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Mighty Wallet–with jeepneys, Greenhills pearls, the Edsa Shrine!

The Manila edition of this global cult accessory now features Pinoy icons


Sisters Zerline Chan Ortiz-Luis and Michelle Chan like discovering unusual products and making them available to people at their store Quirks.

“We love items that infuse irreverence and humor into everyday living,” they say. “We bring you conventional objects which twist tradition, inject life into the lackluster and alter the mundane into something magical.”

One of these discoveries is Mighty Wallet by Dynomighty— Tyvek paper wallets designed by Terrence Kelleman. First sold at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Mighty Wallets now have a cult following around the world, with its many fans attracted to the brand’s fun designs, unbelievably strong material (it’s tear-resistant, water-resistant and expandable) and earth-friendliness (it’s made of 25 percent recycled materials and is 100 percent recyclable).

Quirks started selling Mighty Wallets in 2010. “We were initially drawn to its many quirky styles. Then we discovered what makes it unique—the use of Tyvek paper that’s strong, thin and green! It fit our store perfectly as it combines practical function with creative design.”

Conversation piece

The girls fell in love with Mighty Wallet for many reasons.

“It’s a perfect conversation piece. It doesn’t even look like a wallet! There are testimonials on the Web of people leaving their wallet in a restaurant or on the side of the road then going back to get it and it’s still there! Aside from that, it’s made of high-quality Tyvek paper that’s tear-and water-resistant. There’s even a YouTube video of someone hanging from a Mighty Wallet that’s been attached to a beam in the ceiling, and the wallet supported the weight of this 170-pound guy! Aside from that, the wallet is thin and expandable so it’s a perfect night out wallet when you have a tiny clutch or are wearing slim jeans. No bulging pockets!”

MIGHTY MANILA. Spot your favorite Pinoy icon.

Mighty Wallets are available in many different designs but it’s the Airmail Envelope that’s been the all-time best-seller. The New York Subway Map, London Underground, Passport and other travel-themed designs are also big hits.

Noticing this, Zerl and Michelle thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a Philippines edition Mighty Wallet?”

“We wanted a design that our customers can relate to and understand, like a secret language between all Filipinos,” says Zerl. “We originally thought of having using the MRT/LRT map, but then it didn’t seem very exciting design-wise so the idea evolved to include the whole of Metro Manila!”

Filipino elements

They worked with design agency Punchdrunk Panda and artist Kasey Albano to create the Manila-inspired Mighty Wallet.

“Being a funky local agency, Punchdrunk Panda immediately understood the quirky Filipino vibe we were going for—something youthful, inventive, original. They helped define the concept and dictate the look of the design. PdP recommended Kasey. We looked at her portfolio and when we saw her charming illustrations, vibrant graphics, and quirky maps, we were sold.”

This limited-edition design includes Manila landmarks and very Pinoy elements, from street food and jeepneys to Araneta Coliseum and the Edsa shrine. The illustrations are unlabeled and part of the fun is identifying them.

“We like the ones that are not too obvious and will make the customers think. Like San Juan’s icons with the pail of water (to represent the fiesta) and DVDs and pearls (to represent Greenhills). The food icons like the plate of pansit to represent Malabon and the balut to represent Pateros are also very Filipino. New landmarks have also been included like the Mind Museum in Taguig and the casino in Pasay. And of course there are the Filipino iconic symbols like the jeepney, which are located both in QC to represent UP Ikot and Las Piñas to represent the jeep factories located there. We love that people will have fun guessing the icons and the landmarks they represent!”

The Manila-inspired Mighty Wallet is now available at Quirks in Shangri-La Plaza and Power Plant Mall for P830. Visit www.quirksph.com.

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Tags: Michelle Chan , Mighty Wallet , Zerline Chan Ortiz-Luis

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