BEST IN SHOW

Town & Country (Philippines) - - OUT & ABOUT CULTURE TOP TEN - RACHELLE F. ME­D­INA

In the age of In­sta­gram, young de­sign tal­ents are eas­ily dis­cov­ered, their ca­reers cat­a­pulted from out of nowhere. But in the re­tail in­dus­try, trade shows are still im­por­tant to lo­cal and for­eign buy­ers—they have to see and touch the prod­ucts, and more im­por­tantly, forge re­la­tion­ships with the man­u­fac­tur­ers and de­sign­ers.

Other ex­hibits may have come and gone, but there will al­ways be Manila FAME (Fur­ni­ture and Ap­parel Man­u­fac­tur­ers Ex­change), the coun­try’s long­est-run­ning bi-an­nual trade show. Aside from be­ing a lab­o­ra­tory of sorts for de­sign­ers’ con­cepts for the past 35 years, FAME is cur­rently fo­cus­ing on re­gional ar­ti­sans (there is a Min­danao Pavil­ion, ded­i­cated to the crafts of the re­gion), as well as spe­cial de­sign projects that col­lab­o­rate with smallto-medium-scale en­ter­prises.

FAME isn’t with­out its sea­sonal chal­lenges, and its most re­cent con­tro­versy was its “show­cas­ing” of Whang-od, the celebrated Kalinga tat­too artist, at its Oc­to­ber 2017 show. The pub­lic quickly com­pared it to the ex­ploita­tion of Filipinos at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. CITEM’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Clay­ton Tu­gonon made a state­ment that Whang-od was in per­fectly good health, and that they had brought her to Manila to sup­port her in her nom­i­na­tion for the Na­tional Liv­ing Trea­sures Award.

The April 2018 edi­tion of FAME will fea­ture ex­cit­ing projects, such as the De­sign Com­mune, where Ger­man prod­uct spe­cial­ist Detlef Klatt and Filipino de­signer Tes Pa­sola will col­lab­o­rate with five man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies from Ba­colod to cre­ate a richly lay­ered and tightly cu­rated ex­hibit of the ob­jects. April 19 to 21, World Trade Cen­ter, Gil Puyat Av­enue Ex­ten­sion cor­ner Dios­dado Ma­ca­pa­gal Boule­vard, Pasay; mani­lafame.com.

READy to wow Get a glimpse of the lat­est de­signs and trends at Manila FAME.

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