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 DTI-CITEM at Maison et Objet
In photo: Philippine Ambassador to France, HE Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro  (eighth from left) joins Philippine exporters from the home, lifestyle and fashion industries – Agsam Fashion Fern, Beatriz, Catalina Embroideries, Finali, Kit Silver Jewellery, Megabijoux, Nature’s Legacy, Weave Manila  -- who were part of the country pavilion at the Maison et Objet held in Paris, France on 8-12 September 2017. Joining them are Froilan Pamintuan, Commercial Attache of the Philippine Trade and Investment (second from right); Rapunzel Acop of the Philippine Embassy in Paris (seventh from left);  Art Dimaano of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions or CITEM (ninth from left); Chiqui Veneracion of Maison et Objet (sixth from left) and Eduardo Francisco of PTIC-Paris (leftmost).

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its attached agency, Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Paris (PTIC-Paris), recently participated at the Maison et Objet, the premier and largest French trade fair for interior design held on 8-12 September 2017 in Paris, France.

“The presence of DESIGN PHILIPPINES at this year’s Maison et Objet is a testament of DTI’s commitment to continuously support and provide global platforms for Filipino exporters and designers,” said DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado.

The country’s participation in one of the world’s biggest lifestyle events which attracts over 75,000 visitors worldwide including interior designers, decorators, architects, hotel directors, art directors, stylists and trendsetters, showcased DesignPhilippines which highlighted and represented the country’s creative sensibilities.

Among the world-class Filipino companies showcased at the DesignPhilippines are: Agsam Fashion Fern, Beatriz, Catalina Embroideries, Finali, Kit Silver Jewellery, Megabijoux, Nature’s Legacy, and Weave Manila.

“We strive to open doors for our emerging designers and exporters to access global partners who frequent the world’s most important international trade shows such as the Maison et Objet which is held twice a year in Paris. This is key in enabling them to meet new trade buyers and be exposed to overseas markets,” Terrado added.

Led by DTI’s CITEM, DesignPHILIPPINES is a branding initiative that positions the Philippines as a sourcing destination for finely crafted products for the world market.

"We see the vital role that the government plays when it comes to accessing markets for our local exporters. As we participate in various international trade exhibits, we also seek the support of the private sector and businesses to collaborate with us in joining international trade fairs where they could potentially meet new buyers as well as promote Philippine design to the rest of the world," emphasized Terrado.

The Philippine participation to Maison et Objet was made possible through DTI-CITEM in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Paris {PTIC-Paris), the commercial arm of the Philippines in France.

"We see the vital role that the government plays when it comes to accessing markets for our local exporters. As we participate in various international trade exhibits, we also seek the support of the private sector and businesses to collaborate with us in joining international trade fairs where they could potentially meet new buyers as well as promote Philippine design to the rest of the world," emphasized Terrade.

Surigao del Sur-based Agsam Fashion Fern drew attention for its fashion accessories chiefly made from a local plant from which it derived its name. As a first time participant, its founder/owner, Ms. Gina Nebrida-Ty, represented Agsam Fashion Fern. The company does not only create unique product, but also fosters communities in Mindanao province by sustaining decades-old tradition and livelihood rooted on Agsam ferns.

Recently granted with the ASEAN Inclusive Business Award for Priority Integration Sector Excellence for their use of wood in their products, the group behind Nature's legacy also returned to Maison et Objet this year, after one of its companies, Floreia joined the Fashion Philippines booth at the Moisan et Objet in 2016. Mr. Pete Delantar, owner of Nature's Legacy is particularly happy to showcase the myriad of applications that run from occasional furniture, home and fashion accessories, outdoor and garden, and architecture, interior design and packaging at the Design Philippines booth this year.

MEGABIJOUX owns the brand Mele+Marie which is making a mark in the international scene with strategic and consistent presence in key international trade fairs in France, as well as in Asia and the United States. Ms. Rosemarie Oamil, who founded the company with husband Melencio, received international clients interested with their products, specifically their highend minaudieres. Megabijoux's products are noted for harnessing Cebu's artisanal heritage of highly technical concepts that require precision methods.

Beatriz also joined the Philippine pavilion for the second time as represented by Le Bon Mot. Beatriz by Carissa Cruz-Evangelista has already gained global attention with its signature texture which defines the collection's theme, i.e., a meticulous method wherein fine yarns are laid out by hand over the surface of the cuffs and clutch bags row by row.

Kit Silver Jewellery, a Filipino brand with 30 years of experience in gold, silver and brass, also returned for this year's Philippine participation. Marikris lmson, from whom the company was named after, said many of Kit Silver's displayed items combined the traditional art of jewelrymaking and latest designs which caught the attention of buyers not only from France, but also from the rest of Europe and the Middle East.

Catalina Embroideries and Finali Furniture And Home Accessories both from Cebu, are among the first-timers at the DESIGN PHILIPPINES Pavilion at the Maisonet Objet.

Catalina takes pride in its elegant and stylish decors, including the chandeliers and stools that attracted the eyes of guests at the Paris event. According to Joan Wang, Catalina uses only natural materials found in the Philippines, such as shell, coco, rattan, and the like, most of which are hand-loomed by their craftsmen. After Maison et Objet, some of their products were tapped to be showcased in a forthcoming event in Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Finali mainly featured its range of home accessories products and services, many of which have already graced the latest and more prominent hotel projects in the Philippines and the rest of the world. Ronalda Salazar and Angie Cadungog also look forward to further showcasing their dynamic furniture designs in France in the future.

Weave Manila gathered multiple inquiries from prospective customers, including from fashion designers, architects, retailers, and others, at their booth at the Maison et Objet. First-time participants at the DTI sponsored booth in France, the Tagle siblings said that they were happy with their presence in the event, which opened up opportunities and prospective buyers for them in France, and in other parts of the world for their custom-made Abaca handwoven carpets and rugs, offering a selection of natural color dyes and product designs.

According to CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon, Philippine exporters and designers are truly world-class, and it is just fitting that their places in the international area are ensured by government in the future.♦

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