Last March 20 at Z Bar Cebu, a Buyer’s Fashion Show for Vanita Lingerie Fashion treated Cebu women to a sophisticated bravura that forever changed the lingerie industry in the Metro. Organized by Cybill Gayatin and Kaye Luym of A-List Events, PR & Advertising, the Buyer’s night had MAC (Models Association of Cebu) models posing and strutting in gorgeous lingerie and swimwear created for Filipino women by Italian-born designer Fabiola Marin. (photos below are from Joseph Ong)
“Filipinas are very strong women, achievers at home, in school, in the arts, within the walls of corporations and even in public service. Knowing, let alone wearing, an intimo line specially designed for her blends perfectly well with her empowered image. I hope every Filipina will have at least one in her closet because really, Vanita is the only line that brings together Italian mastery, European systems and Japanese efficiency in a collaboration to flatter her,” designer Fabiola Marin said.
“When we decided to develop a line exclusively for the Filipina, we had to consider two things: the contour of her body because fit is of the utmost value when buying our products and her own perception of self so that we can blend the colors, style, designs, creativity, and tone that may bring those perceptions to life.”
Aptly called Vanita which comes very close to the word “vanity” defined by the dictionary as “being pleased with oneself,” and in Hindu it means the ‘essence of a woman, the lingerie collection has its roots in China, in a factory owned by the designer’s husband. Marin began eyeing possible markets like the Philippines where Vanita could fully achieve its full potential as the top choice of women when it comes to intimate apparel.
Raul Littaua, the company’s partner in charge of marketing, says the price range for items like Vanita brassieres is from P1,500 to P2,500, depending on the intricacies of the embroidery. Corsets go for approximately P6,000, while swimwear averages P2,000. It comprises three ranges: Blu for swimwear, Fiore for lingerie basics and Donna for more imaginative lingerie. Vanita has been likened to lingerie brands such as Kyle King, HydroChic, Victoria’s Secret, Monsoon, ASDA, and Grupo Arcte and now that this collection is conceived specially for the local market, Filipino women can now delight in the luxury of this new line of bodywear.
(selected photos from their website from top to bottom: Donna Collection)
“Vanita is a high-end, luxury brand,” says Aziza Mondoñedo, the exclusive distributor in Cebu. “Therefore our target market is the A/B crowd (very similar to Tinder Box customers). For now, we sell mainly to women, mostly in their mid-twenties and above, because this is the market that appreciates and spends for luxury items. We also sell to men who don’t mind buying these pieces for their significant others. Bottom line is, Vanita is for any woman who wants and knows how to feel sexy and glamorous from within. The important thing to note about Vanita is that it is not just underwear or swim wear; it is really more of a lifestyle. It is a vital piece of fashion, just like your little black dress. And once a line is sold out, it is not manufactured again, but a new line will be designed and released.”
The market in Cebu is actually mixed and when asked about the kind of women who would be wearing Vanita, Aziza said, “The vibe that I get from Cebuanos about fashion is very casual, comfortable, relaxed and laid back when it comes to day wear. However when the occasion calls for it, Cebu fashion is very glamourous and classy. Cebuano designers are also flourishing, making a very good mark on the Philippine fashion industry. I find the clothes of Cary Santiago and Jun Escario (among many other noteworthy Cebuano designers) to be very unique, glamourous, distinct and eye-catching. One day, I’d love to work w/these brilliant Cebuano designers and somehow incorporate Vanita into a true lady’s look.”
Vanita is available in both Manila and Cebu. In Manila, Vanitas has a showroom in Citibank Center while in Cebu, Tinder Box is the only distributor. You can contact their staff at the Tinder Box to view the sample items and order or contact Aziza herself at 09052449492 or at email@example.com for inquiries or orders and of course at their website at houseofvanita.com.
With this being said, you can really say that once you get a hand of that exquisite collection, you know you wouldn’t be seeing any of those displayed anytime and anywhere anymore. Isn’t wearing your innerwear as outerwear the new black this season?
Fabiola studied fashion design at the Instituto Marangoni Fashion and Design School in Milan, Europe’s leading fashion and design school which produced the best designers including Versace and Ferre.
She also had a 15-yeart stint as senior design manager with Intimissimi. It was there where she met her husband Guiseppe, a major manufacturer of high-end lingerie and swimsuits. In 2003, Fabiola and her husband decided to train their sights on markets like the Philippines by bringing the Vanita line to the country.
Aziza and Vanita would like to thank Emi Ayag for his wonderful makeup, Chicoy Tomoll for providing and taking care of the models for the show, A-List’s Kaye LuYm and Cybill Gayatin for organizing the buyers’ show, SEPA Accessories, everyone who attended the event. Last but not least, I’d like to thank the amazing staff of the Tinder Box for not only using their food and beverage skills, but also for being very helpful during the selling of the Vanita pieces.