Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Federico De Vera, Maricris Brias, Lenora Cabili, Ian Giron, Jewelmer, Natalya Lagdameo, Josie Natori, Tina Ocampo, Wynn Wynn Ong, Anne Saguil, Ditta Sandico, Rafe Totengco, Bea Valdes, Al Valenciano are featured in Asia Society’s Filipino Design Now

clutch_wynn_wynn_ongAsia Society presents Filipino Design Now, a special showcase of top Filipino designers from September 11, 2015 to January 3, 2016. This special display coincides with Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms, an exhibition of over 100 spectacular works of gold from the 10th to 13th century, highlighting the creativity, prosperity and cultural connections of the precolonial period. The Asia Society is located at 725 Park Ave, New York, NY 10021.

Asia Society celebrates the artistic visions of top Filipino designers in this exclusive showcase conceived by Filipino jewelry designer Federico De Vera. An arbiter of taste, De Vera is a gallery owner of antique objects, curios, and jewelry, and more recently, the author of De Vera Objects andDe Vera Jewelry.

Presented in Asia Society’s lobby, the showcase features exclusive collections by fourteen renowned Filipino designers who have been invited to create products inspired by their interpretation of Philippine culture. Filipino Design Now provides an opportunity to experience the rich culture and heritage of the Philippines, promoting appreciation of and inspiring pride in Filipino design, material and craftsmanship. Signature pieces from these talented designer’s collections have been selected for inclusion in the display, with the balance of the collections featured for sale at AsiaStore and online at

Featured designers include:

    • Maricris Brias, home textiles. Brias and her local artisans are committed to reviving the native artistry of Mindanao’s ethnic tribes, manufacturing textiles and home accents created from local abaca and banana fiber, handwoven exclusively by T’boli and Mandaya natives.
    • Lenora Cabili, fashion. Cabili’s designs are inspired by tradition, mixing the past with present, creating unique garments that incorporate ancient techniques of weaving, embroidery and bead work from indigenous Filipino groups.
    • Federico de Vera, jewelry. De Vera strives to find new lives for old things that have been discarded, and reinterprets them from a different point of view. Today his pieces are comprised of antique elements, often simultaneously organic and baroque, each unique and one of a kind.
    • Ian Giron, home accents. Giron creates home accents using coconut shell as his base and combining traditional methods of sanding and bleaching before applying gold leaf to achieve color and patina, a process that has been widely used in Asia for thousands of years.
    • Jewelmer, jewelry. Golden South Sea pearls are the centerpieces of the brand. Through a highly selective process, these elusive gems inspire artisans to create finely crafted jewelry to fulfill Jewelmer’s celebration of beauty in harmonious symmetry with nature.
    • Natalya Lagdameo, novelty textiles. Drawing on work as an interior designer and inspired by heirlooms and artifacts from around the archipelago, Lagdameo creates textile designs utilizing local Filipino materials.
    • Josie Natori, jewelry. Natori’s iconic, global brand, the House of Natori celebrates Asian aesthetics with the spirit of Natori’s adopted home in America, effortlessly melding the visual best of both the East and the West
    • Tina Ocampo, evening bags. Ocampo’s luxury brand Celestina,is comprised of a collection of evening bags, handcrafted by Filipino artisans, practicing age-old techniques and using exotic materials that can only be found in the Philippines.
    • Wynn Wynn Ong, jewelry. Favoring stones in their organic, untouched states and incorporating materials not often associated with jewelry, Ong combines unexpected elements into her meticulously hand crafted jewelry designs.
    • Anne Saguil, fashion. Saguil combines her passion for craftsmanship and fashion, designing clothes, handbags and accessories using hand embroidered techniques and indigenous handwoven materials.
    • Ditta Sandico, fashion. Sandico transforms indigenous fibers, such as banana, pineapple and abacca into a fashion art form, designing wraps that follow the movements of the body.
    • Rafe Totengco, minaudières. Totengco’s signature minaudière evening bags, featuring indigenous Filipino materials, blend uptown sophistication with a downtown edge.
    • Bea Valdes, jewelry & accessories. Valdes takes inspiration from various cultures, sourcing materials, patterns and ideas from around the world for her high-end accessories while continuing to shine a light on the Philippines as a design hub as she supports local artisans and their craftsmanship.
    • Al Valenciano, blankets. Valenciano’s signature brand Balay ni Atong showcases hand-woven textiles made on traditional wooden looms by local artisans using weaving techniques passed on through generations.

Asia Society and Museum

725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street)
New York, NY 10021
Tel: 212-288-6400
Fax: 212-517-8315

Box Office:
Phone: 212-517-ASIA


Tuesday-Sunday, 11 am-6 pm. Closed Mondays and major holidays.

Note: the Museum galleries are currently closed and will reopen to the public on Friday, September 11, with Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms and Video Spotlight: Philippines.

September through June: the Museum Galleries are open until 9:00 pm on Fridays. Free Friday nights resume on Friday, September 18.

For Garden Court Café hours, click here.

AsiaStore Hours:

Daily 11 am-6 pm. Fridays 11 am-9 pm beginning on Friday, September 18.

For more information about AsiaStore, click here.


$12.00; $10.00 for seniors and $7.00 for students with ID; free for members and persons under 16.

Admission is free on Fridays from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm starting on Friday, September 18.

A cell phone audio tour is included in the price of admission.

Admission is not required to visit the AsiaStore or Garden Court Café.


Located at 725 Park Avenue and East 70th Street.

M1, M2, M3, M4 to Madison Avenue and East 70th Street; M101, M102 to Lexington Avenue and East 70th Street; M30 to Park and 72nd; M66 to Park Avenue and 68th Street.

6 train to East 68th Street/Hunter College or F to East 63rd Street/Lexington Avenue.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Blog, Jade and

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