Of all the posts I’ve done, I think this is the one that made me sweat buckets to write. Dont get me wrong, Maco is a joy to interview, he made it so casual and easy. But telling his story is another matter, simply put, I dont want to write something that he is not.
If you’re in the know with the Philippine Fashion industry, the shoe designer Maco Custodio is familiar to you. His shoes are not for the faint of heart, towering heels in distinct silhouttes that scream distinctly high fashion.
Maco started making shoes for his friends and family (uh, Maco, we’re friends right? haha). But pure, raw talent cannot be ignored, and in 2008, designer JC Buendia took notice and collaborated with him for his fashion show. The rest is sweet success history.
Not just a artist wanting to try his luck, Maco worked at a shoe company then moved on to studying and training both locally and internationally to hone his craft. Armed with all that and a degree in Fine Arts major in Industrial design, he started what will eventually become a force in Philippine fashion. His aesthetic is described to be contemporary, streamlined, laced with architectural influences.
This year, he is puffing out his wings a little bit more, venturing into accessories. But not straying too far from his shoes’ style, expect to see something new and fresh, something that will constantly surprise and amaze you.
For this October 2012 Manila Fame, I had the rare privilege to meet and have a talk with Maco. I immediately loved his casual demeanor and candid approach, with bursts of humor that is so endearing and admirable.
So here are my precious 20 minutes with this one of a kind designer.
Me: Manila Fame, how often does it happen?
Maco: Well this is like a biannual event, one in March and October
Me: You started with shoes, and then this year with accessories. Is your latest work intended for Manila fame?
Maco: Yes, with this project. Well, last Manila Fame I did shoes. But for this exhibit, Mrs. (Josie) Natori, the curator, she wanted us to sell, and not just showcase.
Me: So before its just purely an exhibit?
Maco: Before, yeah, and it kind of makes sense because people really to buy and we want to sell!
Me: Why accessories?
Maco: Accessories because its so easy to buy, and there’s no fittings needed, like clothes or shoes. Its like, you see it, you like it, and its an impulse buy! So, I think that is the direction Manilawear is headed, with accessories like clutches. What I did this year is to use plastic, but I was a bit griping because I think this kind of plastic number one is not from the Philippines, so it did not capture the full essence of being Philippine made. But for me, I wanted to do something that is not the usual, and Im showing my craft and my art. It not just, “ok this will sell”
Me: So not its entirely focusing on the materials, but on your craft itself?
Maco: Yes, and also the possibility of combining other materials, like plastic and leather, or plastic and canvass.
Me: These accessories, are they also part of your shoe brand?
Maco: No, the shoes are under Maco Custodio, and the accessories are under the label Maco, which are purely accessories
Me: Why plastic? And are all these handmade by you?
Maco: Because its something different, and its all handmade by me. Crazy, right? (laughs)
Me: This is your first venture with non leather?
Maco: More of the combination with leather and nonleather for the shoes and accessories. I think this is the direction I want to be heading. I want to evolve. And it involves a lot of things, like the tools you use for plastic and leather are not the same. Canvass is different too!
Me: Will you be launching this new accessories collection?
Maco: No. this exbihit is actually the launch. Then probably through Firma, and AC+632, where they are sold.
Photos by Christian Pascual:
Maco included his Spring/Summer Shoe Collection to add cohesion to the concept of the exhibit.
Mixed elements such as plastic and leather. The richness of the leather is exquisite.
Leather mixed with canvass gives off a sporty vibe.
Maco wore shoes from his own collection. Meet “Alejandro”
Thanks so much for the opportunity! Hope to see you again soon!