Before the great Ian Somerhalder—or “Smolderhotter” as introduced by brand director Alex Mendoza—appearance at Penshoppe’s press conference last Wednesday, ground rules had to be set first: “No screaming or shouting. Anyone who screams will be escorted out the venue.” That rule had to be set, because our recorders would’ve picked up nothing but shrill female screams, both from members of the press and the lucky customers who had been quick enough to score the limited tickets distributed in stores prior to the conference. Indeed, almost every female in attendance was dressed in Elena Gilbert fashion, in the hopes of catching the piercing blue eyes of bad boy vampire Damon Salvatore.
Except Damon Salvatore was not present, and we met someone much, much better than his fanged alter ego: We got Ian Somerhalder in the flesh. Blue eyes, a killer smile, biceps, brains, charm, a heart of gold, with a penchant for recycling and saving animals? He sounds like a character dreamed up by Marvel or DC, but he’s real, and Penshoppe’s newest addition to their closet of Hollywood endorsers.
Even president and CEO Bernie Liu wasn’t immune to Somerhalder’s star quality, but it was something else about Ian that won him over. “When I first met this young man, I was expecting to meet a great Hollywood celebrity. Well, OK, I did meet a Hollywood celebrity but now I understand how invitations to this ran out in less than 45 minutes. Within minutes of our first chat, my preconceived notion of him would transform into admiration.” Very intelligent and extremely passionate were the words Mr. Liu used to describe Ian Somerhalder, and he was not off the mark. In fact, it was this passion that would lead the two men to discover a cause that would take their partnership beyond window dressing and further into the great green beyond. “I am pleased to announce that our company, Golden ABC through Penshoppe will be supporting the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, and we hope our most loyal customers support this advocacy. Earth is our only home and it is everyone’s mission to take good care of it,” Liu adds.
Check out what Ian Somerhalder had to say about the Philippines, staying positive, why Palawan was a trip, and what we can do to help him build a better future.
On visiting Palawan and his photo shoot:
El Nido is probably one of the most beautiful places on the face of the planet. Running around in a secluded tropical island, drinking out of coconuts, hanging out under palm trees and getting your picture taken, it was all just amazing. Watching the tide come in at Lagen Resort, the change nature does to you, it’s just incredible. The first chance you get, get on a plane, get on a boat and explore the islands you guys are from because, wow, you are incredibly lucky.
On why the Philippines is bad for his ego and getting the “Beatles treatment”:
It’s been such a phenomenal experience, I’m really, really happy to be here, thank you for the warm welcome and all the screams.
On his partnership with Penshoppe:
I feel as though I’m part of something very special here, and this is very rare, this doesn’t happen ever. It’s something I think we can all be proud of, and this is going to produce real results and really great things. I’m really proud to be here, I appreciate absolutely everything, I’m blown away by the feeling that there’s something meaningful here, it’s such an organic marriage.
On the clothes he wore for the campaign:
The looks are very varied, I think we covered everything ’til fall 2045. There were a lot of bright colors, soft fabrics that were really comfortable. (Jokes) Oh, and the new men’s Penshoppe G-strings are awesome. I love them.
On his personal style:
I’m the worst when it comes to fashion. I don’t even shop by look anymore, I just close my eyes and shop by feel because it’s about comfort.
On shopping at Penshoppe:
I walked out of the store with some really great things. I’ve changed like four different times today, it’s kind of fun. I feel like a Ken doll. I almost said Barbie, that’s funny. It was great. I now have cool, comfortable duds when I’m traveling.
On using his vampiric role for good:
The fact that The Vampire Diaries has a young audience made me realize that I could use that exposure for the greater good, to actually educate the youth of the world, and I think we are doing ourselves a great disservice if we don’t empower our youth, these smart consumers, to be aware of conservation and preservation. If we start doing all that, I think we’re gonna see major, major changes.
On Filipino green initiatives:
We flew on this little chartered plane going to El Nido, and this company ITI, was amazing. There’s a little card inside the plane and it shows you how much carbon dioxide your flight has produced, and they realized that it takes trees to offset your passenger’s carbon footprint for that flight, so they plant six trees for every passenger that flies. How cool is that? If Delta or other giant airline did that, there would be forests as far as the eye can see. Filipino people taking strides to do this, I’ve never heard about that, and I wanna do that, make a little flyer forest and start planting trees. I fly so much, I feel awful, I really do, but I had to fly to get to you guys. It’s a phenomenal idea and it’s just another way that another Philippine company is taking great strides to kick some major green butt.
On what he’ll tell people about the Philippines:
Don’t go there, man, honestly, don’t go there, they will kill you with kindness. I’ve been so surprised, not that I had any preconceived notions coming here. I’ve always known about the Philippines, my father is obsessed with this country, ’cause he came here many years ago, but I’ve been so humbled by your generosity and the sheer stunning beauty of the place and how progressive you guys are. I’m gonna say, “You have to go to this place, you have to check out what these big companies are doing to better the world we live in,” because as Mr. Bernie said, we all breathe the same air, we all sleep under the same umbrella of beautiful stars.