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No rule: Ito Kish on holiday decor, upcoming collaborations |

Modern Living

No rule: Ito Kish on holiday decor, upcoming collaborations

Kathleen A. Llemit -
No rule: Ito Kish on holiday decor, upcoming collaborations
Furniture designer Ito Kish with his works.

MANILA, Philippines — Notable furniture designer Ito Kish said this year, people are free to let loose and enjoy the holidays in their own spaces with no rules on how these would look like. 

Ito sat down with to share his thoughts on furniture design and how to spruce up one's space for the holidays. 

"I think a lot of people are so eager to bring out their Christmas trees this year. I think this is probably the first Christmas tree after the pandemic na solid na solid na medyo masaya ka na. You know, there is no fear anymore, that there'll be a lockdown," he began. 

"In terms of rule, I think there will be no rules. I think it's just a matter of being festive. So I think that's how it looks like," he added. 

Journey to the 'Hidden Place'

One glance at Ito's showroom and non-descript warehouse already gives the impression that Ito is all about stories. 

For one, his showroom requires a good sense of direction because it does not stand out even if it is only along J.P. Rizal Avenue in Makati. The red gate beside Shell station is the only known landmark. 

The probability of getting lost for many first timers is high. But that's part of its charm. And Ito said, he plans to retain that non-descript gate. 

"We're what we call the hidden place. Even the gate is not really the nice one. But I think that's part of the journey," Ito noted. 

But once inside his showroom, many of the curated pieces, mostly his notable furniture, beckon the eyes to give them a glance for their remarkable design, familiarity and attention to detail. 

Ito calls his DNA as understated, clean, and undeniably Filipino. 

"It's because my design language is Filipino. Anything I design, everything is inspired by being Filipino. I also believe that Philippine design should be out there kasi if you look at Philippine design in terms of furniture, it's kind of wobbly. You do not know what... That's why when you look around, you can see a very clear DNA that is actually Ito Kish. Easily," he shared. 

His showroom actually showcases many of his designs, including his famous Gregoria chair. Wooden balustrades make up this piece-de-resistance named after his mother. This piece put Ito Kish on the map. 

Collaboration is key

Kish is a designer who loves to collaborate. Many of his collaborations include works with fashion designers Rajo Laurel and Len Cabili and potter Joey de Castro. His Baluster collection even made it into graphic tees with his collaboration with Zarah Juan. 

In his showroom, there are about 15 collections and about 98 pieces out. 

"Even in what I do and even in collabs, it's always Filipino. This is a way of elevating what Filipino design is — is really pushing the boundary and for the younger generation to appreciate what Filipino design, history and tradition is all about," he said. 

Ito said that his collaboration next year includes one with New York-based jewelry designer Federico Devera. 

His most recent this year is with Metrobank, which recently relaunched its Metrobank World Mastercard. Select cardholders were able to get discounts at Ito Kish for a limited time since the card was relaunched. 

The card's improved features include:

  • More miles for every peso spend with every cardholder earning one mile for every P17 spend on foreign currency; 
  • Cardholders will get two complimentary passes per year at over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide via DragonPass. They can avail of a 20% discount from AXA full-trip Smart Traveller Insurance;
  • For a limited period until April 30, 2024, cardholders can enjoy a low foreign exchange conversion fee of only 1.85% for every foreign currency purchase; 
  • Deals in its over 4,000 partner stores and restaurants in the US, the UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines. 

As for Ito's other pursuits, he teased about a new dining concept that he's hoping to launch next early next month. 

RELATED: Ito Kish and Rajo Laurel reunite in new tablescape

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