Tavolata transformed

Cebu’s well-heeled crowd welcomed the weekend with an exclusive cocktail at The Abaca Group’s Tavolata, hosted by Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI), the company responsible for bringing our favorite luxury and fashion brands to the Philippines. SSI, led by its Executive Vice President, Anton Huang, had good reason to celebrate indeed. Not only did they recently open Gap, F&F, Muji, and soon Aeropostale in Cebu, but last March 14 marked the opening of Zara at the Ayala Center Cebu Expansion. SSI is particularly proud of Zara Cebu’s 2,113 square-meter store because it adheres to the latest brand image based on its four principles: beauty, clarity, functionality and sustainability. The store’s design emphasizes simplicity as part of its on-going mission to facilitate direct contact with customers making shopping simple. It was no wonder that most of the guests at the affair came fashionably dressed in Zara.

Store Specialists Inc.'s EVP Anton Huang with the evening's Chic Couple Awardees Derek and Mary Anne Arculli Singer Abby Asistio

Those who were invited to the private cocktail were in for a treat as SSI pulled out all the stops in showing Cebu its gratitude for the warm welcome. Upon arrival, guests were surprised to see their favorite hotspot, Tavolata, transformed just for the evening. A black carpet covered the industrial concrete floors, silver mirrored panels rose up to the height of the restaurant’s high-ceiling, chic all-white floral centerpieces decorated the venue, and numerous candles were scattered all over the venue for added drama. Throughout the night, guests were treated with free flowing wine and champagne.

It was an evening of fashion coupled with cool music as guests grooved to the tunes of one of the country’s hottest DJ’s, Mars Miranda and the entrancing vocals of Abby Asistio. As part of the celebration, SSI gave out awards to the evening’s best-dressed. Teresin Mendezona and Gretchen Uy were awarded as the evening’s Style Queens, while Protacio Empaces and Michael Sanchez were Style Kings. Derek and Mary Anne Arculli were named Chic Couple of the night, while mother-daughter, Anna Hyatt and Reona Ido shared the Style DNA award.

All the winners wore pieces by Zara, but their style was all their own, prompting SSI Executive Vice President Anton Huang to say, “Cebuanos are really stylish in nature and we at SSI are just excited to offer them more choices to fulfill their fashionable needs. As we celebrate SSI’s entry to Cebu, we are also celebrating yet another way for SSI to live up to our mission of bringing many of the world’s best lifestyle brands accessible to Filipinos.”

About Stores Specialists, Inc.
Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI) is a wholly Filipino-owned corporation established in 1987 with the mission of pioneering into freestanding specialty store concepts. It broke ground in specialty retailing by expanding its distribution through freestanding stores in prime shopping malls in Metro Manila. Through the last two decades, SSI grew its retailing operations by acquiring the exclusive marketing and franchise rights to some of the finest and most prestigious international brands in the world. It is now the leading specialty store retailer in the Philippines, trading over 600 stores to date.

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