the season, and they are able to craft according to the market they cater to, from Europe to the United States.

The Christmas Décor Producers and Exporters Association of the Philippines (CDPEAP) reports that the bulk of the country’s holiday décor exports consists of handcrafted products made of natural materials and in traditional themes and colors. These are imported by the United States, which accounts for three-fourths of the market for Philippine holiday décor, and other countries such as Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, and United Kingdom.

In 2013, export sales reached USD 48 million. Although this is just a fraction of the houseware exports (USD 225 million) and furniture and furnishings exports (USD 253 million), the year-on-year growth from 2012 to 2013 is remarkable at 54.23 %, signaling the resurgence of the industry as markets have become more optimistic.

DTI-CITEM helps Christmas décor exporters expand their products and gain foothold in other festive décor markets

The Design for Exports program for holiday décor manufacturers initially focused on developing Christmas décor. However, the last edition of Manila FAME, held in October 2015, spotlighted on the commercial and design strength of Philippine-made holiday décor as well as tableware and home accents through the special setting The Manila Gusto Gallery: In Pursuit of Pleasure, developed and curated by German consultant Detlef Klatt. The setting and its products received great feedback from trade visitors and media as it highlighted a design harmony from two different sectors and featured new pieces from holiday décor manufacturers that veered away from the traditional Christmas décor. 

Holiday Colors

Holiday Naturals

In the Design for Exports Program, CITEM collaborates with local manufacturers and both seasoned and up-and-coming designers to develop new home, holiday, and lifestyle products for the international market.

“The collaboration saw the great opportunities in expanding this sector and assisting local SMEs in creating and exporting decorative products for other popular festivities and thus enter new markets in the global scene,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos.

Continuing this program, SMEs in partnership with DTI-CITEM will venture into manufacturing for other celebrations – Halloween, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the like – that are popular in major markets like the United States.  

For the April 2016 Boutique Edition of Manila FAME, Nina Santamaria, who is at the helm of the creative direction for the holiday décor product development program, will design and curate a fresh collection of festive décor made by the participating SMEs. The new creations embody different looks – metallic, natural, and bold colors – while highlighting the innate charm of handmade ornaments crafted from indigenous and eco-friendly materials and emphasizing the craftsmanship of Filipino artisans.


Organized by CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Manila FAME is the country’s only premier design and lifestyle event for the global market. A bi-annual trade show, it is dedicated to home, holiday, and fashion sectors featuring hundreds of exporters, manufacturers, and designers. Manila FAME will run from April 21 to 24, 2016, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City.

For more information on Manila FAME, log on to http://www.manilafame.com.