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

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