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Backstage Pass

A look at Ito Kish’s spacious setup and grooming rituals

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ITO Kish’s store

For eclectic yet laid-back designed interiors and furniture, there’s no better place than Kish.

Rich colors, layered looks and interesting oddities abound in the store, and if that wasn’t inviting enough, proprietor Ito Kish’s “come in and stay a while” personality makes a shopping trip feel like a visit to a friend’s cozy home.

So, I invited myself to his shop and found out about the style of the style-maker himself.

Ambiance

From the merchandise, it should be pretty obvious that the shop owner has great design sensibility. The store’s warm and inviting ambiance draws you in, while seemingly endless vignettes of salvaged furniture and curiosities keep you turning corners and exploring the spacious setup for hours.

ITO Kish

He recently won at the Manila FAME 2012 for best booth design, not to mention best product design for furniture.

Inventory aside, the highlight of the Kish experience is running into Ito himself. Not surprisingly, his love of design and hospitality extends well beyond work. So sit back, relax, and open yourself to his sensibilities.

Ideas

One place I keep going back to for design ideas is… New York City. I have a creative love affair with NYC. There is always something new to see.

I’m on a constant search for pieces that… tell a story, that can inspire me.

I cherish design pieces that are simple and beautiful.

For my latest collection (Manila FAME, March 2013), I’ve chosen to work with… solihiya because it is Filipino and it has grace and character especially in the ways you can use it.

CETAPHIL skin cleanser

The most fascinating piece of furniture I’ve seen is … the Gregoria that I designed. I did  not expect that it will look beautiful in every angle. I also like the Panton chair for its simplicity.

I won’t hesitate to splurge on… a good pair of shoes.

When it comes to traveling, I’ve become an expert at… packing. In my last travel to Paris and Copenhagen last month, I was allowed two pieces of luggage at 30 kg. It was winter time and I managed to check in one luggage at 14 kg with one hand-carry item. How come so unbelievably light when it is winter? I realized that I need only a few shirts and a couple of jackets to protect me from the cold. During winter, the jacket is important while the rest is just about comfort and basics.

When travelling, my toiletry essentials are… La Mer moisturizer and eye balm. Clinique scuffing lotion, Cetaphil cleanser and sun block by Neutrogena.

 

Toiletry essentials

The one perfume I’ve been loyal to for ages is… Eau Savage Extreme by Christian Dior.  I’ve been loyal to that same cologne for the last 20 years. It kind of disappeared in the market for a while. There was a time I could not find it in Rustan’s or any other retailers. When I went to Paris years ago I also could not find it. That same trip brought me to Prague, where I saw it at the airport. Elated, I bought four bottles right away.

A skincare product I swear by is… La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream. I’ve been using La Mer for the last seven years now and I know my skin is better. I attended our 25th high-school reunion and I realized La Mer works (laughs).

Ito swears by the powerful ingredients packed in a bottle of La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream and eye balm. Why shouldn’t he? Nearly everyone who has tried it remains steadfast in their devotion to it.

The formula took 12 years and 6,000 clinical experiments to perfect. It’s infused with the restorative power of sea kelp which releases powerful antioxidants to replenish moisture and reduce visible puffiness. Clinical tests showed a 71-percent improvement in clarity immediately after use.

La Mer  Moisturizing Soft Cream, 1 oz/30 ml,  P8,100; 2 oz/60 ml, P14,200. La Mer Eye Concentrate, P9,625. Available at Rustan’s department store.

Kish is at 233 N. Garcia Street, Bel-Air, Makati City, 1209 Philippines; tel. 8968366.

Ito’s choice products come from Rustan’s department store and his bath and body products from Watsons.


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