Artefino is more than just a shopping event in the Philippines. It is a movement that celebrates Filipino artistry by creating an environment that treasures creativity and passion. Artefino started in 2017 when Susie Quiros, Marimel Francisco, Mita Rufino, Maritess Pineda, and Cedie Lopez-Vargas decided to create a place where local brands and designers could share their journeys. The five women believed that local crafts had the potential to become world-class. Therefore, they fused their experiences of organizing various artisanal craft events to create a new community that focuses on creating awareness for Filipino Artistry.
The launching event happened in August 2017 at the Penthouse of 8 Rockwell. This event continues to occur annually. Artefino, as a platform, offers a unique shopping experience by highlighting a product’s aesthetic, craft, and story. At the event, you can immerse yourself in Filipino culture and connect with vendors on a personal level.
Every year, Artefino welcomes new applications from various local brands. Every application is carefully assessed during the selection process. Each brand is reviewed by its vision, new collections, product concepts, and how much its principles are guided by aesthetics, refined craftsmanship, and rich story. After all, Artefino wants only the best quality products for its buyers.
Much like all industries, Artefino was also impacted by the pandemic. The yearly trade fair had to find ways to pivot with the times. In 2020, instead of an in-person event, they built an online platform that brought the Philippine artisanal experience to the digital realm. It was only after two long years that the trade fair could resume. Needless to say, we were delighted to visit and see what Artefino was all about.
Artists We Loved
Luckily for us, we had the pleasure of going to the 2022 Artefino fair, and we were mesmerized by the quality of craftsmanship. Additionally, we were truly inspired by all the artists featured, but there were some that we were especially fond of. Here are some of our favorites:
A contemporary designer, Kelvin Morales focuses on artistic narrative and peculiar forms in clothing. He offers creative, high-quality garments that break the barriers. He incorporates local fabrics and materials in his collections while maintaining a balance between modern and traditional techniques. His latest collection, Human Leather, grabbed our attention. The collection focuses on the human touch, skin, hair, body, and movement. He created a highly-tailored collection that uses the human body as its main inspiration. One of our favorite pieces of the collection feature tattoo-inspired embroidery on contrasting neutral fabrics.
Founded in 2007 in Payatas, R2R partners with Filipino artisans and transforms unwanted fabric. The main focus of this brand is to help these artisans make a living and get themselves out of poverty. R2R first started when the founders met artisans in Payatas who made foot rugs out of scrap fabric. However, they did not have access to the market nor the supplies of raw materials. The brand started with just liking artisans with suppliers, but this evolved into the Rags2Riches we know today. The brand now sells bags, clothes, home accessories, and more. Not to mention, R2R uses sustainable materials for long-lasting products.
Travelfund by Siriusdan
We loved everything about textile artist Cyrus Dan Cañares. He spent most of his early 20s working as a photographer for various cruise ships, allowing him to visit various places worldwide. In 2016, he created Travelfund by Siriusdan, a contemporary brand that features home decor for people with an artistic and offbeat taste. Cañares mixes painting and craft-making elements to create unique home décor. Additionally, the artist believes that anything that you put into your home should speak to you. Therefore, you should make it your own by choosing pieces with meaning rather than just filling up space.
A luxury and slow-fashion brand specializing in bags, accessories, and retail wear, Orias promotes different arts and crafts through partnerships with artisans from all over the Philippines. The brand has partnered with the Solihiya weavers of Pangasinan, Modern Inabel weavers of Isabela, Piña Textile weavers of Aklan, Master Bag Makers of Marikina, and much more. The product of these partnerships is beautiful bags, plant stands, sandals, and much more with unique designs and beautiful mixtures of textiles.
The brand started with a mission to showcase local textiles to Filipinos. Tagpi, which translates to “to patch fabric together,” is a fashion brand that uses beautiful local textiles for its pieces. The brand has three main collections out Santiago, Garcia, and Fernandez. The Santiago collection features delicate florals and flower embroidery on neutral and flowy fabrics. The Garcia collection features colorful embroidery and fabrics in various patterns and colors. The Fernandez collection features colorful fabrics in more muted tones and geometric embroidery. Tagpi is the perfect mixture between traditional textiles and contemporary clothing for everyday life.
Overall, it was a joy to discover all the brands, artists, and designers featured at Artefino. This event is a beautiful and unique experience for anyone who wants to learn more about Filipino culture and craftsmanship. Discover more creative adventures through our blog.