Art/Style/Travel DiariesStyle

ArteFino turns Christmas shopping into community gathering

Beyond curated gifts, 3-week fair binds artisan communities, creatives, patrons

Lokal's Tilaok button-down top with Keri Palda

Happy Andrada dress with ruffled hem

 ArteFino founders Cedie Vargas, Marimel Francisco, Maritess Pineda, Mita Rufino and Susie Quiros have thought of adding a dimension to the holiday gettogether that the Filipino Christmas has been known for—by turning it into a coming together of the community to promote Filipino artisanship and craftmanship. “We’ve had Presente by ARTEFINO every holiday season since 2017,” Marimel says. “Since then, it’s been such a unique experience for all of us and our partners.”

Presente by ArteFino is an annual gathering of the movement’s partner vendors, communities, and patrons. It is also an extension of the brand’s call for responsible retailing and shopping with purpose. “When buyers go to Presente, they shop for meaningful gifts,” says the team in a statemen. “Brands and products on feature have unique stories to tell about local artistry, communities, and creativity.”

A total of 70 partner vendors are in this year’s Presente by ArteFino, which runs for three weeks from December 2 to 23 at Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center. Every week will feature a curated mix of artisanal brands across lifestyle categories, including fashion, accessories and jewelry, home, personal care, and local flavors. A section of ArteFino Finds showcases local artisanal picks for the season. Marimel says, “It’s the one-stop for meaningful and purposeful Christmas shopping because there is always something for everyone.”

The holiday fair also endeavors to reshape the gift-giving experience. Marimel says, “It’s the curation that sets us apart. Those who go to Presente usually find extra special gifts for those they hold dearest. They also pick up something extraordinary to give themselves this Christmas.”

From quick giveaways to more thoughtful keepsakes—that’s the idea behind the selections

The ArteFino team has chosen partner vendors with emphasis on their ties to artisanal communities—weavers, woodworkers, embroiderers, sewers, farmers and other creative collectives. “Every time you shop at ArteFino, you also help these local communities,” Marimel explain.

The community is the raison d’etre for the establishment of ArteFino—to seek patrons who will sustain these communities.  HeArteFino Development Program supports communities that are active in the fairs. Part of the proceeds from the fair support the program. HeArteFino has supported the Bagobo-Tagbanwa beaders, the fabric weavers from Panay, Marawi, and Kabankalan in Negros. In 2020, the program gave a grant to the Anthill Fabric’s circular fashion movement, and the brand’s zero waste innovation from weaves to wear was showcased that year at the HeArteFino booth. Maritess Pineda adds, “We continue to work as a community beyond our annual trade fairs.” With the fair’s loyal patrons, the movement provides sustainable livelihood for communities.

“At ArteFino Presente, we celebrate the gathering of community,” explains Cedie Vargas. Partner vendors, designers, collaborators, makers, creative collectives, and patrons gather this time of year to build camaraderie and community. “It’s not just about selling and shopping. We end the year at ArteFino Presente to celebrate how we’ve all grown and evolved through the years. Together.”

It is a bond forged from shared passion for elevating local craft and artistry, guided by a sense of social responsibility. “Presente is a continuation of the ArteFino journey, especially after having weathered the pandemic and recent return to in-person events. For all of us in the team, partner vendors, designers and collaborators, ArteFino is not just a one-time selling activity. It is the collective voice of the community. Sama-sama sa Pasko,” said the team’s statement.

Randolf barong

Lokal’s handpainted denim hoodie trench with Dilag dress

Happy Andrada terno top, swirl skirt

ArteFino Presente’s line-up of vendors for week 1: Fashion: Randolf, Trude Lizares, Edited Limited, Ditta Sandico, Pinas Sadya, Berches Barong, Lokal Home + Art + Fashion, Joe-El Espina, Vina Romero, Tagpi, and Happy Andrada. Accessories: Farah Abu, Aishe Fashon, Andante Leyesa, Papa’s Fashion Accessories, Lakat + Aire, Ilha, Tina Campos Jewelry, Orias, Twinle Ferraren, and Piesa. Jewelry: Judy Jewels & Fedesto, MyGems Jewelry, Micki Olaguer, Emblem Jewelry. Home: Casa Juan, Liwayway, The Olive Tree, Charming Baldemor Studio, Art of Gold, Sustainably Made by MARSSE, The Fine Life Market, Domicillo Selections.

Barba graphic shirt

Pablo Miguel terno top

For week 2: Fashion: Two Chic, Edited Limited, WYC Wear Your Culture, Paolo Miguel, Style Ana, Camille Villanueva, Pinas Sadya, Lokal Home + Art + Fashion, Jor-el Espina, Coco & Tres, Pidayit, and Barba. Accessories: Jhaz Footwear, Adante Leyesa, Earl Gariando Accessories, Papa’s Fashion Accessories, Lakat + Aire, Calli, R. Filart, Farah Abu, and Casa Mercedes. Jewelry: Judy Jewels & Fedesto, MyGems Jewelry, Micki Olaguer, and Emblem Jewelry; Home: C&C, Liwayway, SustainablyMade by MARSSE, Domesticity and Tilia, The Fine Life Market, LARA, and Paperbound. Personal Care: Daily Bar, Isla Aromaticas, and Savonville Skincare Essentials. Also, The Seven Pantry and Finds by ArteFino.

For week 3: Fashion: Edited Limited, Abra Arts and Crafts, Alegre by Techie Hagedorn, Goodluck Humans, Style Ana, Pinas Sadya, Berches Barong, Studio Philippo, and Coco & Tres, and Amarie. Accessories: Aishe Fashion, Jhaz Footwear, Adante Leyesa, Earl Garlando Accessories, Lakat + Aire, Virtucio, Joanique, Crystal Seas, Tina Campos Jewelry, Paul Raymond, and Eccentrics. Jewelry: Judy Jewels & Fedesto, MyGems Jewelry, Micki Olaguer, and Emblem Jewelry. Home: Charming Baldermor Studios, Domesticity and Tilia, The Fine Life Market, and Ritual. Personal Care: Savonville Skincare Essentials and Amparo’s Apothecary. Also, The Seven Pantry and Finds by ArteFino.

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