The Bench Guide to a Global Summer

The Philippine’s biggest retailer and only global brand, Bench, explores the capitals of Havana, Hawaii, and the French Riviera. The brand’s 2012 summer campaign declares these places as style destinations and the playground of the Philippines’ top celebrities. Havana, Hawaii, and the French Riviera represent not only the universal trends that can be found in every Bench store, but also the reach and international appeal of this truly global Filipino brand.

At the helm of this jet-setting summer campaign was Mark Nicdao—one of the country’s biggest fashion photographers—and a production team that included Philippine fashion’s top industry insiders.

Havana, the mysterious Cuban capital serves as inspiration for its exoticness and raw sensuality. Celebrities like Lovi Poe, Julia Montes, Kris Bernal, Iya Villania, Isabelle Daza, Melai Cantiveros,  Rocco Nacino, Marc Macmahon, John Prats, Borgy Manotoc, Franco Daza, Ejay Falcon, Aljur Abrenica, Diego Loyzaga, Richard Gutierrez, Paulo Avelino, brothers Anthony and David Semerad, Rayver Cruz, Piolo Pascual and Coco Martin are seen in the middle of a bustling fictional Havana street corner. Filled with brightly colored buildings, rough roads, fruit vendors, and the vivid colors, this capital city is one of the most riveting parts of Latin America. All were casually interacting with their surroundings and perfectly playing their roles in the hot Latin sun wearing the season’s hottest styles.

Achieve the Cuban look by mixing seemingly clashing prints and colors and reaching for hues that reflect the country’s spirited culture. Trends to watch out for: faded graphic shirts, earthy carrot cut jeans and chinos, lots of bold warm and citrusy colors, and print on print—everything from plaid, dots and stripes, and florals.

The French Riviera is the perfect backdrop to Bench’s summer collection of sophisticated casuals. Set against a startling bright blue sea and rural white sheds and bayside buildings, it’s all about exuding a lifestyle that is at once cool, chic, and polished. Candid and relaxed, it’s almost as if we have walked in on the celebrities as they enjoy their imaginary summer escapade. Celebrities included in the scene are Angelica Panganiban, Barbara Barreto, Shaina Magdayao, Jessie Mendiola, Karylle Tatlonghari, Kim Chiu, Regine Angeles, Jon Avila,Christian Bautista, Diether Ocampo, Luis Manzano, Sam Concepcion, Billy Crawford and Kris Lawrence.

Key styles include feminine and frilly tops and dresses for women and a wide variety of shorts and skirts in everything from cool cottons to light chiffons. The colors of blue, white, red, and yellow are prominently seen while silhouettes and styles that lean towards a more preppy and nautical look are in the spotlight. This relaxed refinement is carried out also in menswear line through nautical-inspired polo shirts with crests and team numbers sewn on. Also, crisp button downs worn casually over a pair of cotton shorts or the many colors and hues of khakis and cotton twill trousers.

    Hawaii, this picturesque gem on the Pacific Ocean has long been the epitome of tropical style. The island is known for it’s a laid-back fashion statement—board-shorts, bikinis, vintage inspired cotton tees, and flip-flops. Inspired by the beach and surfing culture of Hawaii, the campaign looks to the strong retro-imagery immortalized by pin-up girls in postcards and advertisements, vintage souvenirs, and films like Pearl Harbor.

The celebrities and artists seen in their beachy best are Dingdong Dantes, Enchong Dee, Carl Guevara, Jake Cuenca, Sarah Lahbati, Janine Gutierrez, Joseph Marco, Kathryn Bernardo, and Jason Francisco. Look out for icons like Hibiscus (also known as gumamela) flowers, Hawaiian floral leis, palm trees, and sunsets. Floral prints and surfer girls are staple motifs for this collection and can be seen on everything from tees and dresses to board-shorts for girls and bikinis. For the guys, Bench is the only source for the hippest beachwear that you can wear while exploring the coastline or simply grabbing a cold drink at the mall. Choose from a variety of zesty brights, photo-printed shorts and retro-printed shirts with phrases and images like “bikini inspector” and “Waikiki” and a buggy car in Honolulu.

You can keep that summer state of mind with Bench’s 2012 summer catalogue. Browse through the pictures and get style inspirations all year round. The catalogue can be yours for every minimum single receipt of P800 of any regular-priced item that includes one pair OJ denim or one pair of Bench Body underwear. Beat the heat and stay fashionably cool with Bench’s summer collection.

So where is fashion taking you this year? Havana, Hawaii or the French Riviera? If the world of Bench has anything to say about it, then 2012 should give you a global experience of adventure, attitude, and style.





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