From metal, tilapia skin, to shell: Beatriz Around the World

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star
From metal, tilapia skin, to shell: Beatriz Around the World

Beatriz designer Carissa Cruz-Evangelista. Photo by Mau Aguasin courtesy of PeopleAsia

Beatriz, the accessories brand launched by Carissa Cruz-Evangelista, has gone a long way from its humble beginnings — from the hammered metal clutch and bangles it launched four years ago at the Department of Trade and Industry’s Manila FAME trade show. From metal, the brand now also works with different mediums — thread, acrylic, natural grass, shell, semi-precious stones and even tilapia skin, cooperating with many livelihood communities in Luzon and the Visayas, and soon in Mindanao. The brand is also finding its own voice in the worldwide stage.

Beatriz presented recently its “Song of the Sea” collection at the 65th Manila FAME. The brand, known for its luxury and handcrafted clutches made of thread that caught the eye of Oprah Winfrey as one of her “Favorite Things” of 2016 and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is now exploring a new medium in shell. As part of the brand’s commitment to working with beautiful handwork of Filipino craftsmen, Beatriz is venturing into a new medium — shell, resin and mother-of-pearl — that will showcase its unique and attractive designs and handmade artistry.

Carissa has won the genetic lottery especially when it comes to creativity. Her mother Gina de Venecia paints, her father Philip Cruz builds edifices while her paternal aunt Josie Natori runs the highly successful Natori line of lingerie, haute couture and home products.

Carissa, who was once a ranking official at the Department of Trade and Industry, is carving out a name for herself by venturing into clutches and jewelry. It’s her own world, shaped as intricately as her clutches and bangles. Recently, Beatriz was able to deliver to saks.com. “Being considered for Saks has been one of our biggest dreams,” Carissa shared. “We are proud to make it this far to saks.com and we are hoping for the best and pray we can be considered also for its stores worldwide. Sampling for stores is like an ‘audition’ of artists for a Broadway play. You don’t know if you will get a call back and are nervously hoping and waiting for a chance to be able to go on stage and perform.”

Beatriz was also considered recently to be part of a worldwide summer trunk show with www.modaoperandi.com. The brand is part of a trunk show online featuring up-and-coming and established brands in fashion and showing what they have to offer for Spring/Summer 2017 and one can buy these items immediately. The trunk show online runs until today, May 25. “We were so happy to be selected and we were even happier when we found out that we would be selling alongside another Filipino brand that we love and respect, Aranaz,” Carissa said.

Beatriz just joined Accessorie Circuit show at the Javits Convention Center in New York last May 7 to 9 and will join the Coast show in Florida on June 22 and 23 with the hope of booking more orders with US stores. The brand is also joining the Philippine delegation to Maison et Objet in Paris later this year.

“I realized that it is important to join shows outside the country and take a chance. With each show, you learn and you also meet clients, possible clients and know more about what is going on in the industry,” shared Carissa.

At present, Beatriz can be found in upscale boutiques in the US, France, Belgium, Monaco, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Australia and the Bahamas and in Rustan’s, Firma, House of Laurel, Cura V, Bijoux and Chimes.

Carissa, the young mother behind Beatriz, is still moving forward, with high hopes for her proudly Filipino brand and the local artisans she firmly supports.

(Some online selections may be found at www.vitostudio.com. Its stocks worldwide are listed on Beatrizph.com and news about the brand may be found on Instagram at @beatriz_accessories or on Facebook at beatrizbycarissa or beatrizaccessories.)


For its 20th anniversary, Cameleon presents Metamorphosis, a one-day circus show on May 29, 4 p.m., at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. Cameleon is an NGO dedicated to rehabilitating young girls — as young as five years old — in Western Visayas who are “survivors” of sexual abuse.

The circus show, which is open to the public, will feature nine excellent circus artists from France and Canada who will perform different acts like the cyr ring, aerial ring, aerial silk, cloud swing, Chinese pole, hand-to-hand acrobatics, tight wire and hula hoop. Cameleon girls will join the show to present their talent in contortion, diabolo and unicycle. According to Cameleon, circus is fully integrated into its rehabilitation program as it “allows the girls to come out of their shells, trust others, have fun and build a positive image of themselves.”

Stage director Luc Richard and circus teacher Patrick Mattioni will create and organize the show. Others who are expected to grace the show are KC Concepcion, a staunch supporter of Cameleon; singer Alienette Coldfire, a finalist in France Got Talent 2016; and French actress and aerial silk performer Sabrina Quazani.

(Metamorphosis is made possible by SM Mall of Asia, SM CARES, French National Circus School and Zonta Club of Makati-Ayala. For more information, visit www.cameleonassociation.org/en/cameleon-philippines-2/ or Cameleon Philippines on Facebook.)



(You may e-mail me at joanneraeramirez@yahoo.com.)

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