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THE LATEST branch of multi-brand store Moressi, which carries selections from many familiar European brands, has just opened at resort casino hotel Okada’s Retail Boulevard.
The experience is definitely luxe, judging from a store visit by BusinessWorld last week at its Okada branch. A zebra rug is strewn on the marble floor beneath a teal velvet sofa, while gold racks display very recent collections from European brands.
This is the store’s third branch, with one in Shangri-La Plaza and another at S Maison. The store is owned by Alou Koa, married to French Baker founder Johnlu Koa.
While the store offers selections from various familiar brands, special highlights in the store include those that they distribute. For example, there’s Mywalit wallets and pouches, an Italian brand made in Thailand (with prices ranging from P4,000 to P11,000); Maison Bereto, a Florentine brand specializing in home fragrances (with prices ranging from P3,000 to P3,600), and Goldoni Milano, a jewelry brand (with prices ranging from P4,750-P12,000).
PERSONAL FAVORITESMs. Koa told BusinessWorld in an e-mail what were her and her family’s favorite selections from the store. “My personal favorites are Self-Portrait (a London-based fashion brand) for parties and cocktails,” she said. “Gucci and Golden Goose sneakers are my sporty day shoes.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Koa prefers “Marcelo Burlon and Off-White shirts, as well as Falke socks.”
“We have innerwear as well which we both love called Zimmerli. It is luxury next to the skin!” said Ms. Koa.
This isn’t Ms. Koa’s first foray into fashion: she’s well-known in the country for having brought Escada to the country, as well as Van Laack and Max Mara. “Moressi is a product of all my experience learning from several brands I carried from past to present like St. John, Laurél, and Betty Barclay,” she told BusinessWorld.
Explaining the store’s name, she says, “Since most of the fashion goods come from Europe and Italy, we deemed it appropriate to name the store with an Italian-sounding name. Plus, we want to give more choices for people to see: hence Moressi.”
Ms. Koa also explains the reason for putting everything in one store: “Based from my own judgement, with my 28 years of experience in the retail market, it tells me what the market wants. It’s also a way for me to test the market: what sells and what doesn’t for new brands. Especially if the brand is promising, we can decide to open a mono brand shop [later].”
“The goal is to be able to provide fashion pieces and accessories such as leather goods, shoes, belts and others to create and make a total look for the customers. The trend is not to have one brand from head to toe.”
MASKS AS FASHION ITEMSJoining the selection of luxury brands are face masks from Kaze — a holdover from the still-ongoing pandemic. The masks cost from between P1,950 to P2,250 for a box, containing 10 pieces.
Ms. Koa discusses how masks may still be used, even and especially in the ebb (we hope) of the pandemic. “Kaze has so far been the most innovative player in the category and I intend to stick with the brand for the long term,” said Ms. Koa. “Like fashion goods, Kaze face masks appeal to the upscale market because of their superior construction and design. It has an adjustable ear elastic band, a padded nose clip, and a wide range of fashionable colors that can coordinate with everyday outfits.”
She says that wearing face masks has become a social norm, and even as the COVID-19 situation may not be as bad as before, “People are now more aware with protecting their own health as they visit crowded areas, hospitals, family, and the elderly.”
“Face masks have emerged as the newest category in fashion accessories, somewhat like hats, scarfs, and gloves.”
Moressi has branches in Shangri-La Plaza, S Maison, and Okada. They also have an online channel, moressiph.com. — Joseph L. Garcia