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Taking a step forward at Marikina’s Solemates Connect

On December 7, 2019, the Philippine Shoe Capital Marikina City will be hosting the very first gathering of the creative catalysts and stakeholders of the local shoe industry: Solemates Connect. The engaging forum jumpstarts a collective conversation about the importance of supporting and nurturing the new breed of Filipino footwear makers, designers and entrepreneurs.

Solemates Connect is a unified effort organized by local co-creation hub for footwear, Zapateria, Marikina City Government and the Philippine Footwear Federation Inc. (PFFI) in partnership with various community partners of the industry. The event will be held at the iconic heritage point, Kapitan Moy Ancestral House, on the 7th of December 2019.

Solemates Connect links the new wave of creatives together through its theme: Engaging Today’s Footwear Innovators. Acknowledging the economic and cultural shift of the local shoe industry as well as the growing community of passionate makers from the younger generation, the activity highlights the need to mold the new breed of footwear-based talent pool with innovation and ingenuity with hopes to continue the city’s heritage of shoemaking.

Co-founder of Zapateria, Unyx Sta Ana notes that “there is a need to entice creatives to jump into the world of footwear. The resiliency of this industry is founded upon Fiipino ingenuity. We believe that the next generation can become trailblazers of such a great industry, learning the wisdom and mastery from the earlier generation”.

The forum will feature a keynote from the father of the host city, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, speaking about his vision for the local shoe industry as well as the on-going development supporting the sector. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez will also serve as a keynote speaker to share his insights and perspectives about the thriving footwear communities. Invited speakers include designer-entrepreneur Zarah Juan, British Council representative Marc Ocampo, Via Venetto president Ging Pajaro and founder of I CAN MAKE SHOES Amanda Overs. Footwear industry leaders will also participate in a variety of panel discussions.

In line with the discussions of passion projects and creativity, Solemates Connect has lined up performers of different art forms. The Marikina Rondalla Club along with the Marikina Dance Guild and Cultural Group will showcase their talents as intermission performers. Local independent band Sugarcane will be premiering their original songs along with a spoken word piece done by Filipino writer Jesh Alberto. Top billing for the event will be Shaira Opsimar and Joshua Bulot of iconic Filipino musical Rak of Aegis.

For more information and how to register, get connected to Solemates Connect by

By Bedalyn Aguas

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