Manila FAME likes design-forward products!

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export marketing arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), exhibits high-quality and design-forward products at Manila FAME developed through its Design for Exports program. These products are displayed at the Millennial Home, a special setting that explores what tomorrow’s home will be like.

Here are the products curated by our design experts:

Manila FAME is now open! See Philippine ingenuity at the 57th edition of Manila FAME on 14-17 March 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, Metro Manila, Philippines. For more information about the show, visit


Message from the Project Director: Unique by Design

james-booth-photoManila FAME-the Design and Lifestyle Event of Asia is ‘not just another Trade Show. It is indeed unique. And it is DESIGN PHILIPPINES that defines it and makes it unique. You will only see product that is Designed, Developed and Manufactured in the Philippines.

From its beginnings DESIGN PHILIPPINES has been about looking inwardly as well as outwardly. Inward from the point of view of nurturing, protecting and evolving ‘The Art of the Craftsman’ which is the very ‘Soul of the Philippines’. Outwardly – from a very worldly point of view. A vantage point that has carefully and thoughtfully considered and utilized natural and indigenous materials; a vantage point that has established leadership in the Global Community of Design. In so doing, ‘DESIGN PHILIPPINES as a movement’ has taken shape and now speaks with recognized authority in the world of Design.

This Movement includes Designer Brands such as NATORI, Kenneth Cobonpue, DEDON, and Vito Selma – successful international brands that not only have their ‘origins’ but their manufacturing base in the Philippines. Others such as Ralph Lauren, Barbara Barry and McGuire have travelled to the Philippines specifically to manufacture collections within their brands. As well, countless retailers and wholesalers have come to the Philippines for the design and manufacture of their own Private Brands and/or Private Labels. It is this same manufacturing base that forms the core of Manila FAME – the Design and Lifestyle event of Asia.

The 57th edition of Manila FAME on 14-17 March 2013, once again puts DESIGN front and center. A group of nine designers in collaboration with nine world-class manufacturers under the creative direction of Budji Layug and Kenneth Cobonpue will be featured. The main feature of the show – The Millennial Home – will explore today’s new consumer – The Millennials – exploring how they live and the product that connects with them. Take a look at the sketchbook below – a glimpse of what to expect from three new designers being featured in this edition of Manila FAME:



See new and exciting show features at the 57th edition of Manila FAME on 14-17 March 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, Metro Manila, Philippines.


Monday by Design: The Millennial Home Designers

The Millennial Home, a representation of today’s market demographic crossroads, explores what tomorrow’s home will be like. Design icons Budji Layug and Kenneth Cobonpue lead a group of talented designers to explore how the Millennials live and the product that connects to them.

Get to know the Millennial Home Designers:

Jinggoy Buensuceso

Jinggoy Buensuceso

“Design Philippines is a combination of incredibly passionate and talented people and the use of abundant indigenous materials and techniques.”

Jinggoy Buensuceso is a Filipino visual artist specializing in metal sculpture. His linear style evokes stories of oneself, culture, and way of life through the use of lines. Buensuceso is also an emerging figure in Philippine furniture design. He is a three-time Mugna awardee, a co-founder of Epoch, a movement of six young, international artists who provoke new thinking in Philippine furniture design and he is part of the international design team of Hive under the mentorship of Kenneth Cobonpue.

Olivia d'Aboville

Olivia d’Aboville

“Design Philippines is so rich in organic materials and shows great appreciation in craftsmanship. The art of the craftsman truly is the soul of the Philippines.”

Olivia d’Aboville is a young French-Filipino artist who specializes in tapestry and textile structures and adapted the techniques to create her own woven forms. She has been exploring sculpting with textile techniques since then. Her works range from textile jewelry to sculptures, to lighting designs and installation art.

D’Aboville has exhibited in museums, galleries, hotels and festivals in Paris, Lyon, Hong Kong, Manila, New York and Singapore. Most recently, Olivia was selected by Elle Decoration to be among 25 international artists/designers to exhibit their work at the magazine’s 25th anniversary at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

Inigo Elizalde

Inigo Elizalde

“Come one, come all! From the smallest island to nations abroad – to witness the incredible craft and design excellence coming out of the Philippines! We’re on a roll and can’t be stopped! See you in March at Manila FAME!”

Inigo Elizalde currently lives and works in New York City. His design inspirations come from nature, such as landscapes and weather conditions, the shimmer of light on water, his fondness for ethnic fabrics, and from his fascination with his hometown of Manila.

Ito Kish

Ito Kish

“Design Philippines is progressive. It’s nice to note that Filipino designers are starting to rediscover and reinvest in locally available and sustainable resources to produce fresh and innovative designs.”

Ito has a profound appreciation for Philippine creativity and craftsmanship, for designs that exude beauty; designs, he says, that are purely Filipino. “If my pieces can speak, its language will be Filipino and will not require an interpreter,” he confides. Ito looks forward to working with natural materials that are abundant in the Philippines.

Leeroy New

Leeroy New

“Design Philippines has never lost touch with its traditional crafts and techniques. It has always attempted to marry it with modern sensibilities for its form and approach to materials.”

Leeroy New is a sculptor, artist, and designer whose work is an attempt to overlap and intersect with the different forms of visual arts including film, theater and fashion. He regularly seeks the occasion to present his work whenever, however, and wherever he feels like it or is allowed to in the hopes of ‘affecting’, more rather than less.

Eric Paras

Eric Paras

“Design Philippines, in spite of economic and political constraints, has long been at par with the best in the world. I am so proud of the talent and ingenuity of the Filipino.”

Eric Paras is not a minimalist, yet his aesthetic leans towards clean lines that emphasize textures and neutral colors, such as white, brown and gray.

Paras started out as a freelance designer but now works with Randy Vargas, owner of Vivere Lifestyles, the holding company of Vienna Furnitures, which specializes in products made from gmelina, a sustainable product, and other related businesses such as Industria Living and Triboa Bay.

Luisa Robinson

Luisa Robinson

“The flavor of Philippine design, I would say, would almost always have a unique flair for humor and a soulful craftsmanship that pays tribute to our natural materials.”

Luisa Robinson is an advocate of modern and clean design. She emphasizes materiality: the substance in design inherent in a material that leads to a synthesis of form and function. She is keen on integrating natural indigenous materials with modern technology and applications.

A recipient of numerous Katha and Mugna awards for best product design and material innovation and a merit award for furniture design in Singapore, Luisa was recently honored as one of the Top Ten Design Iconoclasts by The Philippine School of Interior Design. She recently launched her own line of home accessories under the brand LUISA.

Wataru Sakuma

Wataru Sakuma

“I can describe Design Philippines as something that is constantly transforming. It’s amazing to see various indigenous materials being transferred into beautiful products.”

Wataru Sakuma is a Japanese designer whose background in Fine Arts drives the designs he creates for Masa Ecological Development, Inc. He was granted a scholarship in New York in a program affiliated with Parsons School of Design. Choosing to work with pineapple and banana fiber to create handmade paper, his works naturally exude a zen quality. His outstanding designs earned him honors in the Katha Awards in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010 as well as the Mugna Awards of Manila Now.

Vito Selma

Vito Selma

Vito Selma has worked under Raffaella Mangiarotti in Milan and under interior designer George de Haast in Johannesburg, South Africa.

His design style is a reflection of everything around him — shapes, textures and colors of everything that is natural. He is also very much inspired by the aesthetics of Japanese and Scandinavian design movements: natural, simple and architectural.

Manila FAME will be on 14-17 March 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, Metro Manila, Philippines. For more information about the show, visit

Design Excellence and Innovation at CITEM’s Design for Exports Program

“CITEM’s Design for Exports program is just one more example of DESIGN PHILIPPINES at work. This movement, under the auspices of CITEM, nurtures and celebrates cutting edge product design making Manila FAME Asia’s leader in Design.”

James R. Booth, Project Director, Manila FAME

As the country’s pillar for design excellence and product innovation, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export marketing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), continues its mission to bring constant reinvention of high quality and design-forward products through its Design for Exports Program.

Designers working for the Design for Exports Program are Eric Paras, Inigo Elizalde, Ito Kish, Jinggoy Buensuceso, Leeroy New, Luisa Robinson, Olivia d’Aboville, Vito Selma, and Wataru Sakuma. These experts will lend their creative expertise in providing the participating companies with technical assistance to help stir interest and stimulate demand for Philippine products in the international trade scene and help establish the country as Asia’s go-to design destination.

Witness Philippine ingenuity at the 57th edition of Manila FAME as it shapes up to bring new and exciting products on 14-17 March 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, Metro Manila, Philippines. For more information about the show, visit