Now that the gift-giving season is here, shoppers are on the lookout for unique gift items for the nice ones on their lists.
National Book Store has launched a collection of products personally and passionately designed by some of the country’s most loved artists and influencers, each one exhibiting the designer’s personal style and creativity without compromising form and function.
Here are the seven movers and shakers who have worked with National Book Store to create an extraordinary selection of stationery, accessories and gift items inspired by what they are truly passionate about.
Cecile Van Straten
Before becoming an online star with the success of her blog Chuvaness.com, Cecile Van Straten was a fashion designer. She even had a shop in Glorietta called Defect, which sold the most unique pieces of streetwear available at the time.
“I’m bored with anything normal. I’m always looking for something I haven’t seen before,” Cecile says on her personal style.
For her new line, Cecile juxtaposes her playful aesthetic with touches of nostalgia. Think checkbook holders in bright hues and money envelopes with designs inspired by photos of the National Book Store old branch on Avenida.
Rissa is a model, beauty columnist and entrepreneur. Her collection utilizes shapes, folds and color blocking as part of the design. The Japanese origami-inspired items symbolize the marriage of quality, function and beauty.
“It’s for the modern individual who loves beautiful things but wants them to be practical,” Rissa says of her collection.
When artist Patty Eustaquio was brainstorming on what to do for her collaboration with National Book Store, she decided that she wanted to come up with items that people could really use but would still complement her sensibilities as an artist.
The result is a line of everyday stationery such as gift wrapper and note cards bearing Patty’s illustration of the gumamela or hibiscus flower.
“I don’t like things that take themselves too seriously, and I don’t like objects that just follow fads,” Patty says when asked to describe her personal style. She knows that during yuletide season, snow, pine trees and Christmas colors are normally integrated into gift wrapper designs, so she decided to go a bit off-kilter.
“I wanted to add a more tropical feel to these items, and make them more timeless and universal so they can be used even beyond Christmas,” she said.
Cat Arambulo’s line of gift wrapper and note cards couldn’t be more different from Patty’s. Whereas Patty’s design is very feminine and delicate, Cat’s X and O patterns and use of black and white make for a very hip and youthful line of products.
The X and O patterns represent hugs and kisses. Cat shares, “I feel that it’s very important to give back, because I’ve been so blessed throughout my life. And I think that giving hugs and kisses to everyone in the world will make everyone happy.”
Rajo’s collection is inspired by the concept of randomness. He used pencil, pen, ink, and paintbrush strokes, and later on decided to incorporate some thread and stitching, which doesn’t come as a surprise given that he is one of the country’s most sought after fashion designers.
Rajo is very happy with the designs he produced, which now appear on tote bags and pen sets and journals.
“It’s something that’s artfully made and special, something that really came from my hands,” he said.
Amina Aranaz Alunan
For designer, “bagpreneur” and School of the Fashion and the Arts co-founder Amina Aranaz Alunan, good design has to be a balance of functionality and aesthetics. She tends to prioritize aesthetics, however, and is always drawn by things that are strikingly beautiful.
Her personal style is very feminine, a manifestation of her love for intricate details, which is seen in her line for National Book Store.
The primarily pink and green nature-inspired folder set, file holders and desk organizers exhibit Amina’s flair for the ultra-feminine and intricately
Known for her work as a broadcast journalist, producer and TV host, not too many people know that Daphne has a natural inclination towards art, that she used to paint, and that she graduated with a specialization in Fine Arts History.
Her first collaboration with National Book Store was inspired by the names of her three daughters—which were all flower names. Her new line of products, which is composed journal sets and pouches, still involves flora and was inspired by a hashtag she uses—#MyTropicalLife.
Daphne shares: “In my house, I’m surrounded by flowers. I love herbs and trees and I’m trying to be a gardener. And I have all these antique stuff in a Filipino house.”
“I put together the whole look. It’s gonna have humble flowers like gumamela, calachuchi, bougainvillea, the tropical birds of paradise. And textures—solihiya, banig, capiz windows. Things that surround me in my own home,” Daphne shared in an interview with Super.
These limited-edition items are available in selected National Book Store branches. 8888-NBS(627); visit www. nationalbookstore.com.