Latest Stories

From the PH map, it’s back to the key for C2


ONHIM, single jersey long-sleeve colorblocked top and royal pique shorts; on her, panel stripe pique polo and training pants

After months of working under the radar, Noel Crisostomo and Stephanie Sarmiento-Valdez debuted as Collezione C2’s creative directors Thursday with a fashion show featuring Jericho Rosales.

The actor is the brand’s newest endorser.

Joey Qua, president of C2 Retail Stores Inc., decided to delay the formal introduction of Crisostomo and Valdez while the brand reassessed its direction and beefed up its merchandise after former creative director Rhett Eala left the company early this year.

Collezione, a reputable but staid brand made primarily of pique, a knitted material composed of cotton and polyester, languished in the wake of competition until Eala came up with the graphic design of the Philippine map embroidered on shirts.

The Philippine map became a global icon and spelled a turnaround for Collezione.

Crisostomo, who takes care of the men’s line, and Valdez, of the ladies’ line, have agreed to downplay the Philippine map in favor of the brand’s equally iconic key logo.

Reinventing the pique

“With this collection, we try to reinvent the pique,” said Crisostomo of his men’s wear. “I tried to veer away from the typical polo shirt by putting more attention to details. The collars and closures, for instance, are a little different.”

Now that the brand has been firmly reestablished, the two designers want to appeal to a more discerning and upscale market.

BLACK and “sunkist” shift dress

Collezione C2, which marks its 40th anniversary this year, has 28 branches nationwide. Its C2 line appeals to a younger, more adventurous market, while the Collezione line is aimed at a more mature and conservative clientele.

Valdez came up with a more varied offering for women in the form of figure-hugging playsuits with peek-a-boos at the back. Since not all women are comfortable wearing body-con dresses, she also designed figure-skimming numbers that downplay and even conceal problem areas such as the hips and tummy.

“I also designed a number of dresses with looser silhouettes made of stretch pique,” said Valdez. “I used a lot of bold colors combined with classic shades such as white, black and navy.”

In lieu of basic and shapeless shirt dresses, there would be more tailored playsuits made of pique. Crisostomo has also introduced pique shorts for men.

RTW culture

Both designers are steeped in the ready-to-wear culture. Crisostomo, a Filipino-Canadian, who also does made-to-order clothes including bridal gowns, had his own RTW line in Toronto while teaching fashion design at Ryerson University.

He started out as a men’s wear designer for private labels in Canada before trying his hand in women’s wear. He also worked for Club Monaco, Shanghai-based Ports 1961 and Toronto-based designer Sunny Choi before returning to the Philippines in 2007.

Valdez, then fresh out of fashion school, worked for a time with furniture designer Budji Layug. She then joined Rustan’s early in the new millennium under Joel Tantoco, and collaborated with Dennis Lustico to work on the U line.

For a time, she also designed for in-house brands of Rustan’s such as Oleg Cassini and Salt, the department store chain’s premium men’s wear line.

Apart from doing Collezione’s women’s line, she designs for Due, the company’s other retail brand exclusively for women. Valdez also does interiors on the side with her interior designer-sister.

Different worlds

Before working with Collezione, the two didn’t know each other. Now, since they need to come up with a cohesive look, they make it a point to work together at Collezione’s Pasig office at least once or twice a week.

COLLEZIONE’S new creative directors Noel Crisostomo and Stephanie Sarmiento-Valdez

That they come from different worlds, as Valdez put it, has worked to their advantage. Instead of treating each other as rivals, they work as partners. They’ve also collaborated on select pieces.

“Noel and I are really part of a team. When he, for instance, comes up with something I like, which would really work as a his-and-hers look, we discuss the possibility of doing it. We do things better together,” Valdez said.

It’s part of the Filipino culture for a good number of couples to wear matching outfits. Although it’s not a big market, it has a substantial presence worth catering to.

“We also ventured into and sometimes created colors and combinations that weren’t usually used,” said Crisostomo. “And since we work as partners, we’re pretty transparent on what we’re working on. The other party needs to know.”


Established brand

Crisostomo, who never used pique, was more excited than daunted, especially when he learned that the offer came from an established retail brand.

“It was really part of my plan to work with a retail company when I moved back to the Philippines,” he said. “It’s not that difficult to design using pique. In fact, ideas and inspirations kept coming. Stephanie and I really wanted to produce a line that’s different and unique, and I think we were able to achieve it.”

Collezione C2 will continue to sell woven sports shirts, bags and accessories for men and women.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Collezione C2 , fashion , Lifestyle , RTW

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Man found dead in Quezon City, alleged victim of summary execution–report
  • Aquino to lead Air Force turnover rites
  • Security in place for Obama as police hope for ‘peaceful’ visit
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician