Asia-Pacific’s second longest running trade exhibition and the country’s premier design and lifestyle event, the Manila FAME is back for its 64th edition on October 19 to 22 with the theme “Objects Matter.”
Maria Rita Matute, deputy executive director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions’ (CITEM)Value Creation and Promotion Department told InterAksyon , “’Objects Matter,’ that’s the theme for the October Manila FAME. Objects matter not just as a product but there are stories behind each product featured in Manila FAME, and it’s a challenge on our buyers or a challenge to our visitors to see the products more than just the physicality but in the way it’s made to appreciate the value.”
“It’s really about reconnecting. Everything now is so instant and people really appreciate when they get to know how a product was made,” she also said, adding that the international market have a growing consciousness for products that display commitment to the craftsmanship.
With this, CITEM partnered with the Design Center of the Philippines, and have worked with 10 designers to collaborate with manufacturers in creating hundreds of new designs for furniture, home accents, and fashion wearables. Moreover, CITEM commissioned Paris-based trend forecaster EDELKORT ETC who in turn deployed Chilean designer Nelson Sepulveda, an artisanal crafts and materials expert, to create new generation weaves using local raw materials.
“It’s just really a lot of hardwork in product development, and letting their creative to feature the latest product and latest ideas that they have for home, lifestyle, and also fashion,” Matute noted.
Interesting features of the trade show include the ASEAN Master Craft Design Festival, a first in Manila FAME; new brand names at the Manila Wear Concept Store; collaboration with different fashion design schools, also a first in this edition; and more.
As a trade show known for offering innovative products and design ideas, Manila FAME continues to gather a larger following. For its 64th edition, which features about 400 exhibitors, the show expects o atrract around 5, 000 buyers and visitors coming from all over the world.
According to Rosvi Gaetos, CITEM’s executive director, this edition shows a 28.3% rise in the number of pre-registered buyers in the smae period last year.
Furhtermore, Gaetos noted that buyers are coming from North and South Americas, Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.
“CITEM is continuously shaping MANILA FAMEnot just to meet the demands of the changing industry with its new generaton of buyers, entrepreneurs, consumers, designers, and artisans but to exceed expectations, bring new ideas to the table, and most of all, showcase what the Philippine SMEs can do with training and assistance,” Gaetos noted in a press statement.
Meanwhile, here are some of the interesting products and booths featured at the 64th edition of Manila FAME:
1. The ASEAN Crafts to the World pavilion
A first in Manila FAME, this exhibit, spearheaded by the ASEAN Handicraft Promotion and Development Association, aims 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 master craftsmen in the region.”
The curated booth features crafts from Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam whose products like textiles, pottery, and basketworks speak and reflect each of the participating countries’ identity and rich culture.
According to Matute, the exhibit, first shown in the country, is set to travel and be presented at different trade shows across the ASEAN region.
2. Peacock Chair Redux
The peacock chair, also dubbed as the Philippine Chair, traditionally made from rattan, “reemerges” anew through this exhibit that “explores innovative methods, design possibilities, and alternative raw materials in the country.”
Nine notable designers including Leo Sano, Mark Gerby Rivera, JIm Torres, Tony Gonzales, Budji Layug, Jinggoy Buensuceso, Val Padilla, Leeroy New, and Tess Pasola have collaborated with different manufactures to render their new design of the iconic 1900′s chair.
Some of the materials used by the desigers include arorog, rattan, steel, textile, brass, and glass; while some of the techniques used include glass-blowing and weaving.
3. Bamboo and Coconut pavilions
These pavilions aim to “showcase the versatility of these two natural materials” as well as challenge certain perceptions surrounding bamboo and coconut as “being traditional, ethnic, and rural” and at the same time, “execute innovative applications to use both as raw material forhome decor and architecture.”
“We want to feature key materials indigenous to the Philippines that also speak about our craft but we also want to feature it in a more architectural presentation for the coconut so it’s not just for a finish product like a furniture. We want to introduce it as architectural application to expand the image of Manila FAME as not just product-driven but also for architectural solutions,” Matute also shared.
4. Sinamay headdresses by Tracy Dizon
One of the head-turning pieces featured in this edition of Manila Wear is Dizon’s playful, flamboyant, and quirky headdresses which took inspiration from her travels in Hanoi, Vietnam. A first-timer in Manila Wear, Dizon, besides her streetwear-inspired philosophy in fashion, also has a personal advocacy to support indigenous materials especially sinamay.
Noting that sinamay is the “gold of hat design business,” Dizon said she sources this material in Bicol, Quezon, and Bohol.
5. Hand-painted clutches by Beatriz
Also at the Manila Wear pavilion, Beatriz’ clutches grabs your attention with its colorful splashes of paint and vibrant patterns. According to the brand’s owner, Carissa Evangelista, this collection is a collaboration between her brand and Angono Artists Cooperative Collection.
“We want to support the local artisans here in the Philippines, and we’re amazed with the kind of work that they can do.. We ended up working with different artists so we want to give them a chance to showcase their work,” Evangelista said.
Apart from clutches, Beatriz is also known for its accessories such as cuffs and necklaces made of individually glued Monaco thread inspired by the colorful weaves of different Philippine fabrics. These products were made in collaboration with livelihood communities of women outside Metro Manila.
6. Lamps and glassworks by Acento
Highlighting eco-friendliness in designing products as well as using environmentally sound materials. According to the company’s owner, Gerard Morales, they use recycled glass from used ketchup and mayonnaise bottles or soda bottles, and apply glass blowing techniques to create their products.
7. Glass Art by Gelano
Christina Gelano wanted to experiment on a new surface for her painting. Although having a slippery surface, Gelano chose glass as a medium. She would meticulously paint a piece ranging from jewelries to home decors for four to six times to achieve a certain design. Now, she recycles soda bottles, have them melted, then handpaints those.
8. Chairs, tables, and other home decors by Junk Not!
Heaps of candy wrappers, plastic bags, and chip bags usually clog drainages and water systems resulting to floods and water pollution among other problems. Junk Not! with a vision to contribute to social good, uses these non-biodegradable waste to make innovative furniture and home decors. The group uses upcycling, and the reuse+reduce+recycle concept; and also engages with communities in making their products.