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The softer side of Kenneth Cobonpue

By THERESE JAMORA-GARCEAU, The Philippine STAR Published Oct 29, 2022 5:00 am

Furniture by Kenneth Cobonpue never goes on sale, so the chance to buy his award-winning Dolce bed or Knit chair at 20% off? That’s only possible with BPI’s Luxe Series, their yearly tie-ups with world-renowned designers that give VIP clients and BPI cardholders exclusive access to even more exclusive pieces.

“We never go on sale, but once a year, we give the chance for our clients to come and buy by installment,” says Kenneth Cobonpue, creative director and CEO of his eponymous brand. “We give a lot of special offers, and we're very happy to partner with BPI. BPI has been our partner not only for this event, but they have been our strategic partners since the beginning of the brand.”

Couture chairs: Cobonpue likens the process of making his iconic Bloom chair to making a couture dress because each flap of the flower is hand-sewn.

“I believe this is the fourth time we're doing it, but there was really a big stall with the pandemic,” noted Jenelyn Lacerna, SVP, head of Unsecured Lending and Cards, Product and Sales at BPI. “Now that the economy’s opening, we at BPI want to showcase really good pieces in our BPI Luxe series. We’re very glad to once again be able to offer our cardholders access to world-renowned pieces by world-renowned designers like Kenneth Cobonpue.”

Comfy cocoon: Cobonpue’s Dolce bed won the IFDA award at High Point Market, the biggest furniture fair in the world.

Cobonpue is offering his new collections, including award-winning pieces like his Dolce bed, which won the International Furnishings and Design Association Selects award last April at High Point Market, North Carolina, USA.

Swinging from the chandelier: Kenneth Cobonpue’s Limbo acrobat chandelier, Seaweed table and Parchment chairs at the Kenneth Cobonpue showroom in The Residences at Greenbelt.

“High Point USA is the biggest fair in the world, so it's really an honor and quite prestigious to even be noticed in that exhibition,” says the designer. “We're very known for woven products made out of natural fibers, and these new collections have a softer, more textural feel.”

Nature-inspired: The velvet Sage collection inspired by the sage tree with the hand-hammered Gobi table inspired by cactus.

The Dolce bed, a futuristic cocoon encased in soft bubbles, is a prime example: “When it's noisy outside and you go inside this bed, the noise level actually drops because the material absorbs all the sound,” observes Cobonpue. “Many people say it might be claustrophobic, but I always say, try lying down. It's really beautiful because it envelops you and yet you can see out. As human beings, we used to live in caves, so there's this very cocooning, very lasting effect.”

Designer Kenneth Cobonpue: “These new collections are what I call the softer side of Kenneth Cobonpue, where we weave, but we weave with very soft materials.”

Another standout piece is Cabaret, a chair that folds out into a sofa bed so you can Netflix and chill. “A lot of people live in condominiums and we don't have the luxury of space, so a living room can be converted to a bedroom,” the designer says. “This bed can become a double bed or two single beds, and you can just pull it out. It's very, very, very simple.”

Mikey Bustos and RJ Garcia on Kenneth Cobonpue’s Cabaret sofa beds: “We’re eyeing these modular chairs that turn into beds because we like to entertain.”

The Cabaret actually caught the eye of Mikey Bustos, comedian and YouTube celebrity who’s currently decorating his new home with partner-manager RJ Garcia. “Our home is modern with some Filipino touches,” Bustos says, “and we’re eyeing the modular Cabaret chairs that turn into beds because we like to entertain.”

Cobonpue’s Knit chairs also recently won awards in Las Vegas: “The Knit is inspired by macramé, by crochet, by knitting,” says the designer.

Cobonpue’s Knit chairs also recently won awards in Las Vegas. “The Knit is inspired by macramé, by crochet, by knitting,” the designer says. “I think knitting is a very old form of craft. And these remind me of sweaters, which, because they're very warm, they're plush, they're soft, they're very comfortable.”

Make your fur baby feel like royalty: The name of the Louis pet bed is inspired by King Louis, because Cobonpue wants your fur baby to be the king of your household.

Cobonpue, in fact, defines “luxe” by this new softness. “A lot of the pieces that I used to make were woven of natural fibers. And a lot of people asked me if I could give a softer dimension to the brand. Because when you weave with natural materials, they're good for warmer countries, good for the Mediterranean, but when you're in an apartment in Paris or New York where you only get very little sun, they want this plushness, and so these new collections are woven out of velvet, and they're very luxurious. And yet they still retain that Filipino craftsmanship—very unique weaves, unique combinations of materials—which the brand is known for around the world.”

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On Nov. 10, cardholders with the BPI Visa Amore Platinum Cashback card and Mastercard Platinum Rewards card, as well as depositors in BPI’s Private and Preferred Banking segments, will get firsthand access to the BPI Luxe Series: Kenneth Cobonpue at 20% off from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kenneth Cobonpue showroom located at The Residences at Greenbelt, San Lorenzo Tower entrance, Makati.

From Nov. 11 to 13, the exclusive sale event will be open to all BPI cardholders. Enjoy installments of up to six months and take advantage of the Buy Now, Pay 3 months Later with your BPI credit card.