How about this for your New Year’s resolution: Instead of gravitating towards products from international brands and designers, why don’t you discover and surprise yourself with the ingenuity of our very own artists and creatives? And no, we're not just talking about clothes. You know how obsessed you are with those quirky paper items and storage pieces by big shot global brands—it’s time to stop that. Love local, girl! It’ll be easy for you to do so, actually, once you see the masterpieces of Filipino household names fashion designer Rajo Laurel, model and entrepreneur Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, lifestyle journalist Daphne Osena-Paez, bloggers Cecile van Straten and Cat Arambulo-Antonio, bag and accessories designer Amina Aranaz-Alunan, and visual artist Patty Eustaquio.
In line with their 75th anniversary, National Book Store tapped these seven design influencers to create stationery, accessories, and gift items reflective of their individual gifts of style and passion. The results are just too beautiful—Instagrammably beautiful and substantially beautiful; everything succinctly marries form and function. They are all great additions to your lives and homes, and will spark your creative juices, too, because of their fun designs and color combinations.
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Read on as these creative geniuses share tidbits about their respective lines and some design wisdom as well:
“[My line] stems from the realization that the things I’m passionate about led me to create Happy Skin—and I want to inspire other Filipinos to do the same: to unfold possibilities with your passions.” – Rissa Mananquil-Trillo; her collection features a pyramid coin purse, triple zip flat pouch, and an origami organizer inspired by the clean, modern, and timeless qualities of Japanese origami.
“Form has to follow function [that’s good design].” – Daphne Osena-Paez; her line includes a journal set and pouches which are inspired by tropical life
“Good design has to be a balance of functionality and aesthetics.” – Amina Aranaz-Alunan; her line includes a folder set, desk organizers.
“I’m passionate about life, in general... and I love empowering women.” – Cat Arambulo-Antonio; her line includes gift tags, gift wrappers, and paper bags in a distinctive black-and-white color scheme (her pesignature colors) and X and O patterns, which symbolize hugs and kisses.
“I’m always looking for something [I haven’t] seen before.” – Cecile Van Straten; her line includes the Avenida money envelope and clearly nostalgic pouches, inspired by vintage photos of National Book Store; and checkbook holders, designed for the new size of checkbooks available today.
“I'd say that an element of fun is part of why I am drawn to a designed object.” –Patty Eustaquio; her line includes a gift wrapper, a note pad, and a note card set imprinted with her illustrations of the gumamela or hibiscus flower.
“I'd like everyone to have a piece of this experience I've created.” – Rajo Laurel says about his line, which includes a journal, pen set, and tote bag (the unique pattern featured on the items were created by Rajo starting with pencil, then pen and ink, then brush strokes, and finally thread and stitching, evoking a handmade and special feel).
Click through the gallery to see for yourself these items that will make you even prouder to be Pinoy!
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