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Martine Cajucom: Next in line |


Martine Cajucom: Next in line

Tim Yap - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - I’m liking it here,” she says in a very relaxed tone. Not the perky, cheerleader type or the deadpan chick, Martine Cajucom is just chill. “You must meet my cousin Martine!” Georgina Wilson and Belle Daza would always tell me.

I’d often see Martine whenever she’s visiting Manila, but always on her last night out before she goes back to LA where she used to be based. Now, she’s back for good. “I felt it was the right time to go back. The energy felt right. This is where the action’s at,” said Martine when we sat down for dinner one night to welcome a well-known American chef based in New York.

Fresh from Los Angeles where she spearheaded marketing campaigns for American Apparel, Martine is back in Manila, reunited with her cousins. She’s the new pretty girl on the block. One night, I see her in the club; another night, I see her with a cactus plant, happily igniting the green thumb of her “It” girl brood. Balance, a good sense of self, and a sense of humor, yes Martine Cajucom has it.

You may have already spotted her in the Instagram posts of Belle and Georgina, so Supreme decided we give her a proper welcome and introduction. So, lads and ladies, meet Martine Cajucom.

SUPREME: You’ve had quite a successful career abroad, why did you decide to move back? 

MARTINE CAJUCOM: Manila has always been home to me as much as LA. I knew it was only a matter of time when I would find myself back here. There is so much creativity and talent in the Philippines and it would be an honor to contribute to it.

What was the tipping point that told you it was time to be back in the Philippines? 

Earlier this year, Georgina (Wilson), Bea (Soriano), and Eric (Dee Jr.) approached me about Sunnies by Charlie, a new contemporary eyewear and lifestyle brand.  The business immediately resonated with me and I enthusiastically signed on as their creative director and now part owner.

I wanted to bring a relaxed, approachable coolness to the brand that would feel fresh in this market. Most of our campaign is shot on film with guerrilla photography and styling. 

Sunnies has already exhibited considerable success and is growing quite rapidly, so making the big move to Manila was only natural. It’s an exhilarating time for new businesses and young entrepreneurs. We’re already on the path of opening 10 kiosks by the end of the year!

Was it hard to say goodbye to LA?

I prefer the term “see you later” to “goodbye.” Through the years, it was always so difficult to leave Manila, but I always knew I’d be back. It’s not goodbye forever, Los Angeles; I prefer to see it as a grand “see you later.”

What role did your cousins Georgina Wilson and Belle Daza play in your decision? How big of an influence are they in your life? 

Our family is so incredibly close, so it’s no surprise that George and Belle were major influences in my decision to move back.  We’ve never all lived together in the same place, so this is a really special time in our lives. My sister Cathy (Da Roza Romero-Salas) and brother Robin (Da Roza) have also been very supportive and encouraging of my move.

Based on your experiences around the world, what are the things that we Filipinos still need to work on? 

The talent and passion here throughout all creative industries could rival international levels, so I would like to see more truly unique ideas emerging from here. There is a difference between drawing inspiration and replicating, which I think is where we fall short sometimes.

What would you change about Filipinos?

Too much white under-eye makeup. The range of skin color here is so beautiful; people should be proud of their natural color.

What are your immediate plans now that you’re back? 

I’ve worked as a creative advisor to American Apparel for four years now. The spectrum of my contributions to the company ranged from marketing strategies to garment design, styling, photography, and modeling as well. I hope to bring that international experience here.

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The new. The now. And the next at



Photos by BJ PASCUAL

Sittings by DAVID MILAN




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