The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI)’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is currently leading the country’s Philippine talents for home, fashion, and lifestyle sectors towards the international stage. With this leap towards a wider arena for design, CITEM has given executive director Pauline Suaco-Juan the reins to lead these talents through events like Manila FAME which is CITEM’s signature event for promoting the export sectors. So far, this event has presented 70 unique editions that established Manila FAME as the Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event.
For Suaco-Juan, this means promoting these Philippine designs through FAME+, a portal to the online world. “I’ve always thought that embracing the new is worthwhile,” she states. “I would rather follow the trend because it forces you to evolve. With a classic style, you have the same thing for years, and then you stagnate.
Of course, the worry is that you can become a slave to the trend and we hope it doesn’t come to that. But trends are always about what resonates with the younger society. It is rooted in some fundamental change in what’s happening in society. And it is just a lot more fun and creative. From designing your house to styling yourself, it’s just a tad more fun and creative outlet for a person,” she continues.
FAME+ was launched in October 2020 to keep up with the digitalization of trade. Tagged as “The ultimate space for Philippine design,” FAME+ presents a diverse catalog of premium homeware, furniture, lighting, apparel, footwear, jewelry, art, and lifestyle products crafted by over 200 Philippine designers and brands. As a space that encourages promotion through a supportive online community, FAME+ is a great place for new designers eager to make a name in the industry.
To follow this model fostered by an online community, CITEM will be hosting FAME+ Market Days, a three-day sourcing festival to be celebrated this year from October 20 to 22. FAME+ Market will revolve around showcasing the home, fashion, and lifestyle sectors through forum sessions about design, material innovation, and emerging conversations such as the circular economy.
CITEM’s innovation in the online presence isn’t just limited to FAME+ online. At present, the government sector will also push Manila FAME’s Design Commune into the digital limelight. Design Commune provides visitors with a visual feast of unique designs. Guided by the expertise of Creative Director Vince Uy and premier design specialists Rita Nazareno, Gabriel Lichauco, Stanley Ruiz, Rachelle Dagñalan, and Andre Chang, Design Commune will stand host to selected FAME+ brands whose pieces will get the chance to be showcased in other fabulous trade fairs from abroad including the modern wholesale market for retailers and specialty buyers, NY NOW and French trade fair Maison et Objet’s digital platform, Maison & Objet and More (MOM).
All in all, CITEM has presented exemplary progress and initiative in giving Philippine creatives a chance at competing and networking with other creatives on a global scale. It even has CREATEPhilippines which Suaco-Juan envisions to be an online directory accessible by other creatives from around the world. This website currently stands host for professionals in animation, advertising, design, film, game development, and many more.
To learn more about this exciting event, click on the link to BluPrint’s latest e-mag issue.