For better or worse, Cebuanos have developed a reputation for being fickle-minded. And there’s some truth to it.
One minute the whole town will be hanging out at one hotspot, only to abandon it as soon as the newest one opens its doors. “Give it two years” is a common catchphrase many will repeat of any restaurant, bar or club.
On its third voyage to Cebu in early December, however, it looks like Louis Vuitton has overcome this town’s two-year attention limit, eliciting the same excitement this year as they did the previous two. The Louis Vuitton events in Cebu have always followed the same format of a three-day trunk show with a by-invitation cocktail on the first night. This year was no different.
What was new, though, was the venue. While the brand’s first two trunk shows in Cebu were held away from the city, in Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, this year’s event took place right in the heart of the metropolis, at the Social Hall of the newly opened ParkPoint Residences in Cebu Business Park.
The 210-sq m Social Hall was packed with 200 A-list guests at the cocktail hosted by Louis Vuitton Micronesia and Philippines general manager Rhea de Vera-Aguirre, who warmly welcomed guests. With her were Louis Vuitton Micronesia and Philippines merchandising supervisor Pamen Lacson and Louis Vuitton Philippines assistant PR manager Mary Reyes.
As what happened in its first two events, Louis Vuitton completely transformed the venue into a boutique of sorts. Walls were built, lights were hung, and a carpet was installed to identify the brand’s various collections, from women’s to men’s pieces from the Cruise 2017 collection as well as its innovative Horizon luggage and Blossom jewelry collections— both of which was brought to Cebu for the first time.
In its own precious corner, along with the jewelry, was also the biggest selection of exotic pieces to date. We hoped Santa was listening when we professed our love for the Twist handbag in blue and black python.
Beyond the merchandise, Louis Vuitton introduced a couple of new elements during the private cocktail party, as well. DJ Mikhail Schemm was flown in from Manila, as was a GIF photo booth that proved to be one of the event’s highlights.
As she watched Marguerite Lhuillier goofing off by the photo booth with Holly Dychangco and Rere Dakay, Lelet Heredia said, to the delight of the Louis Vuitton team: “There’s always a fun element to your parties each year. I remember you gave us those individual Möet & Chandon bottles the first year, and there was an artist who illustrated our portraits last year. This year, it must be this photo booth.”
Of course, a Louis Vuitton event would not be complete without free-flowing Möet & Chandon. And flow it did, along with a novel concept called Möet Imperial Ice, which is champagne served with ice and fresh fruits. Even the biggest skeptics, who were hesitant to have ice cubes in their wine glasses, became converts by the end of the evening.
While most of the guests had their fill of champagne, a few had to stay away from the alcohol, like expectant mothers Jacqueline Dy Pico-Ong, who came with her husband Dan, and Louis Vuitton client development manager Rima Ostwani, who looked like she was rehearsing for motherhood; we saw her taking selfies with 5-year-old Harvey and 2-year-old Fiona, who tagged along with their parents, Wolf and Kristalle Kekert.
While mom and dad mingled with the grownups, the kids were happy to play around with the Vito Selma furniture, as Louis Vuitton again worked with the Cebuano furniture designer for the third year in a row.
Harvey and Fiona weren’t the only kids in attendance, as 4-year old Kaitlynne Cuizon was also there, checking out the bags with her mom Chingbee and older sister Kathrynne. Talk about starting them young.
The Louis Vuitton Voyage Cebu 2016 made for a memorably fun night, and while a few champagne flutes were harmed, no bags were damaged.