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Design: Filipino Brands to Showcase Local Material and Craftsmanship at Maison&Objet in Paris with DesignPhilippines

This year’s group of Philippine participants at the Maison & Objet tradeshow is all set to showcase Filipino craftsmanship, with the use of uniquely-local material.

Maison & Objet is the premier French event for interior design happening in Paris from September 6 to 10, 2019. It is a lifestyle event that brings together designers, manufacturers, and exhibitors from all over the world, providing a venue to showcase their pieces to a global audience.

This year, DesignPhilippines, a design movement of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the trade promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, is bringing together Philippine participants through the theme Kindred: A Design Collective. These designers and manufacturers are CDO Handmade, CSM Philippines, E. Murio, Finali, HaloHalo, JB Woodcraft, Nature’s Legacy, Schema, South Sea Veneer, Tali Handmade, Vito Selma, Weave Manila and Zacarias 1925.


Kindred is curated by lead creative director Rita Nazareno. A seasoned M&O participant for her own brand Zacarias 1925, the Emmy-award winning former TV producer returned home to the Philippines after years of living in the U.S. to help out with her family’s fine-crafts business, S.C. Vizcarra. The business started with Nazareno’s grandmother, Segundina Vizcarra, as an embroidery atelier. Under the helm of Nazareno’s mother Vicky Amalingan-Sales, the focus moved to weaving, producing the hand-woven luxury bags and home accessories the brand is known for.

After taking her master’s in Design Management at the London College of Fashion, Nazareno infused new ideas and contemporary designs into S.C. Vizcarra’s classic weaving techniques.

Pushing the boundaries further is her offshoot label, Zacarias 1925. Named after her grandfather, the brand veers away from the established, and instead celebrates the unconventional through asymmetrical shapes, bright colors, art, film and architectural inspirations, all while featuring the S.C. Vizcarra signature weave.

It is this same vision that inspired Kindred. Working together with co-creative director Gabby Lichauco, one of Nazareno’s goals for the collective was to develop new aesthetics while highlighting each of the brand’s expertise in weaving, carving, or molding, in their chosen material.

For this season’s Maison & Objet, Kindred will present décor, small furniture pieces, lighting fixtures, and a few fashion items from the participating brands.

Labels like E. Murio, Finali, South Sea Veneer, and Vito Selma have long since worked with various types of wood and shape their designs into artful versions of everyday furniture. While JB Woodcraft also works with wood, their ultra-detailed hand carving of flora and columns for this collection adorns mirrors, candleholders, stools, and other decorative pieces.

Bringing lighting fixtures is Schema, who creates streamlined silhouettes with malleable metal wires and galvanized iron, ideal for any contemporary space. Also adding lighting pieces to the mix, along with other curio, CDO Handmade focuses on earth-friendly products. Made with tree-less handmade paper, their products are high in design but are completely sustainable.

Inspired by sustainability as well, Nature’s Legacy has patented several innovative materials that recycles nature’s waste. This collection of bright-colored vases and kitchenware, however, features their latest innovation, Marmorcast, a combination of high-grade polymer and polyester resin.

For their presentation at Maison, CSM injects a sense of humor in their fine bone china pieces, as seen in their cheeky designs like animal table lamps and peace-sign candle holders.

Weave Manila, known for their neutral colored abaca carpets, are also updating their designs with geometric patterns and colorful fibers that keep the spotlight on traditional weaving, but made with a modern flair.

For the fashion-focused pieces of Kindred, meanwhile, Halo Halo, Tali Handmade, as well as Nazareno’s Zacarias 1925 all make use of local material and artisanal methods. From embellishing with raffia to shaping rattan, to weaving recycled plastic, these brands have made local craftsmanship contemporary and chic.

While these 13 designers and manufacturers all have particular techniques and materials they specialize in, Kindred’s Nazareno and Lichauco have made sure that this year’s Philippine presentation at Maison & Objet will be a combined effort of the entire group. “Kindred: A Design Collective is about collaborations—with specialists, with materials, and even with aesthetics,” shares Nazareno.

For more information on the event, as well as other projects, visit

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