Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ruffa Gutierrez in Bargn Farmaceutici’s 9th anniversary

In a glitzy affair, guests at the SM Mall of Asia were treated to a night of fun, beauty tips, prizes and entertainment as new products were unveiled and time-tested brands were reintroduced to the public.
Recognizing the growing demands of beauty and wellness consumers, Bargn Farmaceutici Phils. Co  (BFPC)put up a weeklong beauty fair and set up a runway right at the atrium.

Gracing the runway show is one of the hottest hunks in Philippine fashion today, John Spainhour, who now endorses the food supplement for men – New Euphoria Maxx. It is a premium energy booster and muscle enhancer, formulated to give extra edge and maximum performance.

Top-rate models paraded down the runway, and teased the audience with the products. Beauty queens lent glamour and reigning Mister International Neil Perez showed the chops that won him the title.

Jodi Sta. Maria, endorser for Cosmo Body—the country’s premier, safe and effective weight loss supplement, apparently did not make it to the event, but she did make an effort to greet the company on video.

Directors Nino Bautista and Red Gatus refused to reveal the new endorser for their Non-Acidic Vitamin C brand, Cosmo Cee.

And in a fitting finale, Cosmo Skin Brand Ambassador Ruffa Gutierrez, walked her way down to introduce Cosmo Skin Glutathione, country’s premiere whitening capsule that has Advanced Skin Whitening Formula and contains a more potent form of Glutathione, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Vitamin C.

Gutierrez also revealed the latest and the only anti-ageing oral drink in the market that contains 20,000 mg Collagen, Cosmo Skin Premium, a formula that totally defy age and can diminish fine lines and wrinkles, another breakthrough to the BFPC’s line of products.

Indeed, with a roster of celebrity endorsers from the company’s top networks to its name, and brand new advanced formula, BFPC is actually beginning to rival other health, wellness and beauty companies when it comes to industry cachet and glamour.

BFPC was founded in 2006 by Niño Bautista and Red Gatus. The erstwhile online company selling pharmaceuticals and supplements has since then earned the respect and trust of their peers and the buying public.  “Although we were very confident of our company’s potential, we never really thought that after nine years, BFPC will be where it is now—a serious industry contender that has made its presence felt in the health and wellness segments of the industry,” says Bautista, adding that they focused on industry excellence and servicing clients first and foremost.

Now on its 9th year, the company boasts several product lines that cover nutraceuticals, vitamins and now, even cosmetics.  For this year alone, BFPC is introducing new items, that will no doubt be as popular to a public hungry for what’s new and most importantly, effective.  “We are actually, introducing several new products. These are Cosmo Skin Sun Protect, a non-greasy sunblock, Cosmo Skin Facial cream and Elite Collagen Capsule,” says Gatus.

“One of the goals of BFPC is to empower the consumer, most especially women. And as we are celebrating Women’s month this March, we are taking part in empowering them to look good and feel good about themselves” explains Bautista, adding that judging from the public’s response to BFPC’s ninth-year anniversary celebration, the public seems to have realized that BFPC keeps them in mind when developing products—hence the affection that they seem to have returned.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Top Philippine Fashion Brands to be Showcased in International Expo Slated in Jakarta

Wіth thе theme “One Brand: One Stοrу”, thе Philippines Brands іn Motion wіll promote homegrown fashion brands іn thе world market іn іtѕ first participation іn thе 12th edition οf Franchise аnd License Expo Indonesia (FLEI) slated аt thе Jakarta Convention Center Assembly Hall іn Jakarta, Indonesia οn September 12-14.
Thе Philippines Brands іn Motion 2014 іѕ spearheaded bу thе Center fοr International Trade Exposition аnd Missions (CITEM), thе export promotions arm οf thе Philippine Department οf Trade аnd Industry (DTI), іn partnership wіth thе Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), Philippine Trade аnd Investment Center (PTIC), аnd thе Export Marketing Board.

CITEM targets tο come up wіth a distinct Philippines brand bу 2016. “One Stοrу” represents thе concept behind thе participating companies’ brands tο ensure thаt аll participating companies аnd partner organizations wіll hаνе a unified vision: tο strategically position thе country’s fashion retail brands іn thе global market.

“Homegrown brands hаνе mаdе аn impact οn thе local market; bυt few hаνе ventured іntο thе international market. Wіth Indonesia having thе 10th bіggеѕt economy іn thе world іn terms οf purchasing power parity, FLEI 2014 wουld serve аѕ a potent venue fοr thе local brands tο hаνе countless breakout opportunities іn thе international market. It wіll bе a gοοd chance fοr thеm tο aim fοr regional expansion іn thе light οf One ASEAN іn 2015,” ѕаіd Rosvi C. Gaetos, Executive Director οf CITEM.

CITEM’s initiative іn participating іn thе FLEI 2014 іѕ expected tο globalize Philippine Fashion retail brands, usher іn international business opportunities bу partnering wіth foreign brands, аnd сrеаtе international awareness οf thе design аnd manufacturing capabilities οf Philippine apparel companies.

FLEI 2014, іn іtѕ 12th consecutive year, wіll gather together іn one roof thе emerging franchise industry sector аnd business brands equipped wіth more constructive programs. Thе three-day event wіll engage local upcoming franchise brands tο take οn thе international stage, аnd infiltrate thе highly lucrative market οf Indonesia.

Thе annual FLEI caters tο a wide range οf exhibitors including advertising, photography, multi-level marketing, automotive аnd educational sectors, business consultancies, courier services, health аnd beauty wellness, sports, аnd travel centers, fashion, jewelry, аnd retail businesses. It іѕ organized bу PT Reed Panorama Exhibition, a joint venture οf thе world’s leading event organizer аnd Indonesia’s leading tourism, transportation аnd hospitality group οf companies.

Sіnсе 2003, FLEI hаѕ bееn successful іn expanding аnd сrеаtіng opportunities іn thе franchise аnd business sectors bу annually gathering thousands οf visitors thаt include franchisors, business owners, potential partners, investors, аnd οthеr qualified prospects.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Debenhams Opens Its New Store at Estancia Mall

It was 1813 when William Debenham, with his partner William Clark, founded a store in London’s Wigmore Street where draperies, silks, hats, hosiery, lace and a full-on haberdashery could be found under one roof — the rest, as they say, was fashion history. Now, the retail mammoth Debenhams is found in 178 stores across the UK, Ireland and Denmark, as well as 26 other countries worldwide, including the Philippines. 
Now, Debenhams enjoys six outlets in our archipelago, with its robust partnership with luxury retailers the SSI (Stores Specialists Inc.) group, the newest in the uptown destination of Estancia Mall. “It’s not just an ordinary Debenhams. It is retaking what is the best of what goes well in the UK and replicating it here. I think that the recently refurbished and completely remodeled Debenhams in Oxford Street is what you see in here,” explained British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad. Ahmad addressed Debenhams’ vibrant guests in Estancia’s walkway designed to look like the marketplace at Portobello road, replete with fish and chips stands, flower shops, and of course, a brimming cocktail counter.
 After a handful of Mini Coopers jammed the walkway-turned-runway, models began to sashay, displaying Debenhams’ newest collections of easy-to-wear corporate, cocktail and casual collections, replete with summer florals, quintessential British hues and charming separates. They led guests upstairs to the newest Debenhams retail complex, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.
“The Oxford Street store is much bigger, so we’ve taken some of the best elements to fit into a smaller space here,” explained Debenhams’ international franchise director Philip Topham, while walking me through the 13,000-square-foot boutique. “All that you see here, in terms of the lighting treatment — the floor, to the wall features, the coloration in the fitting rooms — all of it is brand-new,” he noted.
Inside the new Estancia Mall outlet are Debenhams’ well-received designer collections, a formula the brand pioneered with famous British fashion movers since 1993 under the Designers at Debenhams spotlight. Designers like Jasper Conran, Matthew Williamson, Pip Hacket, Ted Baker, Melissa Obadash and St. George by Duffer filled Debenhams’ racks with their posh collections at High Street prices.
Now, Debenhams’ bankable ranges like Redherring and their infinitely-rewarding collaboration with designer John Rocha are still found in the newer racks, yet in a more stunning and dynamic display. “It’s essentially the same range as in the other stores in the Philippines, although I do think that our new concept makes the product look better in Philippine Fashion,” Topham explained.

Debenhams’ equation of making British fashion more approachable for emerging markets has proved profitable for the brand. “British fashion is no longer about us making tartan and making them wear it all around the world,” said Ambassador Ahmad.  “You are a part of the fashion story; all eyes will be watching you. The designers will be watching you. What the people are wearing in Asia, what you are wearing in the Philippines, soon you’ll see that being reflected. So when you buy in Debenhams, you are actually creating the new story for British retail.”

With its spanking new location and energetic new collection, Debenhams seems bent on ruling Filipino tastes, two centuries after opening its first department store. Expect a lot of changes to match its new store layout. “We’ve got some new brands launching over the next year or two, new designer collaborations coming. And there are also some collaborations that are in the UK and aren’t still available here,” Topham said.

The new Debenhams store is now open at the second level of Estancia Mall.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

AyosDito Reimagines Philippine Fashion with #StyleKoAyosDito Fashion Show

AyosDito recently launched #StyleKoAyosDito promo where consumers had the chance to sell their pre-loved fashion items and create the next street fashion with their favorite fashion bloggers. A few days before, these sellers and bloggers met, transacted, and started to put up their collection. Now, they are ready for a fashion showdown and strut their collection at Raven Boutique Club, BGC.  
From October 20 to November 15, #StyleKoAyosDito gave social media fans the chance to co-create the next street fashion with top style bloggers Camille Co, David Guison, and Patricia Prieto. They sold their pre-loved fashion items (e.g., clothes, accessories, etc.) on AyosDito.ph with the hashtag of the team they wish to be a part of (#TeamCamille, #TeamDavid, or #TeamPatricia). The fashion bloggers were very hands-on in the campaign. A week before the fashion show, they searched for their favorite pieces on AyosDito. They contacted the sellers for a meet up last November 17. What is even rewarding, the chosen sellers met their favorite blogger not just to transact and get the cash value of their items but to form a team and co-style the collection with them.
Patricia Prieto finds the #StyleKoAyosDito competition to be a memorable mark in her fashion blogging career as the event, especially for a website like AyosDito.ph, has not been done before. She is amazed that a street fashion collection can be done within three days while most of the items came from a selling site like AyosDito. Patricia’s advice to her team is to bear in mind that fashion is always an extension of one’s personality and that should guide their collection.
“Until now, I can’t believe that with most of the fashion items coming from AyosDito, I was able to put a strong collection together with my team,” said Patricia. “Thanks to my sellers/co-stylists who were very passionate. I hope I am able to leave an important fashion lesson to them because of this challenge. One of the inspirations that played an important role in designing our collection is to be yourself as that’s what fashion is all about – to express who we really are.”

The only thorn among the roses, David Guison demonstrated noticeable competitiveness during the meet-and-greet and initial styling with his sellers. He spent time to know his sellers/co-stylists so he can assess how to best work with them. He found it heartwarming that one of his sellers/co-stylists came all the way from Nueva Ecija just to be part of his team and enjoy this unique experience. For David, it was about having fun as well. 

“I really enjoyed the whole journey of the campaign – from conceptualizing, meeting my sellers, and mixing the pieces together to build the next street fashion,” shared David. “I am glad that we had fun all throughout the process which is very important for anyone who wants to succeed. Spending time with my team enabled me to know their style and personality which helped us strengthen the uniqueness of our collection.  The moment that we all became comfortable, ideas started to come out.”
One of Preview Magazine’s 10 Best Dressed Women for 2011 and 2013, Camille Co’s fashion coaching style lies in openness. She wanted the team to listen carefully and provide feedback. Every now and then, she asked for the thoughts of her team members to create a more inclusive environment for the styling process. It was noticeable the she took time in creating dialogues with her team how to make their collection stand out. 

“I really wanted the styling process to be inclusive where each and every member of my team is heard and appreciated,” Camille underlined. “At the end of the day, the show is all about our partnership without which, our collection will not be possible. I want them to learn something new and take the learnings wherever they go especially if they want to have fashion as one of their long-term pursuits.”
One of the major criteria in judging the best collection is each team’s AyosDito factor: how well the bloggers engaged their fans to sell pre-loved fashion items on AyosDito.ph based on the number of fans who sold pre-loved fashion items to them, as well as the number of items actually posted as a #StyleKoAyosDito entry. The collections are also judged by how each team will incorporate the pre-loved stuff bought from AyosDito to their respective “Manila Street Fashion Collection”. At the blogger-seller meet-up, Patricia, David, and Camille inspected each item for sale and even haggled with their fans so they can buy a lot of their follower’s stuff! Because of this, the bloggers scored good-as-new and even premium branded clothes and accessories for an average of P350 only. 

“AyosDito is committed to helping Philippine Fashion to pursue their passions including fashion while giving them diverse options and value for their money. Fashion, being one of the fastest selling categories on AyosDito, grew by 111% from 2013 – 2014 and through the campaign, we wish to encourage more people to buy, sell, and celebrate the love for fashion on AyosDito to sustain this growth,” shared Rebecca Ricalde, Marketing Manager for AyosDito Philippines. “This is one of the most exciting campaigns we ever had and to see this come to life just really amazed us! Having the bloggers and sellers meet and transact in real life is our way of demonstrating how online selling and buying is easy, convenient, and safe.” 


For more information, follow AyosDito on Instagram @AyosDito_PH and Twitter @AyosDitoPH.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fil-Am Designer Closes Los Angeles Fashion Week in Style

Filipino American Alexis Monsanto closed Los Angeles Fashion Week with an entertaining and elegant runway show for VIP and media October 19. 
The evening at REEF in Downtown Los Angeles also included shows from Skintone Clothing, Deborah Manene, Ouynh Paris and Dar Sara.

The 8th season of Style Fashion Week, now deemed the Official LA Fashion Week by City Hall, was held on October 15 to 19. “It is the largest, most influential fashion event of the season,” according to Style Fashion week’s website.

“We just completed another successful season showcasing an incredible lineup of International Designers, over 25,000 guests and 327 million media impressions so far! We look forward to seeing you again!” said Fashion Week sponsor and publicist for Bubble Fish Media, Michael Hendricks in a press statement. 
Monsanto surprised the audience with not only a runway show, but also a production that included 3D special effects, music, costume along with fashion designs. This year Monsanto had a “Game of Thrones” inspired theme.

His scope of creativity kept the fashion who’s who and Hollywood A-listers like Lenny Kravtiz glued to their seats.

“I have a team of sample makers and interns. I like to take out my time and mentor students from Fashion schools in Southern California. It’s a nice feeling! I got to showcase my craft to Hollywood A-listers,” Monsanto said.

“My design concept was finalized in July and then I stopped production while I juggling clients and weddings during the summer,” he explained. “We started producing the pieces by

mid-September after getting back from New York Fashion Week. So it literally took us about five to six weeks (to prepare).
Monsanto has dressed up many celebrities such as Kate Beckinsale, Jordin Sparks, Kiara Di Guardi, Stephanie Powers, Kaya Jones, Eva La Rue, Felicity Hoffman and Charlize Theron.

The designer hails the Southern part of the Philippines, in Jimenez, Misamis Occidental. He went to schools in Dumaguete, Manila and Cebu. After college in Cebu City, he had the chance to work as a design assistant at the fashion houses of Leonardo Igloria and Phillip Rodriguez before moving to pursue higher education in fashion here in Los Angeles.

He looks up to the designs of Elie Saab “for its luxury, Valentino for its femininity and Versace for its sexiness.”

But celebrities and other designers look up to him as well.

“His style is amazing, he has a good taste, and his gowns are unforgettable,” said Lika Osipova, founder and producer of “Miss Russian LA Beauty.”

“I remember when I wore his dress at Emmys, before the red carpet I was at the ballroom with all the celebrities and nominees, they stopped me to ask who dressed me for this event, I was so honored to be in Monsanto’s creation,” added Osipova, who has worn Monsanto pieces for the Hollywood New Year Glamour Party, 2014 Emmy’s and 2014 Oscars. “Alexis has a super nice personality. He takes out time to help his clients with not only the dresses but advises the accessories and shoes for each piece.”

“He listens because he cares. He is prompt and even late nights he calls you to make sure he gets to you what you want for his creation,” explained Monsanto client Maria Wicker of Texas. He is the go-to designer of Wicker’s relatives and friends.

“He made me do things which I thought I could never do. I learned new techniques that are used in a process of making a garment. I think for me this is going to lead me to become the next Philippine Fashion designer of Los Angeles!” said Saima Hasan, who has been interning with Monsanto since June.

“His designs are contemporary yet very classy.  He adds a very feminine look to all of his collections. His designs are wearable are not made only for the ramp,” added Hasan.

“This is not an easy industry. You need to have perseverance in the design world. Know the exact market you want to be in and focus on your designs,” Monsanto advised, with future designers in mind.

“You have to be conservative in the numbers when you create and cost the merchandise. You need to learn how balance your craft as an artist and a businessperson to succeed in this industry,” he added.

His involvement with the LGBT community takes up some of his time. He helps raise funds for Aids Project Los Angeles and he’s in the Planning Committee for the GLAAD Media

Awards (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Againts Defamation), which monitors the police and media in their handling of gay issues and depictions of fictional gay characters.

“I also help the Trevor Project December fundraising event annually, which is an American non-profit organization founded in 1998 and the leading national organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.”

To top it off, he’s also active in Fil-Am events like Binibining Pilipinas-USA and its charity work and projects of the Apl.de.Ap Foundation.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Swatch Turns 25 with BenCab, Sabel & 25 Philippine Fashion Designers

Inspiration is everywhere. You just have to keep a keen eye. Just take a look at National Artist of Visual Arts, Benedicto Cabrera a.k.a. BenCab. Who would have thought that a scavenger roaming the streets of Manila would become one of the most iconic muses of one of the most respected Filipino artists of our time?
“Sabel,” the woman adrift whom he would see through his window in his youth, would become a major subject of his works. “She lives on the street. So I took photographs and did sketches. So when I paint her, she just evolves — sometimes abstract, sometimes Japanese-looking. She’s just my muse and she’s been sort of my inspiration,” BenCab said in an interview by blogger Sunshine, for Musings Under The Sun, in October 2012.

The woman wandering the streets of Tondo, a.k.a. taong grasa, became the artist’s symbol of life’s inequalities — poverty, despair, disorder, isolation and sadness.

“This vagrant woman is one of the best-known muses of the artist’s storied career. In her plainness, he saw beauty. In her anonymity, he saw an individual person who chose to live as she saw fit; in her weakness, he saw her native wit and strength. It is a tribute to BenCab that what he saw, what he painted, are what endure,” the artist told Rene Guatlo.

Today, Sabel has many faces. Watch Sabel get reinvented and celebrated not only by BenCab but also by 25 of the most popular fashion designers of the country when Swatch turns 25. The ever-present and stylized muse continues to inspire.

It is timely, too, for BenCab, who is also one of the most beloved artists in Southeast Asia and recognized internationally to design a Swatch for Swatch to mark its 25 years in the Philippine Fashion. The Swatch Sabel world launch happens on Nov. 4.     

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Solaire Presents Halloween by Rocky Gathercole

Halloween costumes will always be in. But it is a whole new different experience if your scariest outfit is created by the world-renowned Filipino fashion designer Rocky Gathercole whose creations are worn by Hollywood artists. 
“This is the sexiest, most scandalous, and most provocative fashion show this Halloween season.” That’s how the international fashion designer, Rocky Gathercole describes hisfashion show, “Halloween by Rocky Gathercole” slated last October 31 at the Solaire Resorts and Casino.
Rocky Gathercole is a Philippine Fashion designer whose creations are worn by Hollywood stars like Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Paris Hilton. During the press conference of the said event, he revealed that this is actually the first time he’s showing of his creations in the Philippines. He, himself, couldn't find words to describe how his creations would be.
Other than being an “out-of-the-ordinary” fashion show, a dance party was also held after. A guest bands like Inner Voices and Route 70 was also there to perform for the crowd. Before the fashion show, there's a free make-up tutorial led by “Nena Cosmetics.” Nena Cosmetics, founded by Lorena “Nena” Mondonedo Perez, is Chicago based but manufactured in New York. They would also be launching Nena Cosmetics in the Philippines, hopefully, by December.
“The Halloween by Rocky Gathercole” fashion show is produced by ERASE, Solaire Resort and Casino and Nena Cosmetics. The fashion show was for the benefit of the UP Women’s Volleyball Team.

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