An Upifting 30th for Wacoal Philippines
Wacoal has always been one with women in re-affirming their place in society — from shouting against the inequalities, to fighting to put an end to gender-based violence. No matter what shape, size, or age, Wacoal stands behind these women, and promises to provide them with the ideal undergarment that fits perfectly, boosts their confidence, and provides them with comfort and ease to get through their days. For Wacoal, women empowerment isn’t some buzzword or topical advocacy, but their very reason for being.
While the company and brand can trace its roots all the way back to 1946, when of all things, a young soldier, Koichi Tsukamoto, came out from the ravages of war to set up the company, and meet the rising demand of Japanese women ready to adapt Western-style undergarments; here in the Philippines, Wacoal is celebrating its auspicious 30th year. Yes, it was in 1989, that the joint venture, Philippine Wacoal Corporation was formed, as the local distributor of this premium intimate apparel brand.
And as Philippine Wacoal President Ann Palisoc is proud to recount, “For 30 years, our brand was driven by a powerful mission; to contribute to the Filipinas by helping them realize and express their desire to be beautiful. From the products that we offer, to the advocacies we promote, our brand guarantees that every single Filipino realizes their beauty and worth.”
Lorena Cruz, Store Operations Manager with Ann Christine Palisoc, President, of Philippine Wacoal Corporation.
Ann has been with the company for 25 years; and their Marketing Manager, Elmi Cadungog has been with the company from the very start. Together, they welcomed me to their 30th celebration, which was to be highlighted by a month long campaign called Wacoal’s Women of the World — where 30 Filipina notables and multi-hyphenates, from diverse fields, would be showcased — starting with an interactive exhibit at SM Makati.
The idea is to inspire Filipinas to reach for their dreams, and know that these dreams may come in many forms, shapes and sizes — just like how Wacoal is there for every Filipina body type. As a noted broadcast journalist and anchor, Dyan Castillejo is one of the 30 Wacoal Women. There’s also Celeste Lacaroz, now a sought after portrait artist and painter, who stumbled into this career late in life — at one point resigned to being wife, mother, and homemaker, she took up the paintbrush and easel, and discovered a new talent and gift that has led her to a different kind of fulfillment.
Elmira Cadungog (far right), Marketing Manager of Philippine Wacoal Corporation, welcoming the Wacoal Thailand delegation.
The familiar trademark logo of Wacoal is the letter W; but formed to look like a fashion flower — and with soft, flowing lines that also resemble ribbons to represent the textile and fabric used to create their products. Used so close to the body, comfort and fit is of the utmost importance with Wacoal. And that’s why constant R&D, innovation, and improving on their product ranges is hardwired into the company’s DNA. It’s all about mutual trust — permeating within the company from top to bottom, and also between the company, and its consumers and clients.
During the Thanksgiving Gala, we were shown the milestones of the brand, both globally and here in the Philippines. The upcoming plans for the brand were revealed; and if this first 30 years in the Philippines is marked by strong presence and success, it’s all credited to the people behind the company, tirelessly strengthening the brand’s recall over the years. As the first Filipino President of Philippine Wacoal, it was not lost on me as I inquired, to find that Ann Palisoc is also the first female President — alongside the 30 Wacoal Women of the World, Ann should also be taking her deserving slot.
Photos courtesy of Philip Cu-Unjieng