Remembering Glecy, the grand lady of Rustan’s

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Luxury retailer celebrates 65th anniversary with special retrospective

The Philippines’ premier luxury retail conglomerate Rustan’s marked its 65th anniversary on September 14 with an emotional look back at its exceptional family history.

“Today as Rustan’s celebrates its 65th anniversary, we celebrate a retail journey that started in downtown Manila over six decades ago, and finally manifested itself through the passion and drive of its founding partners, my mother and father, who upscaled the Makati Commercial Center, where we have all gathered today,” said second generation Chairman and CEO Zenaida Tantoco during her welcome remarks.

“Rustan’s is a story not about just a store. It’s the story of a strong-hearted woman who had a God-given gift, which she used fully to pursue her dreams for the Filipina, whom she believed has every right to be tastefully dressed by only the finest and most coveted names in style, whose homes should be impeccably furnished by the best the world has to offer,” Tantoco continued, paying special tribute to her late mother Gliceria “Glecy” Rustia Tantoco.


“It is the story of a woman who forged with confidence into the world of international luxury retailing with boldness of vision, impeccable taste, timeless vigor and a deep love for her family, God and country. That woman was our dear mother Glecy, with the unstinting support of her husband Benny, to whom she credited her success,” she addd with much affection for patriarch Bienvenido Tantoco, now 96 years of age.

“This couple has given an extraordinary legacy to her family, of which we are so proud.”

The highlight of Rustan’s anniversary party was the unveiling of a special retrospective exhibit titled “The Many Facets of Glecy Tantoco: Retail Extraordinaire.” It recalls its founder’s journey and the brand she built from inception to present time.

As the evening ensued, Tantoco and the other memebers of the family generously shared anecdotes about their beloved parents. Back in the early ‘50s would have thought that Benny and Glecy would build a luxury empire out of selling beautiful and unique trinkets from their trips abroad straight from their living room?

With more and more visitors cominh to their house to admire and patronize Glecy’s impeccable choices, Rustan’s [taken from the first syllables of the couple’s surnames]opened its very first shop in 1952 on a humble space along old Manila’s San Marcelino street.

Six and half decades later, the small department grown in five grand locations across the country, with 26 Rustan’s Supermarket locations, and more than 2,000 international brands licensed to the company.

Truly festive and luxurious, the celebration ended with the “Private Label Fashion Roadshow,” capsules of specially curated pieces by Rustan’s exclusive brands featuring the regal shade blue sapphire—the chosen color to celebrate the milestone. Among the labels on runway were Ricardo Preto, U by Ricardo Preto, Jill by Jojie Lloren, Criselda Lontok, Lady Rustan, Rustan’s Jr and Rustanette.

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