Save Our Philippine-Designed Shoes
If we say shoes, the city of Marikina comes to mind. With its big shoe emporium and occasional big shoe parades and floats, you really have to respect a city that made its mark as the shoe capital of the country. Then again, do you buy any shoes from this place?
Brian Tenorio is a shoe designer that proudly hails from Marikina. He has finished studies in AIM, AdMU, then finished his graduate degree in NYC. He made a talk just this Saturday in order to save the shoes of the Philippines, of which the event was appropriately named as such.
“Save the Shoes“? Yes. Basically save our industry of shoe makers and designers.
As he says it himself:
My goal for this talk is to bring shoe makers, shoe manufacturers, shoe buyers and retailers, and shoe lovers together — meet one another, talk, network, build new brands and businesses together!
We attended the event to show support for this cause. It was practically Manila’s premiere DESIGNER SHOE MEET-UP for 2011. We actually came a bit late but not too late to miss on how he managed to find himself in this stage where we wanted to bring about the insight of design for the Philippines, starting with fashionable shoes.
He discussed the process of shoe making, and even brought with him a veteran shoemaker from his hometown, who was able to demonstrate how shoes are practically made. This is to encourage aspiring shoe makers and designers to join in on the fun of the industry.
Brian was also able to showcase a couple of his works and shoots which featured his designer shoes. Funny enough, he also showed a couple of designer caskets he made, which were ‘to die for.’ …okay that was a very bad pun.
Anyway, through the talk, there were three (3) main thoughts and realizations I liked about this event, which were mainly via the Q&A. These primarily discussed a couple of important mindsets that every Filipino and designer needs to plant in their head.
- The concept of the Philippines from co-workers. Brand it another way. The concept of the Philippines from Brian’s co-workers is pretty native. Philippines is a country where people are thought to live in nipa huts. LOL. That’s mainly because they recognize us more for our natural tresures mainly our beaches. I know it’s funny but you couldn’t blame people for not knowing what it’s like to be in a place where they haven’t been to. But c’mon. If you think about it, if you’ve never been to Cebu or Davao, what do you think? And another thing, if you Google “Philippines” via G.Images, what’s to see? Mountains, hills, beaches, a primate with big eyes. Somehow we need to level this up, agree?
- Filipinos will buy what Filipinos will make. Proudly Philippine-made… rather, Philippine-Designed! It’s an amazing thought. People who start their businesses opt to glorify themselves by looking more foreign and that’s understandable considering how people really like foreign and imported brands. But Brian goes on “Believe me, Filipinos will buy if it’s Philippine-made.” Not to mention if they figure out the quality of your product. Interesting.
- We don’t specialize in quantity. So let’s specialize in quality. We’re going against giants in terms of production mainly specifying China as a solid example. Sure, we can’t compete with that fact. But let’s take advantage and turn the limited supply around and put value with every single product we have. Think of it this way: Sure we don’t produce a lot but every single product is of excellent designer quality.
We definitely have what it takes yeah? We just need more individuals like this guy to spearhead and push the community into the proper direction that would definitely do us greater good.
Now a great thing about this event is how a couple of accessories, including the Panata ring, were up to be given away via a random pick via the registration list… which I won! Through Brian’s slideshows, the Panata ring was one which really caught my eye. It’s actually a three-piece ring, each containing a line of the Panatang Makabayan (Oath of Allegiance). I was like “I like that… it’s something I’d buy” and hey, no need LOL. Personally, I think this was the best accessory of the lot, which was given out only once. I had a couple of people (didn’t even know some) congratulate me for this. This was valued at around PHP5,000 (a little over 100USD) according to Brian so yeah… YAY!
After the actual talk, an exhibit entitled Lust, Lux, and Love was held upstairs catering some of the works, which were really awesome. I really liked the featured Sto.Niño silhouette concept art as well as the Ex-Lover ring.
To cap it off, before leaving, I finally personally met Brian Tenorio himself. Shook his hand to rub off some designer-success onto me And surprisingly, he had an idea who I was. Flattering
A little shoutout to Arriane and AJ Dimarucot, who also said a little hi hello back during the event These two, together with Brian Tenorio, Team Manila, and a couple other designers, are part of the design movement in the Philippines otherwise known as #DesignParaSaLahat. Basically the aim is uplift the design industry of the Philippines and finally create a National Design Council to further support this cause.
If you like to know more about Brian Tenorio, what he does, or maybe connect and even show some support, you can visit his website at Liyab.com. You can also follow him via Twitter @LiyabLLC and @BrianTenorio. Stay updated by following the @AyalaMuseum for all other design-related talks and events, which they normally tweet out. Oh and visit my portfolio website via KEN.ph and follow my designer Twitter account via @iKenDesign.
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