Found: cute gift boxes at SM Megamall

What do you call people who love colorful stationery like I do?
I go crazy whenever I see a shop full of cute items.
As much as I love hoarding cute things, I also find joy in giving gifts in cute packages.
One thing I’ve noticed in Manila is the lack of cute wrapping papers and boxes. There’s a box store I sometimes go to at Rockwell but I find the shop girls so deadma and unfriendly, like you wonder if they missed lunch or something.
The boxes at National bookstore are more functional than anything, but good enough if you have a ton presents to wrap.
I am not fond of this box store in Mandaluyong. I understand they make a killing during Christmas, but the boxes there are really flimsy and cheap-looking. How I wish they would make boxes for people who are willing to pay for better quality. Also the shop girls, not very friendly.
So my favorite box store would have to be Muji for the kraft paper boxes.

Muji boxes. Completely plain, unmarked, unlabelled. Because it DOES matter.

Packaging is everything! If you’re going to give a nice present, you might as well pack them nicely.
Recently I found a source of cute boxes at SM department store in Megamall A, at the ground level.

sm boxes

All these boxes are sturdy and imported and cost more than your ordinary cardboard box. Expect to pay more than Php 100 each.

SM boxes

So pretty, you don’t have to use wrapping paper or ribbon

SM boxes
sm boxes

Found a couple of boxes that are Mich Dulce-approved

sm boxes
sm boxes

You have to check them out if you love giving gifts

sm boxes
sm boxes

and so much more.

sm boxes

Find them at the Gift Wrap section, ground level, SM Department Store at Megamall A.

Hervé Chapelier breezes through Manila

Hervé Chapelier is French but the biggest market for his bags is Japan as they go crazy over his two-toned totes and pouches. If you search #hervechapelier Instagram, you’ll find that most of the posts are by Japanese men and women with the totes. Hervé Chapelier’s second biggest market is Italy.

Hervé Chapelier

Herve Chapelier totes are not “It” bags and that is what the Japanese love about them.
In the early 2000s, American preppy college girls carried these nylon bags with the little green labels.

hervé chapelier

Hervé Chapelier totes are favored by those who seek consistent simple elegance minus the zippers, hardware, tassels, batwings and other features that make “It” bags heavy, cumbersome, and fussy. Not to mention, expensive.
Creator Hervé Chapelier was in Manila last month for a brief 12-hour visit to check out the site of the first Hervé Chapelier store in the country at SM Aura. He was on his way to Japan for a personal appearance.

photo 3
Hervé Chapelier (center) with Philippines franchise owners Cheryl Lao-Lee and Eric Lee.

“You can’t Google me because I don’t give interviews and I don’t have my picture taken,” said Chapelier, whom we were able to speak with at the Peninsula Manila over French fries and halo-halo.
“You’re lucky that I am doing this interview. The last time I was in Manila was to play rugby in the 1970s,” he told us.

The company, which Chapelier founded in 1976, is based in Paris. The brand is very popular for its handbags, wallets, briefcases, backpacks and, of course, the two-toned totes.
In addition to nylon, Hervé Chapelier also makes a cordura version in camouflage and animal print.
The nylon tote, which has a large square bottom and a triangular body, is the most popular design because of its shape and light weight.

Hervé Chapelier Hervé Chapelier

I appreciate many kinds of bags—from pricey to affordable. But one thing that is a deal breaker for me is that the bag itself can’t be heavy since I tend to carry my entire house except the kitchen sink.
If you’re like me, you’ll love the Chapelier totes. I love its bring-it-all appeal without looking like you’re carrying your whole house.

Hervé Chapelier Hervé Chapelier

“Look at this,” says Chapelier, showing us a small sling bag that would be great if you are attending a music festival or concert and you can only carry your phone and some cash. “This is one of our bestsellers,” he adds.
Hervé Chapelier
The SM Aura store is now open and carries many styles and a wide array of combinations for the two-toned totes.
The bags are all manufactured in France. Because of this, they are pricier than your regular nylon tote.
“This is a good business strategy that costs us more but people really want bags that are made in France. They are willing to pay a premium for that,” said Chapelier.

photo 2
Quick stop at SM Aura with (L-R) Carmela Baronia, Bernice Baculi and Steven Tan of SM Malls, Philippine franchise owners Eric Lee and Cheryl Lao-Lee, Mr. Hervé Chapelier, and Perkin So of SM Malls.

Hervé Chapelier opens at SM Aura

I’ve been a fan of Hervé Chapelier way back since my Parsons years in New York in the early ’90s.
That was when I used to frequent Galeries Lafayette on 57th and Fifth and discovered French brands like Xuly Bët, GR816, and Hervé Chapelier. Unfortunately my favorite shop closed its doors in 1994.
I would describe Hervé Chapelier as known for casual, boxy, very Japanese bag (even though it’s French) just because the Japanese love it so much. And here’s how they wear it.

hervé chapelier
hervé chapelier
hervé chapelier
hervé chapelier
hervé chapelier
hervé chapelier

Obviously they are partial to camou print.
Lucky for us, Hervé Chapelier just opened recently at SM Aura.

Hervé Chapelier at SM Aura

The store is great and huge and I don’t have to speak French to get what I want.

Hervé Chapelier at SM Aura
Hervé Chapelier at SM Aura
Hervé Chapelier at SM Aura

It has all sizes from small, medium, large

Hervé Chapelier at SM Aura
Hervé Chapelier at SM Aura

Naturally I went for big and small

Hervé Chapelier totes

I like huge

Hervé Chapelier at SM Aura

Prices range from Php 3,750 to Php 18,450. Design-wise I prefer this to Longchamp which everyone in Manila has that I only look forward to its special collar pieces with Jeremy Scott.

Next: An interview with Hervé Chapelier in Manila

Trade in your old furniture and take 30% off Gus* furniture

From now until April 29, 2014, get a chance to trade in your furniture that is still in good useable condition and get new a new Gus* item at 30% off regular price.
After the promo period, all traded-in furniture will be donated to ABS-CBN’s Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc.


Gus* is one of my go-to places when looking for furniture in Manila.
This is great promo because aside from being able to redecorate and getting a bigger discount for new furniture, you’ll be able to help out a family in need by donating your old pieces.

Gus modern
Gus modern
Gus modern
Gus modern
Gus modern

Terms & Conditions:

1. Acceptable furniture for trade-in are sofas, chairs, stools, tables, desks, beds and cabinets.
2. Traded-in furniture are subject to evaluation by Gus* to ensure that they are still useable and intact. Gus* has the right to reject items deemed no longer in useable condition or not fit for donation.
3. One unit of traded-in furniture is equivalent to one discounted product from Gus*.
4. Purchase of Gus* furniture, lighting or accessory should be made within the promo period in order to qualify for the discount. Indent orders made during the promo period are also qualified for discount.
5. Promo cannot be used in conjunction with other promos or discounts.
6. Trade-in furniture may be picked up by Gus* free of charge within Metro Manila as long as delivery and pick-up is made on the same day at the delivery site.
Should the pick-up site be different from the delivery site or on a different day but still within Metro Manila, a minimal logistics fee of Php 500 shall be charged.
All pick-up and delivery outside of Metro Manila shall be charged an appropriate fee.
The client also has the option to bring the furniture for trade-in to Gus* Metro Manila warehouse (12 Tagdalit Street, Brgy. Manresa, Quezon City) or to any showroom.

Gus modern

Check out their locations at the ground floor, Greenbelt Residences in Makati or Design Pod at 52 Connecticut Street, North Greenhills, San Juan.
To know more call +632.621-8171, email, or like them on Facebook.

One last day to vote

Personally I find online voting stressful, especially when I’m involved. So I want to take this time to thank everyone who voted for me so far, with special mention to Bes and Obbie for keeping the votes up during U.S. time.
January 31st is the last day to vote for’s Best of 2013.
I’m nominated in the blogger category. No one is really participating except for me and one guy. But only one day to go and sayang naman our effort!
I would appreciate your vote for me. You can vote multiple times. Thank you very much in advance!
Love, Me
To vote, click HERE:

Vote for me!

Peter Pilotto x TARGET debuts February 9!

This February 9, 2014, Target will unveil a special spring womenswear collection by PETER PILOTTO, designed by London-based duo Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos.

Peter Pilotto

PETER PILOTTO for Target will feature nearly 70 items, from flirty frocks and skirts to chic clutches and swimwear, with most items retailing for less than $60.
Target will also make the collection available to international fans through online luxury retailer Net-a-Porter, which will carry a curated assortment of the limited-edition collection.

Peter Pilotto for Target

With a celeb following including Kerry Washington, Kristen Stewart, Miranda Kerr, Kate Bosworth, Sienna Miller and Emma Watson, there’s rarely a red carpet without a PETER PILOTTO sighting.
The design duo first made fashion headlines when they were awarded the Best Emerging Talent Award and the Women’s Swarovski Award for New Potential High-Level Garments at the British Fashion Awards in late 2009.
In 2011, the label received the prestigious Fashion Forward Award by the British Fashion Council.
With their Target collection, it looks like 2014 will be another big year for PETER PILOTTO, and we can’t wait.


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