A True Pur­veyor of Lux­ury

As it cel­e­brates its 30th an­niver­sary, re­tail gi­ant Stores Spe­cial­ists Inc moves into the fu­ture with an even stronger com­mit­ment to bring­ing the best of lux­ury life­style to the Filipino con­sumer

Philippine Tatler - - STYLE | SPOTLIGHT -

It was in 1988 that the Tan­toco fam­ily set up Stores Spe­cial­ists, Inc (SSI), with the goal of bring­ing the best of high-end re­tail to the Philip­pines by way of its well-cu­rated se­lec­tion of lux­ury brands. The com­pany in­tro­duced the buy­ing pub­lic to the con­cept of a spe­cialty store, open­ing its first few (La­coste and Marks & Spencer) in 1990. Sal­va­tore Fer­rag­amo, Char­riol, Ar­mani Ex­change, Bally, and many more—SSI suc­ceeded in help­ing these names es­tab­lish a phys­i­cal pres­ence in the Philip­pines, bring­ing them closer to our doorsteps. And de­spite hav­ing been at it for 30 years now, the com­pany’s pas­sion has not waned. It con­tin­ues to move for­ward, reach­ing an even broader mar­ket by ac­quir­ing even more brands un­der its um­brella, and di­ver­si­fy­ing into the food busi­ness with es­tab­lish­ments such as TWG, Sal­adS­top!, and the much-awaited Shake Shack. It has also made its foray into mall de­vel­op­ment, hav­ing put up Cen­tral Square in the heart of Boni­fa­cio Global City. Truly, SSI has be­come a tastemaker of lux­ury life­style in ev­ery sense of the term.


In cel­e­bra­tion of its 30th an­niver­sary, SSI launched The Cu­rated Life cam­paign early last year, hop­ing to mo­ti­vate its con­sumers to pur­sue a life well-lived. One of the ini­tia­tives un­der this cam­paign is #Pas­sionFor­ward, which is an­chored on SSI’s in­domitable pas­sion to bring

SSI has gone above and be­yond re­tail, not just el­e­vat­ing its sta­tus to tastemaker, but one that is in­spir­ing and as­pi­ra­tional

its con­sumers noth­ing but the best. The com­pany came up with a ros­ter of 30 wor­thy role mod­els from var­i­ous in­dus­tries who echo this pas­sion: those who cham­pion ex­cel­lence; who con­tinue to ex­ceed ex­pec­ta­tions; who in­spire to­day’s gen­er­a­tion to fol­low in their foot­steps. Busi­ness mag­nates, top de­sign­ers, art ad­vo­cates, culi­nary greats, life­style doyennes, and so­cial en­ter­prise founders made it to this list. The launch of this ini­tia­tive was marked with a photo ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing these per­son­al­i­ties, with por­traits snapped by pho­tog­ra­phers Mark Nic­dao, Kai Huang, Cyrus Pan­gani­ban, Kyla Olives, and Paul So­ri­ano. Col­lec­tively, SSI is do­nat­ing a sub­stan­tial amount to the cho­sen char­ity of each in­di­vid­ual as its way of giv­ing back.

SSI is also set on strength­en­ing its e-com­merce arm through its re­launched web­site (ssil­ife.com.ph), which serves not just as its on­line re­tail chan­nel, but a life­style hub with help­ful tips for fash­ion, beauty, and home. Shop­ping is made eas­ier through the My SSI Life app, which lets con­sumers earn re­wards points and gain ac­cess to pro­mos and other perks. In ad­di­tion, the com­pany part­nered up with Citibank for its Spend Any­where cam­paign, which gave card­hold­ers Php500 worth of shop­ping cred­its (valid for use at any of SSI’s stores) for ev­ery Php10,000 spent from July to Sep­tem­ber. On top of this, de­ferred pay­ments

schemes for up to 24 months are per­mit­ted un­til May this year.

INTO THE FU­TURE Never one to rest on its lau­rels, SSI is hurtling into the fu­ture—one that its con­sumers are very much a part of. Busi­ness di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and a stronger dig­i­tal pres­ence aside, the com­pany is also ded­i­cated to en­sur­ing that the mes­sage it sends out is one that res­onates well with a new gen­er­a­tion. In Oc­to­ber 2018, SSI was cer­ti­fied by the Eco­nomic Div­i­dends for Gen­der Equal­ity (an or­gan­i­sa­tion that is­sues the global busi­ness cer­ti­fi­ca­tion stan­dard for gen­der equal­ity), es­tab­lish­ing the com­pany as a gen­der-sen­si­tive work en­vi­ron­ment. This shows that SSI has gone above and be­yond re­tail, not just el­e­vat­ing its sta­tus to tastemaker, but one that is in­spir­ing and as­pi­ra­tional, show­ing con­sumers that they too can choose to live a life that is well-cu­rated. Life­style jour­nal­ist AA Patawaran, who asked to pen a piece about pas­sion, mas­ter­fully ze­roes in on the essence of SSI’s core mes­sage. In the es­say “The Cu­rated Life,” he wrote: “Each of the care­fully se­lected global brands in its ever-grow­ing ros­ter, which now col­lec­tively cov­ers 129,000 square me­ters of prime re­tail space in key ar­eas around the Philip­pines, is its own suc­cess story. That alone helps SSI ful­fill its mis­sion to help us cu­rate life and live it well, wisely, and mean­ing­fully. The mes­sage is clear—if it’s pos­si­ble out there, why can’t it be pos­si­ble for us?—es­pe­cially when all that is be­tween us and the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the life we as­pire for is clear, spot­less shop win­dow glass.”

fash­ion for­ward SSI has brought some of the world’s most loved lux­ury brands to the Philip­pines

the many faces of luxe (Coun­ter­clock­wise from top right) Ernest Cu for #Pas­sionFor­ward; An­gelo and Mariglo Laririt for #Pas­sionFor­ward; Model wear­ing a suit from ZARA, top from Corte­fiel, and shoes from Jimmy Choo, all SSI brands; Sofia El­izalde for #Pas­sionFor­ward; Sneak­ers from Bally with crates and plants from Pot­tery Barn; (in­set) Pan­dora bag from Givenchy

30 years strong (Clock­wise from top left) Clothes from Ermenegildo Zegna with ac­cents from Pot­tery Barn and West Elm; Moc­casins from Tod’s with items from Pot­tery Barn; Trickie Lopa, Dindin Araneta, and Lisa Peri­quet for #Pas­sionFor­ward; Royal Pineda and Budji Layug for #Pas­sionFor­ward; Ermenegildo Zegna ties with West Elm and Pot­tery Barn items; Paloma Urquijo Zo­bel for #Pas­sionFor­ward; (in­set) Items from Polo Ralph Lau­ren and Pot­tery Barn

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