ArteFino steps out againAfter two years of navigating the new normal and pivoting through unprecedented times, ArteFino reunites with the community in a five-week long celebration at Power Plant Mall. The festival opened on Aug. 25 and is ongoing until Sept. 28.
Apart from the well-curated range of brands, designers and products, ArteFino sets the stage for creative engagement and exchange with more than 150 brands to be showcased over five weeks. A new roster of labels across the categories of fashion, accessories, fine jewelry, home and children’s wear is introduced each week.
According to ArteFino founders Susie Quiros, Marimel Francisco, Mita Rufino, Maritess Pineda and Mercedes “Cedie” Lopez Vargas (MLV), they wanted to create an experience that would celebrate the community—its spirit of sharing and collaboration.
“We wanted to capture the youthful energy that comes to life when you connect again with like-minded individuals,” they say.
A special section called Barracks serves as a curated space for men to lounge, shop and sip on local artisanal brews.
MLV notes: “Barracks has been around since 2018 and was created to invite men to be part of this movement. This year, the theme for Barracks will be ‘easy living.’”
Among organizers, vendors, patrons and buyers, ArteFino has always been an exercise in building bonds and forging partnerships. The expanded iteration of this year’s artisanal fair reflects this mindset for community and inclusivity.
“The movement has always been inclusive,” stresses Francisco. “Through our diverse range of brands and products, everyone is represented.”
‘Renew, recycle and reuse’
As a launchpad and incubator for the country’s bright young talents and social entrepreneurs, this year’s fresh roster of labels brings to the fore new ideas for creating, designing, producing and consuming fashion. These talents take ArteFino’s battle cry to “renew, recycle and reuse” and interpret the call in their own unique ways.
Interactive programs at the ArteFino Festival look to further amplify the movement’s call. The Maker’s Challenge, for instance, focuses on the innovative ways by which creators can upcycle everyday materials that have otherwise been discarded.
“It is an open call for anyone who wishes to create, vendors and non-vendors alike,” say the organizers.
ArteFino also sets the stage for pocket events and workshops. These open more doors and avenues for both creators and consumers to connect. Five senses are awakened through other festival highlights that round up the ArteFino experience. Eats by ArteFino, a collaborative effort with The Seven Pantry, whets appetites with the best local flavors. A dedicated soundtrack curated by Tarsier Records brings a piece of ArteFino to everyone’s personal playlist.
Since its first artisanal trade fair five years ago, the founder have always believed in creating an inclusive platform for local brands to tell their inspiring stories. Throughout the years, ArteFino has launched countless local labels and designers.
“Since we launched in 2017, ArteFino has taken on a life of its own,” MLV and Francisco say.
“We’ve worked with many emerging brands and designers, all of whom have grown with us. We’ve followed their journeys and evolved with them,” MLV notes. Even then, Francisco adds, they are constantly on the lookout for new talents to showcase.
This year’s festival introduces 44 new designers and brands, each one handpicked by the founders. Brand narratives, purpose and links to community are considerations that factor into the selection of vendors.
MLV elaborates: “We want our vendors to succeed and we want them to be prepared for a global market. This is why apart from the product, we also look into their purpose, vision.”
Francisco continues: “Almost 40% of our vendors this year are new. It speaks of the emergence of social enterprises and a deeper understanding of what sustainable living is all about. This year’s roster will show the many layers of responsible retailing that include going hyperlocal and employing fair trade practices.”
MLV and Francisco conclude: “As in the past, we always aim to bring something new to the community. This being that year that we step out again, we hope to create an experience where everyone can immerse with the community.”
ArteFino steps out again
Pants by Debbie Co, bag by Joanique
Touch of Craft
Touch of Craft
Linen dress by Coco & Tres, bucket bag by Adante Leyesa
Top by Happy Andrada, skirt by Jor-el Espina, bag by Lara, footwear by RIOtaso x Risque Designs
Top and pants by Aire, bag by Orias, sneakers by LAKAT
Top by Debbie Co, shorts by Style Ana, cocoon bag by Adante Leyesa
Bagobo Tagabawa beaded shirts