MALOU ROMERO, a self-taught, Filipina accessories designer who is the brainchild behind Joanique, is set to bring the underlying beauty of the Bacolod’s Masskara festival to the world through her new collection of jewelry and clutches, inspired by the colorful spirit of the famous Philippine celebration.
“I’ve been a jewelry designer for a long time and for this year, I wanted to create something that will highlight the distinct characteristic of Filipinos—always happy and always smiling,” Romero said at the launch Joanique’s newest line on September 16 in Makati City.
Indeed, happiness is very evident in the pieces that the designer presented during the event, starting off with round-shaped or oval clutches bearing patterns of lively faces that almost jump off their canvas. Romero’s designs range from vibrant native Filipino masks to more dramatic interpretations as influenced by the Carnival of Venice in Italy.
Maskara’s jewelry, meanwhile, comprise of dangling earrings and rings with colored gems, as well as metal earring studs and rings with patterns lifted from the festival’s trademarks. The more elaborate pieces, meanwhile, come in the form of bracelets and necklaces with intricately engraved charms.
Since 2011, it had been Romero’s mission to spread the country’s colorful cultural traditions through uniquely Filipino statements. Thus, Joanique has become known for ethnic patterns and eye-catching colors both here and abroad, with accessories stores carrying her line in London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and parts of America.
Coined from the name of her children Joaquin and Monique, the brand is also sought after for its premium quality that captures both local and international clientele.
This can be credited to Romero herself who is a hands-on owner and designer as she oversees everything from the sketchbook, to materials selection, and the production of every piece.
Truly world-class, her creations have been featured in international publications like Vogue, Travelite, and Le Meg Paris.
Romero will pursue Joa-nique’s international journey as her latest Masskara-inspired collection has been included in two major tradeshows first at Fiera Milano in Milan, Italy from September 26 to 28, and then at Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, France from October 2 to 5.
Joanique is available online via shop.joanique.com.