“A Coming Together Of Friends, Designers, And Artists.” Designers’ Holiday Bazaar Gives Back

Curators and tastemakers Sofia Elizalde and Bea Zobel Jr. turn The Gallery at Greenbelt 5 into an artful extravaganza with clothing, homeware, food and artisanal goods in tow.

With Kanya’s knotted bags, J. Makitalo’s talismanic jewelry, and Caro Wilson’s abaca twine and hand-woven stars, Designers’ Holiday Bazaar ushers in the holiday season with local pieces that shine a spotlight on Filipino craftsmanship and those in need.

“The Designers’ Holiday Bazaar was founded to support two very important causes close to our hearts: supporting local businesses and to support our yearly fund that sponsors students and dancers for scholarships through APEC and STEPS foundation,” Zobel Jr. tells Vogue Philippines.

A non-profit initiative, the much-anticipated event is an annual curated selection of Filipino design that encourages shoppers to support APEC & STEPS foundation scholars. Sofia Elizalde adds, “[It’s] a coming together of friends, designers, and artists.” The 10-day event highlights a moment of total togetherness where creatives gather for a meaningful cause with fantastical festivities and community-centered pieces in tow. 

The bazaar embraces collaboration and community this time around by shedding light on the human aspect of Filipino design. 

“We have always loved the fact that most designers are present during the shopping experience to explain their products and vision to the customers. It also makes for a very creative and fun week to have 32 creatives in one space,” Zobel remarks. She asserts that housing a plethora of like-minded creatives in one space has led to “collaborations and other spin-off projects during the year.”

The unprecedented pandemic helped Designers’ Holiday Bazaar change their purchasing practices, leading them to explore an innovative digital dimension. As the country was placed under lockdown, the initiative made the transition to the digital medium. PINO Studio fashioned a shoppable catalogue unique to Designers’ Holiday Bazaar where individuals could purchase from their phones via embedded QR codes. “We were able to sponsor a lot of children during a year of great devastation. This year we are happy to be able to be back in-person,” continues Zobel.

Courtesy of Angie Cervantes

“We would be nowhere without the support of the local and artisanal communities with whom we work and everyone who has lent their time, art and energy to these endeavors to showcase and protect our arts.”

Bea Zobel Jr.

At the core of the initiative lies a commitment to artisanal communities and the desire to sponsor those in need. Designers’ Holiday Bazaar gives back by funding APEC high school scholars so that they’re able to continue their education. APEC Schools is a subsidiary of Ayala Corporation that provides “affordable and quality private education to Filipinos with the mission of preparing students for college and employment” according to Zobel. Focusing on “bright children from economically disadvantaged families,” they hone in on their competencies in the performing arts and other “skill-building activities.” The scholars that benefit from Designers’ Holiday Bazaar are chosen on academic achievement and necessity.

The event also sponsors scholarships for dancers through the STEPS foundation, an organization which provides free dance education to young Filipino dance artists. According to Zobel, the foundation has “50 scholars who [they] fully support with a top dance education,” [helping] them find a place among “dance companies locally and internationally.”

By hand-picking designers that emphasize on working with artisanal communities, Designers’ Holiday Bazaar is able to “showcase the amazing talent we have here in the Philippines.” There are traditional décor pieces made in Bicol that weave in modern sensibilities, forward-thinking fashion that capitalize on Filipino textiles, and inventive homeware made from sustainable materials such as “sugar cane residue and piña.”

“The biggest lesson [we] have come out with from these projects, is the importance of community and collaboration,” mentions Zobel. This year, the event’s roster of labels include PIOPIO, Yvette’s Bags & Beads, Riqueza, Matthew & Melka, JIM Weaver Designs, Joel Escober, Kalye Artisano, and Auro to name a few.

“We would be nowhere without the support of the local and artisanal communities with whom we work and everyone who has lent their time, art and energy to these endeavors to showcase and protect our arts,” concludes Zobel.

Designers’ Holiday Bazaar runs from December 1 to 11 at The Gallery Greenbelt 5

More From Vogue

Share now on:
FacebookXEmailCopy Link