Penshoppe Launches its Own Mobile App

I love how everything has become easier because of technology. You can book flights and hotels online. You can book a ride on Grab at the push of a button and not have to worry about parking. You can also pay bills using an app. Penshoppe, one of my favorite fashion brands, is going to make shopping easier with the new Penshoppe app!

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When you’re traveling, it’s important to have a sturdy bag that can carry all your important items, items that you will need to pull out in a flash – like your passport, camera, or a guide book. I’ve always relied on sling bags because they’re just by your side, but lately I’m becoming obsessed with backpacks. I used to think backpacks were reserved for students, but labels are coming out with sleek versions any one can carry, whether or not they’re studying. Below are some backpacks I wouldn’t mind carrying around the world:


From Jansport


From Eastpak

Eastpak’s collaboration with Kris van Assche

Prada’s classic nylon backpack

SM Accessories’ big reveal at Republiq

Last Thursday, I was at Republiq for the launch of SM Accessories’ new collection and the big reveal of their four new ambassadors, who were none other than Anne Curtis, Georgina Wilson, Xian Lim, and Richard Gutierrez. There’s no better choice than these four, who have the biggest star power in showbiz. It helps that they look so damn good on their own and together.
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Ingersoll media preview at Premio, F1 Hotel

Last Monday, I was at Premio in F1 Hotel, Bonifacio Global City for the media preview of Ingersoll’s new collection. Ingersoll is an American watch brand that combines the craftsmanship of Asian design and the old-world elegance of European brands. I was invited for dinner with other representatives of the press. I was seated with Amador Madamba, the lifestyle editor of Men’s Health Philippines and the sales team of Gadgets magazine.

Ingersoll watches have been here for over a year, and it is its old-world sophistication that has Filipinos clamoring to get their own. The designs are European, but it has the efficiency of Asian techniques, resulting in a refined timepiece that will win the hearts of consumers. And the best thing is, the watches are affordable, allowing everyone from every economic background to experience a touch of class.

Ingersoll began in 1880 when brothers Robert and Charles Ingersoll created Ingersoll to address a need for quality watches at reasonable prices. This resulted in the “Dollar-Watch,” which, quite literally, cost only one dollar. The watch became highly coveted that Mark Twain and Thomas Edison were some of its earliest fans. Former US president Theodore Roosevelt was known in Africa as “the man from the country where Ingersolls are produced.”

All of this was discussed at the media preview by Peter Thong and Kenny Chong, the principals of the brand. They took the time to visit the Philippines to present the watches and entertain questions. They even made rounds during dinner, initiating conversation. It must be this friendly and accommodating approach that makes the brand relevant and global. Currently, Ingersoll is available in 40 countries.

Ingersoll boasts of three collections that promise a great design and even greater quality. All pieces show bold German designs but have movements from China, an advantage because it offers more designs and variety at affordable prices.

The three collections are the Classic, Bison, and Active. The Classic and Bison both have top class automatic and mechanical movements with multi-functions and a power reserve of a minimum 36 hours. They come in high-quality genuine leather straps, and have high-grade mineral glass lens and caseback. As for the Active collection, its edge is in its functionality, allowing active users to look stylish in the game. It either comes in authentic leather straps or stainless steel buckles, giving athletes more options for dressing up.

Fashion will save the world.

In cities like Paris, Milan, London, and New York, fashion plays a crucial role in the local economy. The cities have established themselves as design capitals, with the best designers holding court in their boutiques and flagship stores. The locals take clothing seriously and hold events that the world anticipate. Case in point, Fashion Week. But in recent years, a new storm has taken over the global fashion scene. It’s called Fashion’s Night Out.

Conceptualized in 2009 by Anna Wintour, Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and NY & Company, Fashion’s Night Out aims to resuscitate the economy by urging the people to spend. By inviting Hollywood celebrities and fashion royalty, consumers are drawn to the one-night celebration filled with music, champagne, limited edition merchandise, activities, and the promise of a great new handbag by the end of the night. What started out as a one-night event in New York has stretched to a three-week extravaganza held every September in over 19 countries.

“It was clear that something needed to happen to get people comfortable with shopping again and to remind them that their purchases were helping to support the economy and the lives of those around them that worked in fashion,” says Susan Portnoy, vice president of Condé Nast. At the success of the worldwide event, we wonder: could we pull off a Fashion’s Night Out in the Philippines and save our economy?

It’s no secret that a large chunk of the money we make is through remittances made by OFWs, with a recent report by the National Economic and Development Authority claiming that we cannot be completely independent from it. But what would happen in case the demand for OFWs slows down? Where would that leave us?

An event like FNO could be the answer. The clothing industry is a key player in the global economy, and can affect the country involved. If you think that the business of suiting up is best left for the rich, consider that in New York alone, the industry provides 100,000 jobs and has $14 billion in earnings. In 2008, the global community spent $192 billion on clothing, a healthy sum that can buy the entire Louis Vuitton S/S 2013 collection and a Rajo Laurel dress. In the Philippines, apparel is one of the biggest exports, rivaling that of the computer chip and the OFW.

But can fashion really save the Philippines? The thought of having FNO Manila seems like a long shot, considering how Filipinos aren’t as committed to fashion. Being in a third world country, most have bigger priorities such as food and shelter. An event as frivolous as an all-night party with designers and models doesn’t sit well for most Filipinos. The cultural divide is palpable, the dominant side a group that doesn’t care for heelless shoes and slouchy chic.

Established blogger and fashion star Cecile Zamora-Van Straten isn’t impressed, too. “I witnessed it in Tokyo last year. I was in a cab with my friend and we saw these fashion blogger-types lined up outside stores and I couldn’t be bothered or be excited to join them,” she says.

But fashion designer Santi Obcena offers a more positive view. “The concept of Fashion’s Night Out is indeed a great way to showcase up-and-coming brands from young designers and companies. God knows how hard it is for Pinoy brands, small or big, to compete with cheaper imports from other countries nowadays.”

Burgeoning shoe designer Joco Comendador has a few ideas on how the industry could help the country. Comendador, whose latest project is dressing up the models of the recent Bench Universe shows, is known for his killer heels. “The fashion industry can save the economy by maximizing locally produced raw materials such as fabric and leather, and hiring skilled workers locally instead of importing materials.” Involving everyone, from designers to mass retailers can encourage everyone from all economic backgrounds to join in the fun.

“The challenge for the Filipino market isn’t convincing them to buy, it’s basically to buy Filipino goods. Why aren’t we buying our own? I guess a Pinoy Fashion Night Out would be a great way to edit that perspective and probably bring the whole fashion community closer, hitting so many fashionable birds with one glamorous stone,” Obcena concludes.

Let’s admit it, the Filipino is becoming stylish. We’re not there yet, but the talents of our local designers are proof that we are ready for an international market. And the smizing Filipino public is hungry for more. A revolution is starting, and the best-dressed will lead the way. Dress appropriately.