Illi Ferandez Mercado Vicente

Jan Vincent Gonzales wants to help Filipino creatives taking a hit from the coronavirus.

Gonzales, who formed his eponymous global consultancy in 2019, is launching Mercado Vicente, an online index of multidisciplinary creatives, including illustrators, fashion designers, tattoo artists, photographers, filmmakers, graphic designers, glass artists, painters and architects. Through Mercado Vicente, Gonzales hopes to combat the current anti-Asian sentiment by highlighting the works of Filipino creatives, many of whom are now unemployed due to COVID-19.

“As an agency, since everything was so focused on community-driven events that were in-person, we lost a lot of our business and activations from [coronavirus],” Gonzales said. “We tried out the live videos and it had its pickup, but I felt there needed to be more of a sense of solidarity, not just from the people in our immediate community, but also globally because of all of the things in the news in terms of anti-Asian racism.”

Renzo Navarro Mercado Vicente

A work by Renzo Navarro, featured on Mercado Vicente’s web site.  Courtesy of Renzo Navarro and Mercado Vicente

Prior to launching his consulting agency, Gonzales worked in Paris for public relations firm Ritual Projects on brands such as Vetements and Y/Project. His first client under the Jan Vincent Gonzales agency was Carl Jan Cruz, a former Celine intern who created his own Manila-based fashion label.

Mercado Vicente is powered by Gonzales’ agency and a team of volunteers. The web site will open to the public during a digital launch party slated for Friday at 10 p.m. EST. The web site features works by Filipino creatives, though Gonzales plans to open an e-commerce element at a later date. Mercado Vincente is accepting donations for those involved with the project.

“Being Filipino, normally you go into the medical field or law, something more stable — coming from immigrant families, it’s expected in a way,” Gonzales said. “Going into a creative field is probably one of the most unstable things to do, especially now.”

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