Yes, let me enjoy and gloat. I directed and photographed Rocio Olbes for Vogue Italia. Manjo Zalamea produced the video and was my videographer, Matt Gozum and Shahani Gania were my stylists, Ines Lobregat did the hair and makeup, and Rocio Olbes is the star.
How did we get the chance to be in Vogue Italia? Thanks to Rocio Ltd.’s creative and marketing genius, Europe noticed the labels creations, which have been featured in top international fashion magazines such as Vogue UK, British Elle, Grazia, Elle Japan, and top publications in the Middle East and Russia. Hence, Vogue Italia invited her to be a Voguette.
Voguette is a special section in Vogue Italia, where they feature young women who have made a mark on the fashion and arts scene. Rocio offers an insight into being a Filipino designer for a British label. Her style is seldom seen in the European market. Thus, the interest to feature her and her work, as something different from that of previous women they have featured.
Normally, Voguette provides a team to do both the photographic and video requirements. However, this time, Vogue Italia permitted a feature to be produced by a local team.
Thank God for Rocio’s trust in me; she gave me complete freedom to choose the people involved in the production, hence my participation and exposure in the project.
People have texted me wondering where they can find the bags, as they can’t seem to find it in Manila. Well, there is a reason for that. You see, Rocio Ltd. is a British label. They sell it in over 34 countries, with France and Italy as their strongest market. Rocio Ltd. recently launched in Japan, and just won an award two months ago in Tokyo.
This is where the hands of Hamish Menzies, label president, and Tessa Nepomuceno, VP of global operations, can be felt. Their effort to spread the label around the world has not been a walk in the park, considering how crowded the fashion market is.
It does make you proud that a label that has been noticed internationally like this has two Filipinos involved, and even if Rocio herself is half-Spanish by blood, she is pure Filipino at heart. But haven’t you noticed the trend? Only if a Filipino is recognized abroad do we claim them to be ours? Yet when these people start in the Philippines, little or no support is given to them, be it in fashion, sports and the arts. Maybe I am just imagining this.
Rocio is a hit among global fashionistas, proud to be Filipina. Her bags are made of the hardwood acacia, and small purses and clutches bear her signature design and come embellished with pearls, gems, beads and hand-painted handles. And in a world awakened by fears of global warming, eco-friendly and sustainable products such as these bags are sure to excel. Rocio makes it a point to plant three acacia trees for every one she harvests to address environmental issues.
Rocio Ltd. was nominated for the UK Fashion Export Award by HRH Princess Anne in 2007 and won the prestigious Rocco Award for International Trade in the same year. And in a feature on Vogue.com entitled “Bags of Style,” she and her partner were praised for their wonderful pieces of bag art.
In 2009, Rocio Ltd. was featured in the global coffee-table book “Bag,” alongside industry legends and heavyweights such as Hermès, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, and many more.
The fashionably artistic collection of wooden bags is now sold in over 30 stores internationally, including the ultra-chic L’Eclaireur in Paris, La Basilica in Barcelona, and Carouzos in Greece.
To see more of Rocio, check out my tumblr blog: http://raymundisaacblog.tumblr.com. And be proud.