On Cloud 9: Dinner with Adrian Joffe
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“The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is the abstract painter Mark Rothko, though I am not a collector by any means. I tend to like art where it is—in museums, or in public spaces. I don’t need to own it.”
— Comme des Garçons CEO Adrian Joffe in How To Spend It.

Adrian Joffe
Photo: Lea Crespi

When Jappy Gonzalez, Managing Director of H&F Retail Concepts, which owns Comme des Garçons in the Philippines, asked me to interview Adrian Joffe—also known as the husband of CDG founder Rei Kawakubo—what I really wanted to say was, “I don’t need to interview him. I just want to shake his hand (and Instagram him, hehe).”

Truth to tell, I was really nervous about the one-on-one interview that was supposed to happen at Univers in One Rockwell.
But when Joffe’s jetlag started to kick in mid-afternoon, it was decided that he should rest instead so he can join us for dinner that night.
I sighed in relief that the interview was canceled. I took my time getting dressed. Then the rain started to pour.
I thought that if I left the house at 6:30 PM, I would make it safely in time for the 7:30 dinner at Lusso in Greenbelt 5.
But I still had to pick up Mich Dulce in Ortigas.
Traffic was a bummer. Mich and I chatted in the car while I played Candy Crush to keep sane.
This was the traffic on EDSA.

Friday night traffic jam on EDSA

Mich said we would be lucky if we made it there at 8:30 PM.
Then we heard a siren. An ambulance was trying to inch its way out of the traffic. We seriously felt bad for the patient and prayed for him or her.

Friday night traffic jam on EDSA

On the other hand, we had a way to get out of traffic! We followed “Zachy” until we were halfway out of EDSA, only to get stuck again. But God is good! We made it to Lusso at 9 PM in time for salmon sinigang.
This special menu—your the usual Lusso offering—was prepared by Margarita Forés.
Dinner for Adrian Joffe

This August 2013 Metro magazine features my Comme des Garçons collection, with a photoshopped Amazon that doesn’t look like me, hehe.

Metro, August 2013

I owned my first Comme des Garçons in 1985. My dad bought me a sweater at Matsuya Ginza, which I wore through 1995.
“When I grow up, I want to wear Comme des Garçons everyday,” I told my husband many years ago.
Now in my 40s, that dream is coming true. I’m lucky to have a husband who supports it.

So you can imagine what it means for me to meet the husband of my idol, Rei Kawakubo. That’s the second best thing to meeting Rei Kawakubo herself or maybe Junya Watanabe.
The first thing I did upon arriving was to make sure I shook Adrian’s hand.
But my hand wouldn’t stop shaking as I force-fed myself with salmon sinigang.
This was our table: Thelma San Juan, Mich Dulce (in bridal wear), Dr. Gerard Henson, Adrian Joffe, Margarita Forés, Tara Santos

Dinner at Lusso

Jim and Mavis Fuentebella

Jim and Mavis Fuentebella

Also there, at left: CDG Philippines Manager Joan Cantemprate, Remo Hallauer of Comme des Garçons Paris, Agnes Desiderio, Suzy Calma
Seated at right: Dr. Tere Henson, Raymond Ang of Rogue magazine, H&F Retail Concepts Press & Communications Officer Mano Lotho, H&F’s Erik Posadas
Standing: Jappy Gonzalez and Ed Calma

Dinner at Lusso

After soup, my hand was still shaking. I decided to step out with Mich Dulce while the others started the main course. Lehcon is my favorite food on earth—but I couldn’t get myself to eat.
Mich spotted Ely Buendia with his friends outside Lusso. The last time I saw Ely was at the Smart Music event, where I ambushed him with my camera.

Ely Buendia at Smart event

“Sorry for the ambush,” Mich apologized for me. “But we needed proof we were at the event.”
Not too long after, Adrian Joffe stepped out to talk to us. Finally we had him to ourselves!
I thought it would be brilliant to take a picture of Adrian with Ely, because it will probably never happen again.


Those who know me well know I rarely take pictures of myself with celebrities, but this time, I just did.
I know I look like a mamaw, but thank you Tara Santos for the pic!!

Cecile van Straten and Adrian Joffe

Adrian was so nice, he agreed to a shoe shot, with me, Mich Dulce, and Jappy Gonzalez. His are the Nike trainers.

Adrian, Mich, Jappy, me

We went back for dessert. I had the fried suman and mangoes, which were delish.
No longer on interview-mode, I got to ask him some Comme-related questions, but no personal ones about him or Miss Rei.
Dinner ended around midnight and for me, it was magic. Towards the end I actually forgot he was Rei Kawakubo’s husband. He is such a lovely, lovely person.
I got home at 1:30 PM on Cloud 9. Sleep was impossible so I took a tranquilizer. The tranquilizer was so potent, I slept again the following day after my workout.

Such an honor to have met the CEO of the one brand I truly love. Pardon me for gushing, but Lola Rei chose well.
All the guests were behaved. Most of the pictures were taken after dinner and not during.
Here’s Remo Hallauer of Comme des Garçons Paris with Adrian Joffe after dinner.
Guys, you should all dress like this.

Remo Hallauer and Adrian Joffe

Thanks again to Jappy for inviting us. Thanks for a wonderful evening.

Adrian Joffe and Jappy Gonzalez

Comme des Garçons MANILA is at
Unit 102, Ground Floor, One Rockwell East Tower, Makati City, Philippines
Tel : +63 2 8693528

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that photoshopped picture of you is by far the prettiest i’ve seen you in. the pose is also smart and dangerous..



You don’t look like mamaw naman! Love the smile nga eh. And happy for you!!



Too awesome.


hew me

lol, u dont look like a mamaw at all



Now we’re little by little coming out of the backwaters. Thanks for sharing Mr. Joffe’s brief yet wonderful (it seems) visit



Ms. Cecile, halata nga na medyo nanginig ka and nasa Cloud 9 – just look at your hand , your picture alone with Adrian Joffe . Hindi mapakali ! 😉



“Those who know me well know I rarely take pictures of myself with celebrities” <<< I know this by heart, I got in trouble the first time I did try taking a photo of you (me being a fanboy of Ms C) LOL



CVS Reply:

hindi naman…. 🙂