Art/Style/Travel DiariesStyle

Kultura raises the bar for cutting-edge Filipino products this September

Filipino Design Studio yields affordable, innovative finds

Ken Samudio’s intricately beaded clutch, the beading done by hand.

Ken Samudio with his mom’s vintage Dior jacket to which he added intricate beading and embroidery, which he did without any preconceived design

JIM Weaver Designs’ Jenica, Isabelle and Mischel show off silk scarves inspired by Filipino children’s games of old

Retail destination Kultura at the Podium is adding over 50 distinct homegrown brands and designers for the whole September, as it introduces the Kultura Filipino Design Studio. This is at Kultura, 3/L, The Podium, Ortigas.

Just when you think you’ve seen every new product from the Philippines’ bold, innovative, and ingenious designers, artisans, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs, in comes this range of products set up at Kultura Podium. They’re raised the bar a notch higher, so that many adopt sustainability and upcycling—and they are affordable.

There’s designer Ken Samudio, who has been featured in Vogue Italy. His intricately crafted clutch bags, neckpieces, and bracelets are a marvel for their meticulous make, design, color, and visual imagery. The beads upcycled from plastic bottles and other sustainable materials are strung, then sewn piece by piece on the material. A science major and diver, Samudio continues to be inspired by the ocean, the marine universe that offers a limitless range of images.

At Kultura, Samudio has on display a leather top with his intricate bead embellishment, and a vintage Dior jacket belonging to his mother, which he embroidered with his bead patterns.

Coasters and placemat by JIMWeaver inspired by Filipino culture

There’s also a range of silk scarves by JIM Weaver—look closely at their designs, and you’ll discover the whimsy and nostalgia of Filipino children’s games of old, such as sipa and bahay-bahayan. The range includes coasters and trays. The take on Filipino pop culture and tradition gives the brand a distinct identity. JIM stands for the founders Jenica, Isabelle, and Mischel.

“As a platform for social enterprises and MSMEs, we’re very excited to bring the Filipino Design Studio and showcase the creativity, craftsmanship, and talent that these brands offer and give our shoppers a chance to support them,” said Kultura president Ivy Yap.

Cutting-edge earrings by Flutter

Katherine Ong of Flutter

Kamuning earrings by Mjorian

Other finds include Katherine Ong’s Flutter of over-the-top, cutting-edge earrings that are style statements in themselves; Rhett Eala’s chic Filipino-inspired tops; Matthew and Melka’s totes; Kara de Juan’s statement bags and accessories; and Marigrace Reano’s Mjorian, featuring Kamuning earrings.

Vigan Collection by Millie Monday

There’s also Millie Monday’s home accessories range featuring the Vigan Collection—placemats, trays, tissue-box holders— designed by artist Mia de Lara, inspired by the Unesco World Heritage site Calle Crisologo in Vigan, its cobblestone street, calesas, women and men in Filipiniana garb.

Other home brands showcase woven products using the local weaves from the provinces like Bicol and Ilocos.

SM Retail vice president for corporate communications Cathy S. Ileto explained the thrust of Kultura: “Through our marketplace, SM Retail and its brands like Kultura provide opportunities for these Filipino artisans and indigenous communities to have livelihood and more importantly, make it sustainable. We are a platform for the MSMEs and social enterprises to grow.”

Kultura’s Filipino Design Studio runs until September 30, 3/L The Podium, Ortigas.

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