Hermès pulls off swinging reception in–surprise–a basketball court | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

HERMÈS turns San Lorenzo basketball court into chic venue. THELMA SIOSON SAN JUAN

How does Hermès top Hermès—when it comes to a luxury and A-list party?

Just when one thought the luxury launch bar couldn’t be raised any longer, Hermès opened its home section on the second floor of its Makati Avenue flagship store last Tuesday, and needing bigger space, bused its guests to a surprise venue for the after-cocktails reception.

The second-level home section is small by Maison standards but what it lacks in space, it makes up for with the hot-ticket selection.

It contains the top sellers of Hermès Maison worldwide—from the minimalist Pantographe desk lamp, curvy work desk made of Canaletto walnut with tabletop covered in bull calf leather, leather sofa with oak frame to the coffeetable-storage in one and orange velvet cushions.

From the store, the guests hopped on the bus bound for an unknown destination—which turned out to be the San Lorenzo village in the vicinity.

Hopping down from the bus at the San Lorenzo park, the guests marveled at how the basketball court was now tented—and air-conditioned.

Hermès had turned the San Lorenzo sports hall into a chic, elegant hall—with dramatic lighting, white drapery covering the ceiling, and tall modern sculptures distributed strategically in the venue.

These sculptures were cut paperboard covered in automotive paint in bright colors. They also served as cocktail table stands.

They were designed in Paris and executed here.

Hotel staff passed around filling cocktail food ranging from tofu to steaks, and drinks.

The band played all night, hits from today to the ’80s, with world-renowned theater artist Leo Valdez, who’s a good client of Hermès and Bulgari, allowing himself to be dragged to the stage to sing.

How did Hermès think of a gated village basketball court? Our one guess was that Hermès country head here, Mario Katigbak, was from there.

Another surprise that evening was the presence of a teener, Nikki Huang, the eldest of Anton and Nina Huang of the SSI Group.

Only a sophomore, Nikki isn’t only stylish but is also very articulate about retail, marketing and the brands she loves.

The photo that night of the three-generation Tantoco—Anton and his mother, Nedy, the visionary behind Rustan’s and SSI now, and Nikki—was actually another precious surprise of the evening. Thelma S. San Juan

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