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465 West 23rd Street, Suite 9B
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JOURNAL

CAN I TELL YOU ... TAKE A TRIP AROUND THE WORLD AND SEE THE CULTURES THAT INSPIRE MY DESIGNS.

Can I tell you…about my trunk show at Rustans in Manila.

Rafe Totengco

 Mike Huang, Vice President of Rustans and his wife Kathy Huang, me, Dina Arroyo Tantoco, Marketing Director and Donnie Tantoco, President of Rustans

Mike Huang, Vice President of Rustans and his wife Kathy Huang, me, Dina Arroyo Tantoco, Marketing Director and Donnie Tantoco, President of Rustans

     I grew up in the languid province of Bacolod, where the fashion assortment in the mid 80's was quite limited and not as forward as I would have liked. At a very young age I had developed a keen interest in fashion and realized that the only place to see anything worthwhile was at Rustans in Manila. Every year I had to wait patiently until summer break when my Mom would pack up the whole family and move to capital for a few months. I have fond memories of walking into the sliding doors of Rustans as a waft of air-conditioned breeze would hit my skin. I was stepping into a world of glamour and refinement. Floors upon floors filled with the latest trends beautifully displayed to tempt and entice. Going there was an event and it certainly made an impression on me. I dreamt of seeing my designs in the store one day.

Rafe New York at Rustans Makati

     In 2013 that dream came true. Rustans started buying the Rafe New York collection for their stores in Manila and Cebu. They have been a loyal customer ever since. This year they celebrated their 65th Anniversary with a bang. They asked their designers to come up with exclusive limited edition pieces to commemorate the event. I was happy to oblige of course. 

 Myrza Sison is loving my Blue Melissa Minaudière.  

Myrza Sison is loving my Blue Melissa Minaudière.  

 Melissa Minaudière in Lapiz Lazuli blue for Rustan's 65th Anniversary.   

Melissa Minaudière in Lapiz Lazuli blue for Rustan's 65th Anniversary.

 

     Coincidentally I was going to be in Manila for another event so I scheduled to do a trunk show at the store which Rustans happily agreed to host. Manila is so busy with multiple events every night so it was such a joy to have so many friends, their friends and fashion editors attend my show. I love getting feedback from my customers and seeing which designs they are attracted to and why. And when they clutch and can't let go…I know I've done something right.

 Fashion Editor Carol Etagle clutching the Sara Minaudière.

Fashion Editor Carol Etagle clutching the Sara Minaudière.

 Art Deco inspired, my Sara Minaudière.

Art Deco inspired, my Sara Minaudière.

A Rafe minaudière is the exclamation point to any woman’s outfit.
— Rafe Totengco
 Kathy Huang clutching the Bilbao Minaudière.

Kathy Huang clutching the Bilbao Minaudière.

 Bilbao Minaudière.

Bilbao Minaudière.

 Camille Ocampo clutching the Azura minaudière.

Camille Ocampo clutching the Azura minaudière.

 The Azura Faceted Minaudière in black and white shell inlay with brass accents.

The Azura Faceted Minaudière in black and white shell inlay with brass accents.

Black and white is always right!
— Rafe Totengco
 Dr. Vicki Belo clutching the Vivienne Minaudière. She left with 2 Rafe minaudieres that evening.

Dr. Vicki Belo clutching the Vivienne Minaudière. She left with 2 Rafe minaudieres that evening.

 The Vivienne Faceted Minaudière in multi-shell inlay.

The Vivienne Faceted Minaudière in multi-shell inlay.

Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.
— Coco Chanel
 Cathryn Salud clutching the Pia Minaudière.

Cathryn Salud clutching the Pia Minaudière.

 Anton Barretto, Cathryn Salud and me.

Anton Barretto, Cathryn Salud and me.

 Creative Duo mother and son, Tita Fe Rodriguez and Junie Rodriguez.

Creative Duo mother and son, Tita Fe Rodriguez and Junie Rodriguez.

 Tita Fe with her vintage Rafe clutch while choosing which minaudière to buy.   

Tita Fe with her vintage Rafe clutch while choosing which minaudière to buy.

 

 She ultimately chose the edgy Azura in brass, stainless steel and black raw shell.

She ultimately chose the edgy Azura in brass, stainless steel and black raw shell.

 Fashion Editor Isha Valles and PR Impresario Keren Pascual.

Fashion Editor Isha Valles and PR Impresario Keren Pascual.

 Double exposure: Pia Minaudieres in black and white.

Double exposure: Pia Minaudieres in black and white.

 The Rafe crew

The Rafe crew

FullSizeRender.jpg

Carmina Jacob with the Sara Minaudière.  

 Carmina ultimately chose the Alicia Minaudière because she loved the pop of mint green.

Carmina ultimately chose the Alicia Minaudière because she loved the pop of mint green.

Leah Puyat with the Pia Minaudière

Leah Puyat wasn’t letting go of the Pia Minaudière.  

 But the Liz Minaudière in black and white was calling her name.

But the Liz Minaudière in black and white was calling her name.

 Jill Lao with the Pia Minaudière 

Jill Lao with the Pia Minaudière 

Fashion designer Jill Lao couldn't decide between this Pia Minaudière...

 Pia Minaudière in black, blue and white shell inlay.

Pia Minaudière in black, blue and white shell inlay.

 or the Liz Minaudière in black, green and rainbow shell inlay.

or the Liz Minaudière in black, green and rainbow shell inlay.

 Rafe New York at Rustans

Rafe New York at Rustans