With a chance to check ’em up close, feel and try on the good stuff, we can honestly attest: they’re as great in person as they appear online
Multi-brand concept store Retail Lab has come a long way from being a mere side project for its two founders. In a sea of summer bazaars, the same old, same old at the mall, trendy pop-ups and shiny, new Instagram stores, the brainchild of Rosanna Aranaz and Claudine Baron-Paulino has discovered a way to thrive and rise through the ranks. Its strength lies in its faultless balancing act of bringing back the glory days of actual, in-person shopping all the while maintaining the charm and ease of shopping artisanal online. What this brand set up last April 27 and 28 is proof.
For the first time in 10 years, Retail Lab set up shop in the gorgeous space at The Fifth at Rockwell and hosted its first bi-annual shopping get-together: Soirée by Retail Lab. A single event that housed a covetable, well-curated repertoire of new, local and start-up labels, Soirée was where passionate merchants and shoppers got to meet, mix and mingle.
“Nowadays, when you think of shopping at the malls, you associate it with all the stressful things that come with it—the heavy traffic, looking for parking, the crowds,” shared Rosanna Aranaz. “So, we decided to do something about it. We wanted to offer our buyers a pleasant and memorable shopping experience.” And at the forefront of this experience, full-on support for up-and-coming brands and the showcase of unique, hard-to-find goodies.
True to its goal, Soirée by Retail Lab did offer up noteworthy brands that we couldn’t believe flew under our radars…till now.
This promising local label may only be six months old, but it’s safe to say that d’ elle already has the classic-and-contemporary balancing act down pat. Founder Danielle Mangana, a fashion design graduate from SoFA Design Institute, knows how to work certain in-betweens to d’ elle’s advantage: where casual meets dressy, designs are whimsical at times, but always sensible.
Orders and inquiries are made through Instagram DM.
This new specialty brand in home décor had us at “sustainable,” “locally sourced” and “100% handcrafted in the Philippines.” Tropical?, launched just in February, brings the idea of blissful beachside lounging into the quaint corners of home. Unique finds here include rattan décor for the modern nursery like the small peacock chair, the kalabaw rocker, the doll high chair and the toddler love seat.
Orders are made through email here: [email protected]
Come for the bottled concoctions, stay for the powder face masks. This all-natural and organic skincare brand has everything from rosewater toner to orange and neroli oil face serum, but what we enjoyed most from Cleopatra’s Secret Skincare is its selection of powder face masks.
While priced between P350 and P650 for a single pack (depending on the size), these detox masks make multi-masking––AKA masking according to zone, spot or skin problem––a breeze to do. The less is more rule applies, which means a single sachet can go a long way, too.
Shop skincare online through the Cleopatra’s Secret Skincare Shopee page.
By Rory, this accessory brand means Gilmore (Gilmore Girls) and Sloan, it means Sabbith (The Newsroom). These two TV characters not only inspired sisters Shari and Raiza Poquiz’s first business venture together, but perfectly embody their brand’s dream girl. Rory & Sloan is dedicated to the “unapologetic gals who aren’t afraid to make a statement.”
Cop pieces from Rory & Sloan’s latest collection here.
And did we mention? The two-day shopping party had wellness workshops, talks and customization booths in between, too. Just a couple of more reasons we can’t wait for the second installment of Soirée by Retail Lab this year. Till then, drop by Retail Lab at 2/F Power Plant Mall in Makati, 2/F Glorietta 3 Mall in Makati, 2/F Ayala Malls the 30th in Pasig or 2/F Ayala Vertis North in Quezon City. For news and updates on events like Soirée, follow Retail Lab on Facebook and Instagram.
Art Alexandra Lara