The edition’s first cover sets the direction for the latest fashion magazine in the country.
After months of avid chatter, Vogue Philippines finally launched its first issue, and landing on the much-coveted and highly anticipated cover is our very own home, the Philippines.
Names of models and celebrities have been floating around the fashion scene’s guessing game, with everyone wondering who would be front and center of the 28th edition of Vogue. Putting the spotlight on the entire country is perhaps the best way to begin a movement that would focus on the Filipinos more than anything else.
In an exclusive virtual conference, Bea Valdes, Vogue Philippines editor-in-chief, says the characteristic of the magazine will be guided by Filipino traits. “One of the things that we were really hoping for is to also lead by our Filipino values,” she says. “We are focused on malasakit; we are focused on bayanihan. We are focused on this inherent sense of optimism and joy that we have. And I think that is very much the tone of the magazine.”
The inside pages will be brimming with stories and tales of Filipino talents in the lens of fashion and beauty, something Valdes hopes can extend to the entire publishing industry. “I think so much of it [the fashion industry] is focused on really what you see just in print,” Valdes says. “But I think the stories are so much broader: from manufacturers to the way that yarns are made, to the farmers who might plant Philippine cotton—and what that means to the whole industry and society, as well.” All these aspects, she adds, are all linked to one another and belong to one ecosystem.
The magazine also aims to dig deeper into the salient issues that surround the industry and the circles it moves in, such as sustainability in fashion.
“I think what we would like to do is more show than tell,” Valdes says of these issues. “We put our opinions through the stories, through the people that we would like to feature—people who are trying new mindsets in doing things that are along the lines of sustainability because it isn’t, again everybody here knows, this isn’t a trend. It is really a mindset shift that is global. And we would like to tell it through the Filipino lens.”
To put these stories together in the first issue of Vogue Philippines, the team went around the country in less than nine days. They immortalized in photos some unchartered roads and places that have not been photographed and expressed their astonishment and respect in beautifully written words.
“I think that’s one of the things that we really want to communicate, the fact that everything that we have that is precious is right here,” Valdes says.
Rhoda Campos-Aldanese, chief operating officer of Mega Global Licensing, Inc. (MGLI), Vogue’s publisher, says the Philippines is simply this edition’s DNA. She adds, “Altogether, collectively, we tried to do this homage for our mother country, homage to our mothers, our grandmothers, or who helped shape our lives. So it’s basically that, our roots, which we are so extremely proud of. And we worked with a lot of Filipino talents, as well, to put the whole Philippines together as a country and as a people, as a community.”
The aforementioned months-long chatter of Vogue Philippines’ launch roused the publishing industry, who used to be under the impression that print is on its way to real demise. Suki Salvador, MGLI’s president, admits to seeing print’s “sunset,” but is adamant that it is “cyclical,” just like fashion, media platforms, apps, etc.
“Sometimes it will quiet down, and we saw that maybe 2015 onward to maybe 2020,” Salvador explains. “We saw it really plummet, but we feel like there’s a new generation of readers, people that like to touch books because there’s so much garbage online. We feel that they’re the ones that we will start to talk to. And hopefully, they will pick up a magazine instead of going online.”
More impressive is the way the whole team managed to create something this momentous during the pandemic. For this, Salvador has One Mega Group founder and former editor-in-chief, the late Sari Yap to thank for.
“She [Yap] always told me that the best time to create something beautiful is really during an adversity,” Salvador recalls, adding that during the pandemic, when Vogue Philippines was being conceived, he, Campos-Aldanese, and Archie Carrasco, chairman and chief executive officer of AGC Power Holdings Corp. (AGC PHC)—the parent company of the MEGA brands—decided that they had to make “a big move.”
“When somebody makes a big move during a time that’s very terrifying or very scary, that is when everyone will follow,” Salvador says. “And we felt that by bringing Vogue Philippines into the country, by making such a bold move in such a difficult time, it would spark energy for everyone to follow. So, I feel that that energy is what Vogue Philippines will bring to the publishing industry, and to the fashion and beauty industry in general.”
On a side note, he talks about seeing printers getting excited and emotional when they heard about the launch of Vogue Philippines, which will have a print and digital version, and a website.
Salvador proudly reveals, “Even the people, the suppliers around them, the clients, started to be interested in print again. And I think that was the magical thing about bringing Vogue Philippines to the country.”
A Celebration Of Our Nation
On the cover page of the first Vogue Philippines issue, Chloe Magno embodies modern elegance.
The maiden issue transports us to stunning locations that perfectly reflect the diversity and beauty of the Philippines—from Luzon to Visayas to Mindanao. It is undoubtedly a celebration of the Philippines and the Filipinos.
In the pages of the magazine, Filipino designers express their interpretation of the Philippine national dress, bringing us varied creations, from futuristic to genderless clothing—a groundbreaking feat for Philippine fashion.
We can only expect more stories that celebrate our nationality.
“Through the content in Vogue Philippines and its platforms, we hope to showcase the Philippine fashion identity, by connecting us to the global community. Vogue remains the most powerful platform for fashion’s emerging talents and their diverse perspectives. It has always been at the crest of new aesthetics and mindsets, and we are thrilled to join the fold,”Bea Valdez, Editor in Chief of Vogue Philippines