Luxe finds from Andrés Vázquez-Prada’s merchandise and his bathroom counterBy Isabel Roces
Philippine Daily Inquirer
After working at Rustan’s as curator and buyer for the home division for seven years, Andrés Vázquez-Prada inevitably opened his shop, W/17 (named after its address at Warehouse 17, 2241 Pasong Tamo Ext., La Fuerza Compound, Makati).
W/17—a partnership with Andrés’ good friend Kaye Tiñga—has upscale interior finds from all over the globe. It’s a spacious store of luxurious furniture, covetable art, vintage items and homeware, some of which Andrés himself designed.
It’s a foregone conclusion that someone with great design sensibility would have a penchant for sprucing up not just the bathroom counter but what’s on it as well.
His skincare regimen is just as luxe as his merchandise.
I started W/17 because… It’s always been my dream to have a place of my own, where I could give free reign to my personal style and create a space with beautiful and unique items that can’t be found anywhere else in the Philippines.
One of my frustrations is that there are so many wonderful things for the home that aren’t available here. Why go abroad to buy them? Why not have everything we want here? It was when my friend and [business] partner, Kaye Tiñga, and I were decorating our houses that everything just fell into place. We shared a lot of ideas; we made a great team, and she has excellent taste. We were talking one day and decided to make the jump. It was something we both wanted and had been waiting for the right time to do.
My favorite thing about W/17 is… We carefully curate each and every piece. Everything here is good enough to have in my own home. And since we get only a few pieces of each item, it hurts sometimes when it’s bought because it won’t be in the store anymore.
Important pieces to have at home are… More than a specific type of item, I think antiques [in general] make one of the best investments. They are not one-dimensional. They come from a place, a time, a history different from ours. And as each piece is unique, it says something about the owner’s personal style as well.
When designing a space, I believe that… Every single detail is important. From big pieces of furniture down to the tiniest accessory, everything has to be chosen carefully. A home is supposed to be one’s favorite place.
When buying furniture, my advice is… Invest in pieces that stand the test of time and make sure everything is exactly where you would like it, and you won’t have anything to worry about in the long run.
The single craziest item I’ve ever found for the store is… A horseshoe crab on a gorgeous shagreen base. It is one of the oldest and most fascinating creatures in the world. I love its uniqueness and its historical value. That’s what W/17 is all about.
My favorite place to find amazing décor is… The world is full of people with wonderful and unique ideas that I can’t really pinpoint just one place. We source our pieces from all over the world precisely because there are so many beautiful things out there and we want people here (in the Philippines) to be able to experience them without having to travel.
When it comes to my expertise, I’ve been told that… I have an eye for special things. I usually know what I want as soon as I see it, and most of the things I enjoy are distinctive and unique.
To de-stress… I have to do something to treat myself. A foot spa, facials, anything that makes me feel good and puts me at ease. I usually go to Belo for all my treatments.
I can’t seem to get enough of… Scents. Scents evolve and I’m always on the lookout for new and rare ones to try. I love scents by Jean Claude Ellena, Dominique Ropion and François Demachy, to name a few. One of my favorites that has sadly been discontinued is Cologne Blanche by Dior. To make them last longer, it’s best to keep them out of sunlight, and rooms with cooler temperatures.
I have a penchant for white teeth… I’m very specific about the items I use. My favorite brands are Marvis (toothpaste) and Botot (mouthwash and toothpaste). Botot is actually one of the oldest brands; it’s been around since the 1700s.
Products that are a staple in my bathroom are… ZO Medical Hydrafirm Eye Cream, Dr. Perricone Citrus Facial Wash, Listerine Vibrant White Pre-Brush Rinse, Camo Paste for my hair, Molton Brown black pepper body wash, Santa Maria Novella mint soap, and Pycnogenol and Heliocare. Pycnogenol is a French maritime pine bark extract anti-aging supplement that makes your skin look and feel better. I use Heliocare Ultra Oral for sunblock.
As Andrés points out, it’s important to take fastidious care of your skin, especially when your work requires meeting clients daily. Your overall hygiene speaks volumes; and your clients would appreciate dealing with someone looking well-groomed and well-rested.
A good moisturizer is a must. Your face cream is the most important thing you put on every day, so it has to be worthy—like Clinique’s new Repairwear Uplifting SPF15/PA++ Firming cream.
This game-changing skin staple combines lightweight moisture with serious skin-firming agents and sun protection, sans the heavy white residue.
A month’s use can result in more prominent-looking cheeks, a visibly smoother neck and firm jawline. Available at Rustan’s department stores and Clinique counters and boutiques for a retail price of P5,950.
Some of Andrés’ choice products are from Rustan’s department store and Watsons, while his vitamin supplements are from Healthy Options.
W/17 is at Warehouse 17B, La Fuerza Compound I, 2241 Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati; tel. 4781717, 4789183; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; website (up by the second quarter of 2013) w17home.com