The 40th edition of Manila FAME, a flagship sourcing event of the Department of Trade and Industry’s export promotion arm Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), generated $6.6 million export sales, which is a 51% increase from its last face-to-face edition in 2019.
Manila FAME was participated by over 200 local exhibitors of home, fashion, and lifestyle products and attracted more than 4,000 local and international visitors. The show also generated ₱44.7 million in domestic sales.
Coconut slippers from exhibitor Everything Green emerged as the top-selling export product with more than $3.3 million in negotiated sales. The coconut slippers were featured under the Coconut Pavilion, a collaboration of CITEM with the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) in an effort to make use of the rather discarded husk of the abundant natural material.
Design Commune, a curated showcase in Manila FAME of home and fashion pieces from CITEM’s product development program, featured 425 new designs produced by 40 local companies. This year’s edition of Design Commune was led by renowned product specialists Tony Gonzales, and the tandem of Rita Nazareno and Gabriel Lichauco.
“Through time, the Philippines became famous because our craftsmen and designers were able to come up every year with new designs, new ideas, and new ways of using the materials,” Gonzales shared. He curated home decor, lighting, and furniture pieces in collaboration with local brands.
Meanwhile, Nazareno and Lichauco came up with a concept they thought would resonate with many. “We incorporated a blend of utilitarian and anthropology, but in a quintessential, Filipino spin to everyday fashion items such as bags, wearables, and shoes among others.”
“In the special setting for Design Commune, we wanted the audience to feel like they’re at an anthropology exhibit,” Nazareno added.
A celebration of Philippine design excellence
Manila FAME honored outstanding and innovative product designs in this year’s edition during the KATHA Awards ceremony titled “Pagsibol: A Gala Night Celebrating Filipino Design Excellence” held at the National Museum of Natural History.
The ceremony recognized the best product designs in the following categories: furniture, home décor and houseware, lamps and lighting, holiday and gifts, and fashion.
The gala also had a fashion show segment that presented reimagined pieces from different time periods using indigenous fabrics and crafts; and a sartorial play on the Manila Carnival Queens. Jewelmer, a local fine jewelry manufacturer, also presented a collection of exquisite jewelry that pays homage to Philippine heritage and culture featuring the Golden South Sea Pearl. Pagsibol featured premier brands with curated fashion pieces that highlight and redefine modern Filipino artistry and craftsmanship.
Manila FAME exhibitors to showcase in international trade shows in early 2024
As the launching pad of Filipino manufacturers and artisans, Manila FAME traditionally starts the global promotion of locally made export-quality products. With the conclusion of the country’s premier trade show for quality home, fashion, and lifestyle products last October, international buyers and patrons can now look forward to seeing selected local exhibitors joining overseas trade fairs starting early next year under the banner DESIGNPhilippines.
Various Philippine furniture and lighting brands and visual artists are set to join the upcoming Paris-based trade show Maison et Objet on January 18-22, 2024.
Meanwhile, the successful debut of Antique and Quirino provinces in Manila FAME 2023 has prepared them for international participation, along with other seasoned manufacturers, in the upcoming trade fair Ambiente in Frankfurt, Germany on January 26-30, 2024.
Seeking the support of local and international buyers for Philippine exhibitors within and beyond Manila FAME, CITEM Executive Director Dr. Edward L. Fereira encourages people in the industry to “keep the momentum and continue elevating Philippine enterprises as they try reaching various markets around the world.”
Manila FAME 2023 is organized in partnership with The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT), Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), Philippine Airlines, Jewelmer, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) , DTI-EMB, The DTI Regional Operations Group (ROG), DCP, Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC), The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), The Province of La Union, and the Office of Sen. Loren Legarda.