Emerging from the creative minds that continue to push the boundaries of Filipino artisanship, a new collection of home, fashion, and lifestyle pieces was unveiled at the digital sourcing festival FAME+ Market Days last October 21-22, 2022 via the online platform Hopin.
A total of 50 brands and manufacturers were able to develop more than 500 original designs for this year.
The new collection is housed under Design Commune, the culmination of the product development program by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). Design Commune is a main show feature at Manila FAME and a key section of its digital sourcing and storytelling platform www.fameplus.com.
In collaboration with design specialists Rita Nazareno and Gabby Lichauco, the collection this year revolved around the concept of ‘Stitch’. Sewing traditions and tools of various cultures was the inspiration in crafting new indoor and outdoor pieces to showcase the versatility of Philippine artistry through a contrast of design disciplines.
The design specialists, in a talk on the first day of the event, expounded the creative process of Design Commune. “Guided by the sensibility of our personal universes, we are crafting grander stories together. This is how we are weaving worlds through the art of Stitch,” Lichauco shared.
Cultivating a worldwide community through the digital sourcing festival
A total of 484 participants from different parts of the world attended the second edition of FAME+ Market Days 2022.
Assistant Secretary Glenn G. Peñaranda of the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) and OIC of Department of Trade and Industry-Trade Promotions Group (DTI-TPG) spoke at the opening ceremony. He highlighted that this edition is “geared to intensify business-to-business (B2B) efforts and continuously cater to the needs of buyers in different parts of the world.” He also encouraged the attendees to support local businesses in their journey to the global stage.
CITEM’s OIC Deputy Executive Director Ma. Lourdes D. Mediran, in her welcome message, said that the digital event is a key component in strengthening the FAME brand in the digital sphere. “The ultimate goal in staging this year’s FAME+ Market Days is to spur an in-depth engagement with buyers as exhibitors present their design products,” she added.
CITEM, the event’s organizer, facilitated more than 100 business-to-business meetings among trade buyers and exhibitors that spanned for five days, from October 17 to 21. The trade buyers came from various countries such as the United States, Australia, China, Singapore, and India among others.
The two-day event augments the initiatives of FAME, the country’s longest running export promotions program for MSMEs and artisan communities in the home, fashion, and lifestyle sectors. The program currently promotes 293 exhibitors and showcases 5,059 available products on its online platform www.fameplus.com. A total of 2,300 unique trade buyers have registered since it went live in 2020. Last year, the digital platform booked and negotiated USD635,119 export sales and generated PHP21.49M domestic sales.
Manila FAME, its signature event component, has been running for 38 years. However, due to the pandemic, it has shifted to digital means to reach international buyers. It is set to return onsite next year, October 19-21, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City, Philippines.
Sourcing made convenient
To innovate the digital sourcing experience this year, FAME+ Market Days introduced pitching rooms where exhibitors themselves shared their brand stories, inspirations, and latest product offerings through recorded videos.
These videos were made available on-demand during the event, giving the attendees adequate time to find brands that match their sourcing needs. Aside from the pitching rooms, the exhibitors were also able to showcase their products through digital storefronts in the expo section of the event. Trade buyers were then encouraged to set B2B meetings with the brands and manufacturers of their choice.
A shared vision of quality craftsmanship, design, and innovation
Thought leaders on design and market trends were also invited to share their knowledge with the participants.
Global trend ambassador Patti Carpenter talked about macro trends that will impact markets for 2023. She shared that “conscious consumerism” is on the rise, and that both longevity and sustainability are given importance by buyers of home, fashion, and lifestyle products.
Carpenter added that more and more individuals are opting for carefully cultivated spaces with culture-rich interiors filled with multi-functional, comfortable, and warm design concepts. “A myriad of material mixes allow technology to coexist with fashionable fibers and stylish silhouettes mixed with organic elemental essentials. These are the components for a hearty and hospitable habitat that finds us rooted in our retreats.”
Meanwhile, Jacqueline Wong, a global trend consultant of WGSN, discussed consumer profiles and behaviors and their importance in the product creation. She said that the pieces people buy impact the spaces where they live, work, and play in.
Advising manufacturers and designers, Wong said, “Create an emotional connection between your brand or your product and this cohort of consumers. Support them in cherishing and curating their keepsakes and memories with mindful design throughout the home.”