Ricky Toledo and Chito Vijandre’s idea of window shopping
Window-shopping takes on a whole new meaning
In the midst of one of the busiest shopping centers in the metro sit AC+362 and FIRMA, two specialty stores known for their eclectic and eccentric selection of artifacts, accessories, and decorative pieces alike. Chito Vijandre and Ricky Toledo make up the twoman team behind the boutiques, and together the duo imparts their own outlandish taste and opulent decorative skills into meticulously crafting grand visual tours for their visitors.
The famed window displays are a not-so-subtle hint at what customers have to expect from the store experience—described by Vijandre as “lavish, lavish, lavish!” Their elaborate designs are far from your usual mannequins and product displays, and their chosen materials and themes nothing short of stunning extravagance. The pair cites their favorite artistic works as a source of inspiration. Vijandre narrates, “We look through our library; from art books to interiors and architecture, film, even biographies and ones on history. Aside from books, we get a lot of inspiration from the performing arts—musicals, plays, ballet, and the opera.” To state the obvious, the execution is no easy feat; for their current display entitled “Rose Safari at AC+632,” they even had paper flowers made by the same craftsmen of carrozas used at processions. It’s hard to imagine what other concepts are left for Toledo and Vijandre to accomplish—perhaps something kinetic, or a collaboration with designers and artists of all sorts as the couple suggests—but given their track record of decorative feats and artistic