Philippines' Manila Fame names James Booth project director
Retail Editor 1 -- Home Textiles Today, July 17, 2012
New York - Home furnishings veteran James Booth has been tapped by the Philippines' export promotion authority to head its team of lifestyle designers and marketers as project director for the forthcoming Manila Furnishings and Apparel Merchandise Exchange (FAME).
Booth was appointmed by the Philippine Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).
"Mr. Booth will share his expertise and over 30 years of international experience with the Philippine team of design experts in setting the local industry's strategic direction for export development and marketing," said CITEM executive director Rosvi Gaetos.
Booth's experience in corporate branding and product development includes executive posts at Loftex USA, The Natori Company, Li Fung USA, Frederick Atkins Department Store Group, and AMC/Federated Department Stores.
Aside from his experience in the U.S. market, Booth also had extensive exposure in Asia representing leading department and specialty stores of the world.
"He (Booth) lived and worked in Asia for nine years, making him familiar with the region's design cultures, indigenous materials, and production strengths," Gaetos said.
Booth has formulated a value proposition that defines both the Manila FAME and the Philippine lifestyle export brand as "The Art of the Craftsman = The Soul of the Philippines."
Manila FAME's 56th edition this October will continue its collaboration with three of the Philippines' major sourcing shows: Manila Now, CebuNext, and Bijoux Cebu.
Scheduled from October 17- 20 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, Philippines, Manila FAME will showcase furniture, furnishings and decor among its homestyle product offerings, and fashion accessories, shoes, bags and jewelry among its selection of wearables.
"The objective is to create a roadmap for executing a concept that will clearly define (Manila) FAME as the design and lifestyle event of Asia, an event that brings back true craftsmanship and beauty to contemporary living," Booth said.
"The Art of the Craftsman indicates the employment of natural, indigenous materials in combination with environmentally sound principles of manufacturing," Booth explained, citing a brand imagery of men and women working with fibers, shells and woods in a language all their own where passion is the common expression.
Pointing out the marketability of the concept, Booth cited a groundswell among today's consumers longing for an "emotional connection" to and with the product.
That emotional connection comes from the story of the craft and the craftsman, turning the product itself into a sentimental link between the user and the maker and establishing a virtual relationship between them. That story about the product involves, not just materials, but people and their cultures, hopes and aspirations.
"This is where Manila FAME comes in - bringing stories of pure craftsmanship to the other side of the world through its showcase of design-driven, high quality, export-ready merchandise," Gaetos added.
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