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Living life to the fullest

By: - Columnist
/ 05:42 AM December 02, 2018

Passion has always been the driving force of the Stores Specialists Inc. (SSI) Group, the leading luxury retailer in the Philippines.


For the past 30 years, the company has tirelessly worked on bringing the best of lifestyle to the country via its curated selection of brands from all over the world.

SSI recently launched “The Curated Life,” a campaign to inspire, enable, indulge and rally its consumers to pursue a life well lived. More than just a tag line, “The Curated Life” is anchored on passion in particular, for living to the fullest and striving only for the best.


“The Curated Life” brings together over 30 individuals to share their vision and show off their creativity, ingenuity, and commitment to their craft.

All 30 are purveyors from various industries and social enterprise. They share a passion that will hopefully inspire today’s generation in ways that exceed expectations, always pushing boundaries and elevating the Filipino lifestyle to a class of its own.

The #PassionForward campaign features a photo exhibit by recognized industry photographers Mark Nicdao, Kai Huang and Cyrus Panganiban, with photographer hobbyists Kyla Olives and Paul Soriano.

At the launch, Arnel Patawaran, who wrote “The Curated Life” told me how amazing it was that SSI is celebrating three decades of knowing what matters to the Filipino consumer.

The grand celebration was held at the new Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bonifacio Global City. Rustan’s patriarch, Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco, headed the Tantoco clan in welcoming their guests.

At the gallery exhibit, I was delighted to see my dramatic black-and-white photo that Paul  took many months ago.

As a loyal customer of the SSI-owned stores and Rustan’s as well, I feel like I’m almost family. In fact, I was recently at Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza branch for two days in a row.


Tiffany tree

In celebration of the holidays, Tiffany & Co. showcased its first-ever Christmas tree in the Philippines. Decorated with Tiffany boxes, snow globes, Tiffany Blue satin and matte silver balls, faceted and inverted drops, and capped with elf decors, the six-meter-tall tree is stationed by the entrance of the second floor of Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza Department Store until mid-January 2019.

This holiday season, Tiffany & Co. introduced the latest chapter of its “Believe in Dreams” campaign, which takes viewers behind the scenes of a Tiffany workshop, where surprising and surreal moments unfold, featuring a star-studded cast of characters.

Tiffany & Co. presents a fresher yet still sophisticated look for its newest boutique at the second level, Grand Atrium, Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza.

The façade showcases designs inspired by Tiffany’s New York flagship boutique— brushed stainless steel and blue glass carved with a wheat-leaf design, a take from the Manhattan location.

Luxurious glass art

The next day, I was back at Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza for the launch of the new collection of Lalique, the most luxurious art pieces in glass.

Founded in 1988, by French glass designer René Lalique, the eponymous lifestyle brand continues to thrive, pushing the limits of French savoir-faire, soaring to greater heights, and enduring as the ultimate symbol of French luxury.

From superb crystal perfume bottles, timeless jewelry and art objects, to the ultra-

sophisticated, five-star hotel and two-starred Michelin gourmet restaurant Villa Rene Lalique, Maison Lalique can look back with pride to the immeasurable heritage built by its founder.

The precision of Lalique’s design echoes the purity of crystal, fashioned by the best artisans in the crystal factory.

At the launch, I spoke to Daniel Ong, Lalique regional director for Southeast Asia and Oceania, who discussed the most beautiful piece in the collection—the limited edition Hirondelles glass vase. Lalique made only 130 pieces to commemorate their 130th anniversary, exclusively available at Rustan’s.

In closing, may I invite you to the Noel Bazaar at The Filinvest Tent in Alabang for an indoor bazaar today, Dec. 2, and also on Dec. 13-16, and finally, on Dec. 20-23, plus an outdoor food bazaar happening all month up to Dec. 23.

Happy shopping!

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