IIt’s got class, substance and style, says Anne Marie Conejero, who organized the launch of Alessi at the third level of the Ayala Center Cebu expansion wing.
The afternoon was extremely hot, but not at the Alessi showroom confines, no matter how thick the crowd grew. We’re sure it was not the heat outside that kept the guests in. There were some important factors.
One was the presence of Luca Alessi. The fourth generation scion of Giovanni Alessi, who in 1921 founded the company in the village of Omegna in Italy by Lake Orta in the foothills of the Alps.
Luca is the Alessi international sales development manager for the Asia-Pacific area. He went around explaining the items on display, and for sale, to everyone. He told them that his ancestor had a workshop processing mostly metals.
Today, Alessi brings about varied products, mostly for the household, using metals, yes, and also wood, glass and plastic (why not?).
What really matters is Alessi’s expertise in the field of design at which Italians excel, and the craftsmanship to produce the final results. Going through the Alessi shop was like a walk in Aladdin’s cave of surprises.
There were gleaming coffee makers, biscuit boxes, fruit baskets, banana holders (ever seen one?), honey dippers, pendulum clocks, which are but a few items in the stunning inventory.
And there were those corkscrews that look more like delicate figurines. “I’m wary to use them,” said Anne Marie, who was told that their frailty belie their sturdiness. Use them roughly, someone recommended.
Representing Alessi in the Philippines is Conlins—The Coffee Company whose president Harris Lim was present on this occasion.
Special guests at the opening was Cebu’s very own master of design, Kenneth Cobonpue. Luca Alessi presented him with a numbered Oficina Alessi piece. That means the same item is on display at the Alessi Design Museum in Italy.
Attending to the opening day guests were Alessi’s brand manager Claudine Rodriguez and Brunela Bighi, in charge of public relations and marketing, based in Hong Kong.
Cebu notables present included Amparito Lhuillier, Teresin Mendezona, Nonie Uy, Angelita Dy, Frances Siao, Deena Pages, Steve Benitez of Bo’s Coffee, with his mom Milagros Benitez, Chiqui Crystal and Jaja Chiong.
More: Marco and Kate Anzani with their little girls, Susan Farrarons, Loida Montesclaros, Joseph Alfafara, Jojo Arcenas, Antonio Nevada, and more.