How 45 Local Designers Are Helping Each Other To Pivot Post-Pandemic



A collective of 45 proudly Filipino fashion brands paving the way to help the whole local accessory industry adapt to the new normal, this is truly a necessary initiative in this reality. 

As the pandemic is far from over, the fashion world has no other choice but to cope and look where they can make the necessary adjustments to keep their businesses afloat. With the unprecedented onslaught of COVID-19, some shops are indefinitely closed, production is put to a halt or considerably downsized, and orders canceled. Due to these, local designers are put to the test with a serious problem: how do we pivot post-pandemic?

For makers of shoes, bags, and fashion accessories, these struggles are profoundly evident. The cancellation of trade shows, both locally and internationally, greatly impacted sales for brands falling under this category. 

Adante Leyesa

According to Gina Nebrida Ty of Agsam Fashion Fern, “Many of our brands were impacted by the cancellation of trade shows and closure of brick and mortar boutiques.” Hence, this obstacle made them look into ways of sustaining their businesses and promote their brands.

In addition, creative director for Beatriz Carissa Cruz Evangelista shares that the fashion accessories sector was truly one of the most affected by the crisis. “There were many canceled orders as well as closed stores and factories,” she details.

While everything seemed hopeless, local designers didn’t give up, knowing very well that a true Filipino would value resiliency. So, this motivated them to formulate a new strategy in finding the new rhythm for their businesses, which eventually led them to establish the country’s first national organization of bags, shoes, and accessory makers: Fashion Accessory Makers of The Philippines (FAMph).

Collaboration Is The Key

FAMph was conceived in May 2020 at the peak of lockdown in the Philippines. It surely was a time of uncertainty that offered zero assurances, guarantees, or even safety nets. Despite that, an ethos for collaboration and cooperation prevailed. After all, we are always stronger than ever when we do it together.

Gina shares, “It was because of the crisis that we decided to create a unified and collective voice for fashion accessory brands and designers. The idea was to come together and work hand-in-hand to establish our relevance and thrive in the new normal.” According to Carissa, who played an active role in bringing like-minded local designers, brands, and collaboration under the FAMph umbrella, the organization was borne out of a desire to map out ways for shifting post-pandemic.

Island Girl

“We are currently a collective of 45 proudly Filipino fashion brands. We seek to grow membership and find advocates in government and private sector,” she explains. “[The end goal] is to create a national plan for the fashion accessories industry.” 

Beyond Business

For local designers and brands to keep their businesses thriving is not just for themselves, and that’s because they partner with some of our weaving communities in far-flung areas. They understand that they were also given the shared responsibility of preserving local crafts as it serves as a vessel of stories highlighting the Philippines’ rich heritage and cultural evolution.

Floreia’s Artisan Community Partner

But more than that, this also means food on the tables for local weaving communities, suppliers, and artisans who work with labels belonging to FAMph. “We felt we needed to come together and rise so that we could support our artisans and communities, most of whom rely on our FAMph members as a primary source of livelihood,” Gina shares.

In fact, this shared sentiment inspired FAMph’s first digital show highlighting the communities and artisans from all over the country. “Be loyal to local” was the campaign’s call to action, creating a more emotional connection with viewers by taking them behind the scenes of local craft. 

Beatriz’ Partner Community

With this in mind, it was only fitting for their first-ever digital campaign to be dubbed as #CraftingOurFutureTogether. “Because of economic uncertainty and travel restrictions, a strong digital presence was inevitable,” Gina affirms. “The old way of doing business isn’t going to return anytime soon, so an online platform coupled by digital presence was how we decided to pivot.”

Brands of FAMph have also begun to shift their focus towards direct-to-consumer selling. Others have started exploring new product innovations that are considered essential or relevant to the times—plant boxes, face masks, to name a few. 

Plant holders from Yvette’s Collection

Progress and development within FAMph are constantly evolving. There are several partnerships with private sectors and e-tailers in the pipeline as well as plans for sitting down with government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry. “Our plans are in progress and constantly developing and it is through constant brainstorming and feedback from peers that we are able to put together the pieces of the puzzle—one step at a time,” Carrisa discloses.

Meet The Designers and Brands

Adante Leyesa

Agsam Fashion Fern

Ai She Footwear

Alchemista

Ann Pamintuan

Aranaz

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ARANAZ Fresh Catch #SS20 #ARANAZ

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Arnel Papa

Beatriz

Calli

Chris Gomez

Crystal Seas

Earl Gariando Accessories

Filip + Inna

Floreia

Flutter Statement Jewelry

Island Girl

J Makitalo

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A lounging jewelry addict ✨ #jewelry #JMakitalo

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JIM Weaver Designs

Joanique

Jun Artajo

Kitsilver

Lara

Maco Custodio

Matthew and Melka

MOY Studio

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Mawi comes in two colors: blue and mint.

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Neil Felipp

O’EL Designs

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" May you have Life! and have it to the fullest"☀️ Introducing our "Zoe" Clip-On Earrings from our latest limited edition capsule 2020 collection. "Zoe" pronounced as ZO-ee which in Greek means life. This exuberant piece, Is hand made with sustainable materials such as laminated up-cycled leather and corded with suede. ->Now available at www.oeldesigns.com/shop and on 30%off sale until July 7,2020 Tomorrow. So grab them while you can! Speacial thanks to model : @katsiethewanderer @katsiethegeek for her beautiful photo #oeldesignssale #onlinestore #fashionaccessories >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ->To Order/Inquire: Leave us a direct message here on Instagram or email us at [email protected] ->For more updates like and follow us: Follow us on IG @oeldesign or fb.com/Oeldesigns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #philippinefashion #supportlocalartisans #supportlocalph #earafterear #strongandmightyGod #fashion #design #designer #objectdesign #Monday #editorial #fashioneditorial #ootd #statementearrings #jewelry #proudlypinoy #handmade #supportlocalbusiness #Buylocalph #onlinestore #online #leatherwork #upcycled #leather #earrings #trylocal #handmadewithlove

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SC Vizcarra

Stride Collective

Strozzi Jewelry

TDLG Designs

Thian Rodriguez Manila

Tim Tam Ong

Tina Campos Creations

Twinkle Ferraren

Vesti

Virtucio

Wolfe + Hunter

Yvette’s Collection

Zarah Juan

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