NY exhibit features up and coming Filipino designers, inspired by heritage

NEW YORK – While the Philippine gold exhibit at the Asia society in New York showcases the creativity of ancient Filipinos this “Filipino Design Now” exhibit shines a spotlight on the creative designs of Filipinos today.

Curated by Frederico De Vera, “Filipino Design Now” features exclusive collections by 14 Filipino designers who create products inspired by their Philippine heritage.

“I wanted to show that we have something great, you know, that the Filipino have skills, they have steady capability,” said De Vera.

Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Cuisia Jr. adds, “We are very proud of our artists, our designers, and we are blessed. We are truly blessed that the Filipinos are so creative, are so artistic.”

Designers like Ian Giron, Anne Saguil, Rafe Totengco, Ditta Sandico, Josie Natori among others celebrate Filipino heritage through their use of indigenous materials and techniques.

“What I’m wearing is part of my fall collection, it’s all gold,” said Natoria. “And of course, I’m so proud of the craftsmanship in the Philippines. Everything I have is made in the Philippines and so it’s wonderful to be able to be part or even showcase the talent and craftsmanship has always had from centuries ago until today

These golden bowls designed by Ian Giron are made of coconut shells and artisans from Cebu and Bulacan applied a gold leaf finish.

For many of these designers, this showcase only proves that the Philippines is an exciting destination for design.

“We’re trying to elevate Philippines product to a certain level of standard, a certain level of excellence, so we have very good hands in the Philippines traditions and we want to celebrate our heritage and our artisanal traditions,” said Giron.

These designers believe that using indigenous materials also means providing more jobs for more people in the Philippines.

“They are able to embroider in their own homes, without having to come to the city, without having to come to Manila for jobs,” said Saguil. “They can stay at home, take care of their children, at the same time we’re preserving our craft, of our embroidery and at the same were providing livelihoods.”

Visitors have the opportunity to purchase and own these signature pieces from talented Filipino designers. The Filipino Design Now store, which coincides with the Philippine gold exhibit, will remain open to the public until January 3, 2016.

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