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Manila FAME’s 70th Edition Focuses On Filipino Heritage And Celebrates Local Designers

Manila FAME brings to the forefront exquisite and world-renowned artistry in product design, mastery over raw materials, and unique quality

Manila FAME, the country’s premier lifestyle and design event, returns this October 17-19 at the World Trade Center in Metro Manila. The 70th edition, which revolves around the theme “Heritage Reimagined,” will showcase the best of Filipino craftsmanship and design ingenuity.



“There has been a surge of nostalgia and reimagining of iconic and heritage design pieces in recent years. It is through this yearning for creative rebirth that we highlight the inherent beauty and distinct creativity of Filipino culture," says Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.



The Philippines has been dubbed as the “Milan of Asia” since Filipino designers and companies have joined the Salone exhibit, popularly known as the “Milan Furniture Fair,” for several years and have introduced locally-made yet world-class products. These creations are not just functional since they also express the emotions, poetry, values, and identity of our very own designers. In addition, CNN’s style watcher Elsa Klensch even described Filipino designs and creations as “Asian Fusion."


Featuring over 300 home and lifestyle brands, Manila FAME prides itself as the second longest-running trade show in Asia Pacific and the only Filipino trade event recognized by the Union des Foires Internationales, a Paris-based group of the world’s leading trade show organizers. 




Manila FAME brings to the forefront exquisite and world-renowned artistry in product design, mastery over raw materials, and unique quality. Through this initiative, Manila FAME was able to tap and work with renowned names in the industry such as Kenneth Cobonpue, Josie Natori, and Budji Layug. Likewise, Manila FAME established the careers of the likes of Tony Gonzales and Tes Pasola. 


Moreover, Manila FAME supports thousands of local small- and medium-scale enterprises and artisan communities, and promotes the country as a premier sourcing destination for high-quality and design-oriented home, fashion, holiday, architectural, and interior products. 





Source of the theme’s inspiration

Vince Uy, a creative entrepreneur, social media and design influencer, content creator, and a major force in Philippine fashion publishing, continues with his role as Creative Director  for the 70th Manila FAME, as he executes the same theme as the previous edition which is “Heritage Reimagined."


During an exclusive interview with Metro.Style, Vince shares the inspiration behind the theme and what to expect in the upcoming Manila FAME.



“We really want to strengthen the concept of working with heritage pieces but with new perspectives especially with working with our product development team. They gave so much insights on the trends that are happening. We also want something very Filipino but at the same time global in terms of market. In terms of design, we played on the idea of threads and combining weaving something from the past with something modern," says Vince.


He also mentioned that the overall theme was Pauline’s idea and the team agreed that it is such a good story to share.


He adds, “With the theme, we wanted to create something that is like an art installation and combine fluidity and structure. We also want Manila FAME to not just be associated with furniture but also to capture the young people’s attention so that they can appreciate the products and some might even get inspired to become a designer one day."


With social media being a key means to share information, Vince also pointed out that they wanted the event to capture the Filipino aesthetic but also reinterpret it in a modern and global setting. 


“My dream is for every Filipino design company to be represented globally and build strong international relationships," he quips.



Support from design consultants

One of the advantages of the companies who join Manila FAME is that they get an opportunity to work with established and well-known Filipino designers aside from the good market exposure that they get for the domestic and export market.



Stanley Ruiz, an established designer who is known for combining natural and industrial designs that are minimalist and sophisticated, returns to the 70th Manila FAME as the Home & Lighting consultant for the Design Commune’s curated exhibition space and merchandise development program.


Stanley has worked both locally and abroad, with work experiences in Bali, Indonesia and New York. He has designed for several furniture and lighting companies, including the acclaimed designer Jonathan Adler. He shared with Metro.Style his approach to design when he worked with the participating companies based on the “Heritage Reimagined” theme. 



“My designs for the 70th Edition of FAME are basically a continuation of last April’s Manila FAME edition, which is a bold approach and wherein a lot of basic forms and blocks of colors were used. For this edition, my palette is more toned down, but I did play with scale, so you’ll see larger pieces at the show," Stanley shares.


He worked with 15 companies for this year's Manila FAME and enhanced their products. Stanley explains, “As a consultant for the Design Commune for the 70th Manila FAME, I approached it like how I would normally work on any design task, and that is to look for the essence of the company, their process and their materials. If a company is good with weaving natural fibers (e.g. Tagolwanen Weavers), I try to find ways on how to add value to their products, perhaps a simple tweak in their process to inject innovation and if they are good with wood like South Sea, I try to think of a fresh way to present an old idea, like using wood to represent solihiya.


"For companies that have a good and long history in lighting design, like in the case of Azcor, I try to design something they have never done before, to pose a challenge and at the same time tap into their creative experimentation with materials, which they are known for. By using each company’s strengths and referencing their history, I try to create forward-looking products."




Featured categories

The flagship show feature is the Design Commune, a merchandise development program and curated exhibition space under the creative direction of Vince Uy, with support from seasoned design consultants such as Stanley Ruiz, Andre Chang, Nix Alañon, Kitty Bunag, and Mia de Lara. 



Other returning show features are the Artisans Village, which highlights regional distinctive products from Antique and Marawi, and the Fashion E-Tailers that showcases both classic and current styles from emerging online fashion retailers.


 


The show also presents an Eco-Lifestyle Pavilion that houses goods inspired by the country’s rich environment as well as a variety of beauty and wellness products. 

 

“We are thrilled to reopen the doors of Manila FAME and have you join us as we honor the legacy of Filipino design and excellence,” says Pauline. 


Leveling-up through a digital platform

With the onset of the digital age, Manila FAME has also leveled up by using the digital platform more to promote local products. Pauline talked about this development during the press sneak peek at the Seda Hotel in BGC recently. 


The event also highlighted the next generation of entrepreneurs who are tech-savvy  and have been enhancing their company’s online presence through well-curated Instagram pages and more visually engaging websites. 



Some of the next generation business owners featured at the event are Gerard Morales of Acento Collections, Janice Chua of Cyprea International, Leslie Bituin of Mendiola of JB Woodcraft, Meyte Chan of Shell Art, and Jennifer Lo of Larone Concepts.


In order to continue moving forward,  Pauline also emphasized the need to work together as one team, Team Philippines, in order to grow and promote the local products from Manila FAME in a global landscape.


For tickets and other information on Manila FAME’s 70th edition, visit manilafame.com and follow its social media accounts at @ManilaFAMEofficial on Facebook, @TheManilaFAME on Twitter, and @manilafame on Instagram.


Photos from @manilafame