Sunday, September 21, 2008

Shoe Shine

Manila Bulletin
Friday, September 12, 2008

Crossover trend: Artsy and graphic prints

What was originally a vacation trip abroad became a business opportunity for these four stylish ladies: siblings Tina, Regina, and Bea Sambalido and Bibai Gaisano. They chanced upon some fashion-forward shoes, and decided in a heartbeat to bring them to the Philippines. And so began the brand, Renegade Folk.

"It wasn’t something we planned, but we recognized its huge promise and we decided to pursue it," share the Sambalido sisters. Indeed, their past collections have been aggressively fashion-forward, with limited pieces almost sold out in less than a month—a welcome surprise for the women behind Renegade Folk.

"We weren’t really sure how Filipinos were going to receive our products since [most] of our styles aren’t something you will normally find in the malls. Along with this, we were also a bit apprehensive with regards to our price range. But, after conducting research, we discovered that we are relatively much cheaper compared to most brands which offer more or less the same quality."

Choosing what to bring in and predicting which would sell more pose a constant challenge, so RF considered two things in selling their shoes: one, that they are able to adapt to the Filipino lifestyle; and, two, they should be in trend.

And what’s in season and in store for Filipina fashionistas? Androgynous-inspired designs like gladiator shoes, which are part of their latest collection. They also used a mix of brights and neutral tones, with mostly patent leather.

Their pieces are inspired by the "rich and flavorful fashion scene of London and Tokyo," as each design is unique and a definite standout. Time for women to embrace their own uniqueness, and footwear, just as any shoe junkie knows, are just about the best things there are to do that.

Visit to view and order Renegade Folk shoes. Prices start from P 1,850 up.