Why Vito Selma believes that design is not always about creating beautiful things but also about changing lives.
This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s October 2023 Issue.
In the city of Cebu, where the pace of life is not as frantic as Manila and creativity finds its home, there is a master craftsman who transforms wood and other local materials into works of art.
Meet Vito Angelo Selma, a local furniture designer who was born and raised in the
Queen city of the South, whose passion for furniture making and dedication to his craft have earned him popularity here and abroad.
Selma’s designs have reached royal families in Malaysia, Middle East, and even the Pope.
He has worked with Altuzarra, LVMH group, and Swedish clothing giant H&M.
He has been tapped to work with brands from Roche Bobois, Samsung, Ayala, Rockwell, and Shangri-La.
The Artisan’s Genesis
Growing up in a family of furniture makers, Selma learned the ins and outs of the furniture business at an early age.
His parents own a furniture company called Stonesets International and he got front row seats to the craft of furniture making.
He narrates how he got into this field, “I got my first gig in design when I was in high school. It was a design program led by the best Filipino designers where they mentored us kids to create furniture for the Cebu X Furniture Show. This program was led by Debbie Palao, Kenneth Cobonpue, Luisa Robinson, among others. My first design called Uzima Collection won the best product design in the show. That’s where it further drove me to continue my studies in product design and the rest in history.”
He started in the industry as a designer for his parents’ company until he eventually became the creative director of Stonesets International.
The company had a particular look that he had to work with so it was quite limiting.
Seven years later, Selma decided to part ways and focus on his personal brand so he could continue to explore and experiment on the kind of work he wanted to put out as a creative.
Six years ago, he founded another company, Archipelago, that focuses on material development and custom design for commercial projects.
He started a second brand, three years ago, whose focus is on using design to help others.
Through Casa Selma, he collaborates with personas to create collections that can help a particular foundation or community.
Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia October 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.
Photos by Joseph Ong.