The stunning designs coming from the Philippines highlight a key competitive advantage for buyers looking for quality unique new products.
The Philippines has great potential in terms of design capability. While still a nascent sector, the country has already produced several designers who have attained world renown in home furniture and decor, gifts and premiums, and fashion accessories, which are covered in this report.
Innately artistic, creative and resourceful, Filipinos build on their multicultural heritage in designing pieces that are relevant to the modern consumer and lifestyle. Within the Philippines’ rich history lies a variety of indigenous materials, and Filipino designers often combine these with newer inputs to achieve a unique look. Many designers also marry modern techniques with age-old craftsmanship, creating pieces with intricate weaves, woodwork and metalwork.
“In terms of creative talent, I mean natural talent, it’s there,” said Maria Rita Matute, deputy executive director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). Filipinos are very observant and open, and they like to learn and understand, she noted, adding that designing for an international market could become second nature just because of their observation skills.
Nurturing creative talent so that it becomes competitive in the global arena is an area the sector is working to enhance. The Philippine government, in cooperation with Filipino designers and manufacturers,
have set up programs to strengthen and grow the design industry.
With regard to formal design education, in particular, several colleges and universities in the Philippines offer art and design courses. There are also a few institutions specializing in design. These education institutions build up and enhance the entrepreneurial mindset of budding designers so that their creativity can be translated into commercial success.