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24/07/2012: CITEM’S Manila FAME 2012 has US Expert as Project Head

A recognized American home furnishings retail marketing expert 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) 2012.

Tapped by the Philippine Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is Homestyle Industry Expert James Booth as Manila FAME project director.

“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 C. Gaetos.

Booth, according to Gaetos, managed and directed corporate branding and product development for prestigious companies like Loftex USA LLC, The Natori Company, Li Fung USA, Frederick Atkins Department Store Group, and AMC/Federated Department Stores.

Aside from his experience in the US 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 was educated at the University of Kentucky, New York University, and Worcester College – Oxford University, and a frequent guest lecturer and seminar leader in home industry functions and seminars in the US.

This early, Booth has formulated a unique 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.”

“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.

Booth cited as examples the taglines of some famous brands, whose marketing campaigns had been launched in the same strategic direction.

In the case of Manila FAME, Booth cited mental images of men and women working with such local fibers as rattan, buri, tinalak, bamboo, abaca, coconut coir, and paper.

CITEM studies show that the global clamor for handmade products continues. “The lofty value placed on handmade merchandise stems from the need to satisfy the inquisitive nature of modern-day consumers who want to know the origin of the products they buy and put in their homes, offices and environment,” Gaetos said.

“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. As creativity is synonymous with Filipino culture, the soul of the nation is likewise reflected in the craftsmanship of our Filipino artisans, which will be brought to the fore through the theme of the October 2012 show of Manila FAME,” Gaetos added.

As an international EVENT, the Manila FAME contributes significantly to the Philippine government efforts to strengthen the national brand by establishing a “Philippine First” mindset in the global export market and projecting this nation of 90 million people as Asia’s trendsetter in lifestyle products and services.

Manila FAME’s 56th edition this October will continue the successful collaboration with three of the Philippines’ major sourcing shows: Manila Now, CebuNext, and Bijoux Cebu, thus showcasing a wider selection of export-quality products under one roof.

Scheduled from October 17 to 20, 2012 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.

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US Homestyle Industry expert James Booth takes on the Manila FAME project director position.

Press Release from Center For International Trade Expositions And Missions