CITEM empowers SMEs with on-trend design for US trade show NY NOW

Local companies team up with CITEM and designer Stanley Ruiz to create new artisanal, on-trend design home and lifestyle crafts  using indigenous, eco-friendly materials

NY NOW, North America’s premier home, lifestyle, and gift market for sophisticated retailers, is only a week away and the 12 Philippine SMEs rallied by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) are excited to unveil their fresh designs and up-to-date collections made of native and sustainable materials. The new products were developed especially for the US trade show’s 25,000 international buyers and visitors convening on August 21-24, 2016 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, U.S.A.

CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), organized the delegation comprised of companies Arden, Craft Mill, CSM Philippines, Finali, Nature’s Legacy, and Shelmed Cottage Treasures, all exporting home décor and accessories. Fashion companies that joined the participation include Agsam Fashion Fern, Beatriz, Crystal Seas, Megabijoux, and Orient Meadow. Holiday and gifts company Stella Polare Manila also signed up for the trade event.

craftmillCraft Mill, Inc.’s photo frame and desk clock made of recycled paper

The companies will collectively represent Lifestyle Philippines, a branding initiative by CITEM that brings together creative enterprises embodying the best of the country’s home and fashion sectors, and featuring versatile yet highly artisanal products that are attuned to modern living.

In preparation for NY NOW, the participating companies collaborated with internationally-acclaimed designer Stanley Ruiz, who, aside from developing the products, also conceptualized the booth design and the visual merchandising for Lifestyle Philippines.

Stanley has been working with CITEM in many local and international projects and has previously exhibited as an individual designer at NY NOW. Stanley’s creative direction pushed the companies to level up their designs and product lines to cater to a modern, younger, and upbeat market who makes up a huge part of the NY NOW audience.

“The curated setting at NY NOW will exhibit new crafts that bring out the DNA of each company, products that highlight their strengths and uniqueness. At the same time, the mix will include a selection of existing products injected with a more contemporary vibe using sophisticated pastel themes and playful motifs adopted from indigenous Philippine textiles. By doing this product development and visual treatment, we achieve an up-to-date look that appeals to today’s market without losing distinctively Filipino elements,” said Stanley.

The setting will also demonstrate the diversity of crafts made in the Philippines. “In international markets such as the U.S., the Philippines is most often known for woven crafts like baskets, but we have many companies manufacturing other products like bone china and even novel, patented materials. By bringing these 12 SMEs with different identities, we communicate the many capabilities of Philippine craftsmen and the variety of products we can offer,” added Stanley.

csmCSM Philippines’ vases made of finely crafted bone china


Stanley started developing the theme and the designs through his one-on-one consultations with the owners and in-house designers of the companies, visiting their showrooms and factories around the country. He pursued an intimate understanding of each company’s design language by studying their crafts and familiarizing himself with their materials and production capabilities.

“Many of the companies have 10, 20 years of experience in the export industry; some of them have more experience in manufacturing and a much deeper understanding of the international market than I do. My input in this project is to suggest modern or contemporary design perspectives without creating a radical departure from their identity and their established aesthetics,” said Stanley.

The companies were eager to translate Stanley’s designs into new, functional crafts, which are now ready to be launched at the upcoming fair.

shelmedStanley Ruiz sketches new abaca home products for Shelmed Cottage Treasures.


megabijouxStanley Ruiz visits Megabijoux in Cebu City


“The openness of our SMEs to exploring fresh ideas and unfamiliar materials, coupled with DTI and CITEM’s continuous efforts to develop and promote locally made crafts in international markets strengthen the Philippines’ position as a preferred source of highly creative products,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos.

crystalseasCrystal Seas’ clutch made of abaca fabric and embellished with sequins


agsamAgsam Fashion Fern’s LOIDA necklace, made of handwoven agsam fern and crystal beads


ardenArden’s finely sculpted shell and brass canisters


finaliFinali’s Cohere collection made of rattan


natures-legacyNature’s Legacy’s stonecast vessels


orientmeadowOrient Meadow’s satchels made of woven rattan


stellapolareStella Polare Manila’s display of home and holiday decor


For more information on Lifestyle Philippines in NY NOW 2016 and CITEM’s other programs, interested parties may e-mail

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). CITEM is committed to developing, nurturing, and promoting globally-competitive small and medium enterprises (SMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers by implementing an Integrated Approach to Export Marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.

CITEM is the owner and organizer of Manila FAME, the country’s premier design and lifestyle event, and the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines, the biggest and most respected sourcing platform for Asian heritage food and ingredients.


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