I’ve always been a National Book Store shopper. As the OG bookshop in the Philippines, I would always visit the SM Southmall and Alabang Town Center branches, scouring its shelves for my next read. It was in the Town branch where I would discover the magical world of Hogwarts. As they say, I’m laking National.
Because I grew up with National, I’ve seen how the brand has evolved to offering not just books and school supplies but also more exclusive items, like refined fountain pens and other collectibles. They even partnered with personalities like artist Benedict Cabrera (BenCab), fashion designer Rajo Laurel, tastemaker Daphne Osena-Paez, and blogger Cecile van Straten for capsule collections.
This year, the bookstore is taking it up a notch by partnering with not just one personality, but with seven design influencers for the biggest collection to date. They have partnered with Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Cat Arambulo-Antonio, Patty Eustaquio, Laurel, Osena-Paez, Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, and van Straten to create a line of limited edition stationery, accessories, and gift items.
Check out the collection below:
Aranaz-Alunan is a co-founder of the School of Fashion and the Arts, and the founder of Aranaz, a line of handcrafted bags featured on Vogue and Moda Operandi. For National Book Store, she created folder sets, desk organizers, and file folders inspired by the colorful patterns of nature.
Antonio is a blogger and the woman behind Catastrophe, a brand of chic stationery, notebooks, and phone cases. For her capsule collection, she designed gift tags, gift wrappers, and paper bags in black and white, and with X and O patterns to symbolize hugs and kisses.
The artist Eustaquio is known in the art world for her quietly elegant pieces across various media. She has exhibited and won awards here and abroad, including France, Singapore, the US, Taiwan, Switzerland, and more. She extends her creativity towards her collection, featuring gift wrappers, notepads, and note cards imprinted with the beautiful gumamela flower.
Laurel is one of the country’s most popular designers, known for his beautiful dresses and A-list clientele. For his second partnership with National Book Store, Laurel created a journal, a pen set, and tote bags in a pattern inspired by his design process.
Osena-Paez is famous for her role as host of F! and Urban Zone, but she is also known for her blog and work with UNICEF as a special advocate for children. Like Laurel, this is her second line for National and this time, she designed a journal set and pouches in tropical prints.
Mananquil-Trillo is a model, beauty columnist, and the co-founder of Happy Skin, a line of “skin-caring” makeup. She comes from a family of models (her siblings are Raya and Robby, and her mother is Millet, a former model and currently the lifestyle editor of the Philippine Star) so trust that she has impeccable taste. Her collection includes coin purses, pouches, and organizers inspired by the clean and timeless qualities of Japanese origami.
Cecile van Straten
Van Straten is the writer behind the pioneering blog Chuvaness, and she is back for another line after the cheeky and kawaii collection she did last year. This time, the blogger channels nostalgia by using archive images of National’s first store in Avenida for her money envelopes and pouches, along with chic checkbook holders designed for the revamped checks.
It’s hard to pick which collection is my favorite since they all offer different styles and items. I have to say, this year’s collection is excellent as the wide range means there’s something for everyone, and the lineup of design influencers is top-notch. It’s the perfect Christmas gift!
The collections are available in National Book Store branches.
This story is in partnership with National Book Store. For more updates, visit their blog or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You may also join their public chat on Viber. Join the discussion online with the hashtag #InspireWithPassion.