All about ‘firsts’

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The Manila Times chronicles the ‘first’ milestones of thriving int’l lifestyle brands in PH

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Francois-Xavier Severin with Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., and Anton Huang

Francois-Xavier Severin with Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., and Anton Huang

Longchamp launches first stand-alone boutique in Manila

Known for its signature blend of quality, class and creativity, Longchamp opened its first stand-alone boutique in the Philippines through Stores Specialists, Inc., a member of SSI Group, Inc., the leading specialty retailer in the country.

Longchamp has long been distributed by Rustan’s for more than two decades now, and the opening of the brand’s first stand-alone store through SSI is a testament to the ever-growing relationship and trust of Longchamp in the country with companies under the Rustan Group.

Hardworking trio: Longchamp Philippines’ merchandise manager for RCC, Patti Manalang; Longchamp area manager for Asia Pacific, Yumi Matsumoto; and Longchamp Philippines’ merchandise manager for SSI Group Inc. Karina Vera

Hardworking trio: Longchamp Philippines’ merchandise manager for RCC, Patti Manalang; Longchamp area manager for Asia Pacific, Yumi Matsumoto; and Longchamp Philippines’ merchandise manager for SSI Group Inc. Karina Vera

The newly-launched store in Greenbelt 5 features a bright façade and an airy interior with elegant and contemporary charm – all evident with its light stone floors and muted wall colors in white and shades of brown. The 63 sqm store beautifully displays Longchamp handbags and accessories that are made popular to stylish and elegant women around the globe.

The occasion was also marked by a celebratory toast given by Longchamp’s General Manager for Asia Pacific, Francois-Xavier Severin and President of SSI Group, Inc., Anthony Huang. Joining them were Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., chairman emeritus of the Rustan Group of Companies, and Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., a member of the board of directors of Rustan Commercial Corp.

Longchamp’s general manager for Asia Pacific, Francois-Xavier Severin, and president of the SSI Group Anton Huang

Longchamp’s general manager for Asia Pacific, Francois-Xavier Severin, and president of the SSI Group Anton Huang

Highlighted during the grand launch of the store was a fashion show that presented Longchamp’s Spring Summer 2015 Collection. Of special note was the feature on the timeless and chic leather bags from the Le Pliage Cuir and Le Pliage Héritage lines.

Punching up the colorful evening was DJ Katrina “Katsu” Razon and stylish and dazzling women such as Martine Cajucom, Tricia Gosingtian, Nicole Andersson, Tessa Prieto-Valdez and Divine Lee.

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Chef Him Uy de Baron, Chef Bruce Lim, Michelle Lim , Anton Huang, Eduardo Paredes Jr. and Cis Macapinlac-Badillo

Chef Him Uy de Baron, Chef Bruce Lim, Michelle Lim , Anton Huang, Eduardo Paredes Jr. and Cis Macapinlac-Badillo

FamilyMart hits first 100 stores

Philippine FamilyMartCVS Inc. welcomed its 100th member of the family when it opened its 100th branch in Market! Market! at the Bonifacio Global City. The Japanese convenience store chain’s latest branch in the country affirms its commitment to the Philippines since it first opened in Glorietta 3, Makati City in 2013.

FamilyMart’s Philippine presence is managed by a joint venture between specialty store retailer SSI Group Inc. and property titan Ayala Land, Inc., together with Japan FamilyMart Co. Ltd, and Itochu Corp.

The FamilyMart Market! Market! store blessing and branch opening was attended by executives from Japan FamilyMart and Philippine FamilyMart, as well as key trade partners, franchise owners and suppliers.

Hidenori Tsunematsu, Lovely Celeste, Janna Santos and Butch Salaya

Hidenori Tsunematsu, Lovely Celeste, Janna Santos and Butch Salaya

The festivities were led by Philippine FamilyMart president Anton Huang and general manager Eduardo Paredes Jr. together with Rustan Group of Companies chairman Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. and Maritess Tantoco-Enriquez.

Since its opening in 2013, FamilyMart established its niche for high quality in terms of products, customer service, and overall experience. FamilyMart is also known for its wide variety of carefully selected Japanese food items and ready-to-eat meals that offer value for money in a unique setting.

“Opening our 100th store means we get to serve more Filipinos looking for a different experience when going to a convenience store. Today, customers expect more than a place where people enter, buy something, and leave. Aside from our unique offerings, we want to offer an experiential process that elevates it to something more,” said Eduardo Paredes Jr., PFM general manager.

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In fine style, Ralph Lauren opens first Manila boutique

Ralph Lauren’s commercial director Maxence Drevon-Balas, marketing manager Shumin Liang, director Sandro Raniolo, and merchandise manager for Southeast Asia, Tara Davis

Ralph Lauren’s commercial director Maxence Drevon-Balas, marketing manager Shumin Liang, director Sandro Raniolo, and merchandise manager for Southeast Asia, Tara Davis

Ralph Lauren makes a grand entrance in the Philippines with the launch of its first ever luxury boutique at Greenbelt 3, Makati City. The country’s leading specialty retailer, Stores Specialists Inc., a member of SSI Group Inc., makes the timeless designer brand now accessible to Filipinos as the store flaunts and offers the exclusive collections of the Ralph Lauren Black Label and Purple Label—from men’s and women’s apparel to accessories to handbags.

Esteemed guests first gathered at the Ralph Lauren store, which boasts of a 3,000-square foot space and a Spanish Renaissance-style façade that takes inspiration from the World Heritage Site in Vigan. Inside, the aesthetics feature limestone floors, a touch of mahogany, and tasteful white columns, all mimicking the style of Mr. Ralph Lauren’s own home.

Sam Richelle

Sam Richelle

The ultramodern and sleek style of Ralph Lauren was delicately presented in the store and the collections, and was highlighted by stationary models that strategically showed off the key pieces of Ralph Lauren throughout the store.

SSI group president Anton Huang welcomed all who attended the affair. Turning heads with their sartorial dressing, stunning personalities such as Iza Calzado and lovebirds Sam Richelle and Anton del Rosario attended the event in head-to-toe Ralph Lauren.

After the guests fully had the Ralph Lauren experience inside the store, they were then driven to an exclusive after-party at the aviation-themed restaurant Blackbird, via a fleet of sleek Maseratis. Contemporary European cocktails were perfectly complemented with jazz music that capped the night splendidly for the guests.


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