With damages and losses estimated at $240 million, typhoon Ketsana continues to wreak havoc on businesses in the Philippines three weeks after it dumped a month’s worth of rainfall in eight hours on the capital, Manila, and the surrounding areas, causing extreme flooding.
While the poshest areas, like the central business district of Makati City, bounced back immediately once the waters had subsided, other areas were not so lucky. Among the hardest-hit areas were the municipalities of Marikina, Caloocan, Pasig, Navotas and Cainta, where floodwaters reached almost to the rooftops of houses, as well as areas in Quezon City, Taguig and Laguna.
Several clothing warehouses and garment factories are located in these disaster areas. Marikina, in particular, is known for its footwear factories. As floodwaters rose, a quick-thinking security guard at the Marikina Shoe Museum, where 200 pairs of Imelda Marcos’ shoes are on display, tried to save as many pairs as he could by taking them up to the second floor.
Hong Kong-based handbag designer Marilu Batchelor, whose LuluB signature snakeskin clutches and totes are crafted in Marikina, said, “Factories in this area were completely wiped out, and it will take some time before they get back to business, if ever.”
The government has promised to help small business owners rebuild, but so far no subsidies have been extended.
Bea Valdes, whose namesake bejeweled bags and neckpieces are sold in Barneys New York and worn by the likes of Kate Moss and Rachel Roy, said, “I was actually at the workshop the day of the biggest rainfall and it was shocking to see the amount of rain.”
Fortunately, her workshop is in a well-constructed building complex and quite secure, she said. However, she added, “Some of our staff was directly affected, and flooding did reach their houses. Some of them had to temporarily relocate to evacuation centers, but as of today, everyone is back in their homes.”
Hundreds of thousands were stranded on the roofs of their homes or ferried to evacuation centers on Jet Skis, rubber rafts and surfboards. There has been an outpouring of donations in cash and kind, as well as efficiently coordinated relief efforts from private citizens and businesses.
The local fashion and music industries organized a fund-raising event, which saw the country’s top designers and musical acts in a joint concert-fashion show on Oct. 7. The beneficiary was the Life Afloat project, which aims to buy rubber boats, floaters and life jackets in order to facilitate future rescue missions. Black Eyed Peas’ Alan Pineda Lindo flew into his native Philippines for a special impromptu concert last Thursday night, joined by local artists. He brought with him cash donations and canned goods.
The retail sector seems to have been spared major damage, and the malls are humming one again with activity.
Louis Vuitton, situated at the luxury Greenbelt 4 mall in Makati City, escaped relatively unscathed, said communications coordinator Pamela Picazo, though several employees experienced difficulties commuting to and from work due to the floods.
The Big & Small Co., a local upmarket children’s, tweens and maternity clothing group with lines that include Big & Small, Orange Juice, Spin and H.A.B., has stores sprinkled all over the metropolis. Owner and president Joanna Ongpin Duarte was in Lisbon when the typhoon struck, but learned the office and warehouse were seriously affected.
“We are thankfully insured for our office and warehouse, so that makes things slightly better, but the task to rebuild is grueling and gruesome,” Duarte said. “All our stores, save for one, were unaffected, but we expect sales to slow down due to the mood and the needs of our countrymen. We expect people to be spending their money on rebuilding their homes and replacing their cars, etc.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye