3 Reasons Why The Maong Tagalog Fan Series By Monchet Olives With Tesoro’s Hits Our Casual Style Sweet Spot
In the age of everything handheld and electronic, can something as simple and yet uniquely essential as a hand fan prove to be popular, casual, yet stylish enough to sport these days? Monchet Olives—also fondly known as the “fanman”— and his family, have been in the fan-making business for ages and just might be onto something with their new collaboration with Tesoro’s, their Maong Tagalog fans.
“The family has been doing fans for 65 years, I took it on.” Since the last success of Monchet’s collaboration with Tesoro’s on the Icoño fan series—a pop-culture inspired fan range featuring commonly heard “sworn” Spanish expressions—we wondered how his current fan range under the Maong Tagalog collection might be just as relevant for Filipinos to carry around. He did drive us to discover three reasons why:
1. If denim were a pageant titleholder it would be Miss “ConJeaniality”. It certainly is a crowd favorite.
“So everybody has a pair of jeans—be it designer jeans or regular jeans It is a social fabric and actually kind of encompasses all demographics.”
2. If there were a Dorian Grey in the world of textiles, almost timeless in appeal, it would still have to be denim.
“Denim is hot right now and will continue to be hot.This is not your grandmother’s fan, it’s hip, modern and relevant.And you know—come on.I’m sorry we are launching during the rainy season, but in this country a fan is always a good idea.”
3. If there is such a thing as sustainable style, upcycling denim is a great way to start getting with it.
Beng Tesoro’s favorite fan from the Maong Tagalog collection features pastel embroidered blossoms.
Monchet continues to share, “What is unique in this particular collection—for the fringe fans—is we’ve upcycled. We’re using jeans, we bought jeans per kilo, and then cut them and wash them and use them upcycled then fringe them. This particular fan is upcycled. This is the one I like [from the collection].”
Monchet’s favorite fan from the collection features neatly fringed denim and upcycled material.
Anton Delos Santos has served the fan-manufacturing family for 27 years. His skills are a wide range already. “Sa ngayon po painting. Nung una, nag-ssand kami ng wood tapos ngayon kasi painter na ako, nagppaint na ako. Kaya all around na ako ngayon. Kahit anong ipagawa sakin, kaya ko na gawin.”
Sylvia Rivera has been crafting fans for Monchet’s family for 24 years now. For Monchet’s favorite, it takes a bit more time to make. “Yung ganun po kasi ang madalas ko ginagawa yung tawag na ‘pangbayanihan’. 3 piraso, 1 oras ang pag-nisnissa (pag-fringe). Bale, isang fan isang araw.” Her expertise in the fan-making assembly line, however, happens to be pleating.
Beng Tesoro points out that even if Tesoro’s is revered for providing the essentially traditional, they strive to stay updated “Tesoro’s has to remain relevant and fresh. We really want to show to the younger market this Filipino store has something for you. What better way than something that’s always fresh and hip—something Maong inspired. So, actually a couple of years back, we already began creating maong inspired dresses—barongs and denim colored stuff. Finally, we have this full denim collection we present today.” Tesoro’s has always been the ultimate purveyor of all things Filipino—given that, we’d like to stay away from the dreaded term “souvenir shop” or “pasalubong place”. They do fill those needs, but they’ve become so much more than that.
Photography by the author