The greatest celebration of Filipino craftsmanship and creativity

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More than a shopping event, ArteFino Craft fairs have always been about building an inclusive community of conscious makers, entrepreneurs and consumers. Responsible distribution, ready for the global market, are principles that have helped define the ArteFino movement. It was in 2017 that five visionary women – Susie Quiros, Marimel Francisco, Mita Rufino, Maritess Pineda and Cedie Lopez-Vargas – decided to create a platform where local brands and designers could share their stories.

As with all other industries impacted by the pandemic, ArteFino’s annual show has had to find ways to adapt to the times. In 2020, instead of hosting an in-person event, they built an online platform that brought the Filipino artisanal experience into the digital realm. It was proof that when creativity and community come together, obstacles turn into opportunities.

It took two long years before the founders of ArteFino and its dedicated team could finally announce that: “We are once again bringing something new to the community. This is the year we come out again, we hope to create an experience where everyone can immerse themselves in the community – to shop, learn and connect.

Over 150 Filipino brands in five weeks

Like any big reunion, this year’s return to the festival grounds promises to be bigger and more exciting. More than 150 local brands in the fashion, food, jewelry, home, children’s and men’s wear categories will attend this year’s show. Instead of the usual four-day run, ArteFino Festival 2022 will run for five weeks at Powerplant Mall. The brands on display will be changed weekly, giving visitors yet another reason to return. This expanded iteration reflects the movement’s mindset for community, connection, and inclusivity. Marimel Francisco explains: “We have always been inclusive. With our diverse range of brands and products, everyone is represented.

Among the opinion leaders in the fields of design and style, the participation of new brands and designers is a major asset to go to the ArteFino Festival. Since setting up the first craft fair six years ago, the founders of the movement have strived to support and empower its partner brands. Cedie Vargas shares, “We have worked closely with many emerging brands and designers, all of whom have grown with us. We have followed their paths and evolved with them. We want our suppliers to succeed and we want them to be prepared for a global market. That’s why, besides the product, we also look at their purpose, their vision. »

Nearly 40% of the brands featured at this year’s festival are new, reports Marimel. “It speaks to the emergence of social enterprises and a deeper understanding of what a sustainable way of living is. This year’s list will show the many layers of responsible retail that include hyperlocalization and the use of fair trade practices.

Filipino Arts and Crafts through the Five Senses

The fact that ArteFino is more than a trade event adds distinction to the movement’s annual craft fair. This year, for example, organizers partnered with like-minded brands and designers to deliver a full sensory experience of Filipino crafts, culture and community. The team explains, “We wanted to capture the youthful energy that comes alive when you reconnect.” Besides the well-curated range of brands, designers and products, ArteFino Festival will also pave the way for various creative engagements and exchanges.

The Maker’s Challenge, for example, focuses on innovative ways creators can upcycle otherwise discarded everyday materials. “This is an open call to all those who wish to create, sellers and non-sellers”, specified the organizers. The ArteFino Festival will also set the stage for pocket events and workshops that open up avenues of connection for creators and consumers.

Eats by ArteFino is a tasty feature of the festival. It was created in collaboration with The Seven Pantry, which will delight foodies with quintessentially Filipino culinary finds from “little-known” home kitchens. Tarsier Records also curated a playlist for the festival, making part of the experience accessible through his personal playlist. At the time of this writing, live music was a possibility that would certainly complement the festival experience.

In a week, the doors of the ArteFino Festival will finally open. Among the close circles who attended the private preview, first dibs on the best of Filipino design and craftsmanship are the motivation to block the calendar on opening day. Shopping with purpose was also cited as a key reason for immersing yourself in all the colors, textures, tastes and sounds of the festival. But for the movement’s organizers — Susie Quiros, Marimel Francisco, Mita Rufino, Maritess Pineda and Cedie Lopez-Vargas — the raison d’etre is defined by bringing community together.

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