After a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic, the ArteFino Festival is back with an in-person event that not only facilitates face-to-face selling, but also celebrates culture and promotes inspiring stories of like-minded local creatives to more Filipinos.
First launched in 2017, ArteFino Festival is a movement that celebrates unique Filipino creativity and craftsmanship, and also, according to a press statement, a “community that honors craft, culture, and conscious living.“ It features a wide variety of locally crafted and sustainably sourced products ranging from fashion made of handwoven indigenous weaves, beadwork and embroidery as well as handcrafted bags, to home and living items, jewelry and even gourmet snacks and dips.
From clothing and footwear to bath and body care essentials, there’s a wide variety of products and brands to discover in the upcoming festival.
Eye-catching handmade dolls by Maris Handmade Dolls.
In an interview with PeopleAsia, ArteFino Festival co-founder Cedie Lopez-Vargas said that while the COVID-19 pandemic was undoubtedly a huge hurdle to pass, it was a mere blip to most people in search of sustainable fashion and home items. It also pushed them– the creators and organizers– to focus more on things that were more relevant.
“We’ve worked with many emerging brands and designers, all of whom have grown with us. We’ve followed their journeys and evolved with them,” said Vargas in a statement
While locally crafted and sourced products are often pricier than their mass-produced counterparts, Vargas encourages Filipinos to look beyond the price tag and appreciate more the quality as well as the depth and meaning that local weavers and artisans have put into their work.
“There’s really more meaning to what you buy. It contributed [also] to somebody’s livelihood. This is what we’re making buyers see,” Vargas explained, adding that patronizing these products help not only manufacturers, but also weavers and various artisans and craftspeople with their livelihoods.
“We really want to be part of that movement where all these artisans are pushing forward and expressing themselves, and when you patronize their things, it also becomes part of your self-expression,” Vargas said.
Beatriz is known for its artisanal collection of handmade bags and fashion accessories featuring distinctive patterns and vibrant color combinations
For this year’s ArteFino Festival, the exhibitors focus more on the theme “Renew, Regenerate, Repurpose.”
According to project coordinator Imelda Canuel, the main thrust of this year’s ArteFino Festival is to make more Filipinos realize that there is more essence in our heritage and culture, and that it can be incorporated into our casual, daily lives through adopting a modern contemporary Filipino lifestyle.
Over 150 brands will be showcased in the upcoming five-week fair, which will be taking place from August 25 to September 28 at the PowerPlant Mall in Makati City. Each week will feature a new roster of brands across such categories as fashion, accessories, fine jewelry, home and children’s wear. All brands that made it into the lineup were earnestly evaluated and handpicked by ArteFino founders.