An Homage To Our Nation: The Maiden Issue of Vogue Philippines Showcases The Country's Most Resplendent Naturescapes - The Scene

The much-awaited Philippine edition of the Condé Nast franchise reveals a stunning cover featuring Chloe Magno against the breathtaking lagoons of Bucas Grandes.

Vogue Philippines, which is published under a license agreement between Condé Nast and MEGA Global Licensing, Inc., today launched its maiden issue. Featured in its first cover of the 422-page issue is Chloe Magno, a Filipino-American model whose roots are from Davao, photographed by British-born, half-Filipino, half-Egyptian photographer, Sharif Hamza. Magno was shot amid the breathtaking lagoons of the Bucas Grande in Surigao del Norte. The debut issue marks the arrival of Vogue Philippines, in print and on its digital and social platforms. The cover story highlights the diversity of Filipino talent and beauty, with stunning locations that reflect this diversity. 

Condé Nast and MEGA Global Licensing. Inc., launch its maiden issue of Vogue Philippines, featuring Chloe Magno wearing a nylon and abaca dress by Rajo Laurel. Magno is a Filipino-American model whose roots are from Davao. Shot in the lagoons of Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte by Sharif Hamza, a British-born half-Filipino, half-Egyptian photographer.

“Our Philippine team charted out a course to explore the Philippine fashion identity. We waded through
mangroves and crossed digital skyways. Guided by the confines of sunrise and sunsets, we planned the days
judging for rain in the skies. Our waterways yield ways of thinking, enabling us to experience our “archipelagic nature”: how we are connected, not separated, by seas and a horizon,” writes editor-in-chief Bea Valdes in her Editor’s Note.

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“The maiden issue explores the concept of identity – what it is to be fashioned and shaped by our environment, our landscapes and by the people we cherish. It speaks of sustainable mindsets, in our own terms. It is filled with hometown heroes and global dreams all seen through Vogue’s unique lens,” says Valdes, who has guided the team in stamping a distinctly Vogue Philippines identity to the title.

Magno wears a HA.MU peach cloud dress at Tinipak River, Rizal

The 36-page cover feature travels the length of the Philippines, with Magno floating in the lagoons of Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte, exploring the otherworldly rock formations of Biri Island, Northern Samar, and conquering the marble boulders at Tinipak River, Rizal. All this while dressed in clothing from international couture labels to local indie darlings, showing a range of designers and brands that have a mind for both luxury and sustainability.

Other notable fashion stories in the issue include a futuristic take on the terno, the traditional silhouette symbolic of Philippine national dress as interpreted by contemporary and cutting-edge Filipino designers; a feature on the next wave of emerging talent who are pushing the boundaries of fashion, whether by creating gender-disruptive clothing or diving deep into Filipino heritage; and an accessories story that celebrates the history of craft and artisanship inherent in the country’s latest must-haves baubles and bags.

Shot in Tinipak, Rizal, Magno is wearing a dress by Ukrainian designer J’amemme

“Through the content in Vogue Philippines and its platforms, we hope to showcase the Philippine fashion identity, by connecting us to the global community. Vogue remains the most powerful platform for fashion’s emerging talents and their diverse perspectives. It has always been at the crest of new aesthetics and mindsets, and we are thrilled to join the fold,” says editor-in-chief Bea Valdes. 

The designer’s appointment to head Vogue’s 28th international edition was announced in April this year, following the news that Mega Global Licensing Inc. will be publishing Vogue Philippines across print, digital, and social platforms under a licensing agreement with Condé Nast. 

Magno in a Chris Nick dress and Jinggoy Buensucesco headpiece in Biri Island, Northern Samar

Expanding the world of fashion and beauty, Vogue Philippines also shares the stories of craft and innovation found in furniture, interiors, and architecture. In this issue, we get inside a French luxury furniture brand whose family of designers has been working with Cebuano artisans for decades. We also delve into the slow-build philosophy of an interior designer who is making a seaside resort purely with materials local to the island.

When asked how Vogue Philippines can contribute to the Philippine publishing industry, Suki Salvador, President of MEGA Global Licensing Group, Inc. quotes MEGA founder, the late Sari Yap: “The best time to create something beautiful is during adversity.”

Magno is dressed in Louis Vuitton at Siri Island, Northern Samar

He explained that during the pandemic when this was being conceived together with Archie Carrasco, Chairman and CEO of AGC Power Holdings Corp., and Rhoda Aldanese, publisher of Vogue Philippines, they made the decision to make a big move.

“We felt that bringing Vogue Philippines to the country by making a bold move in such a difficult time would spark energy for everyone to follow. I feel that energy is what Vogue Philippines will bring to the publishing industry as well as fashion and beauty in general in the country,” Salvador adds.

Magno shines in an Olivier Theyskens dress in Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte

While everyone is saying print is dead, Salvador believes that just like fashion, platforms on media are cyclical. Sometimes it will quiet down and plummet and he acknowledges there is a new generation of readers and people “who like to touch books because there’s so much garbage online.”

He shares, “We feel they are the ones we still start to talk to and hopefully they will pick up a magazine instead of an iPad.”

Magno is dressed in a Leby Le Moria dress at Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte

Addressing a question about how Vogue Philippines intends to focus on local fashion, the editor-in-chief shares that they would “like to focus on as many aspects as possible because there are broader stories to tell, from the yarn manufacturers and how yarns are made to the cotton farmers and what this means for the whole industry and society as well.”

Valdes adds, “The stories that we would like to bring forward are not just about one aspect, but we need the whole broad spectrum because we see it as an ecosystem. And in that respect every single part is integral to the next, connected, and it’s what helps the whole web become buoyant.”

According to the editor-in-chief, “Those are the stories we would like to bring to people, to serve different perspectives and people who contribute to the industry in lesser known ways. Hopefully those are the things we would like to open up to our readers.”

With regards to sustainable fashion as a relevant issue, Valdes shares, “I think what we would like to do is to show rather than tell. We would like to feature people who are trying new mindsets and doing new things that are along the lines of sustainability because it isn’t a trend; it’s really a mindset shift that is global. And we would like to tell it through the Filipino lens.”

What tone can we expect from Vogue Philippines? Valdes affirms, “I see it as a basis of our own character. We look at the characteristics that are inherent to the Filipino and we’ve used that as a guide to lead by our Filipino values.”

She adds that they are focused on the values of malasakit, bayanihan, this inherent sense of optimism and joy that they have which is very much reflected as the joy the magazine will bring as well.

What is the big dream and vision of Vogue Philippines? Valdes says that “to simplify it and put it through the lens of fashion, it would be first to crystallize the Philippine fashion identity.”

She adds that this applies to the local and global audience while discovering emerging talents and nurturing these. It is simply to bring the art and business of fashion to the whole community and it is something that they would like to share with the whole ecosystem and the other publications while lifting up the whole industry in every single way that they can.

Related to this is how Vogue Philippines will be impacting the lives of those in the country’s publishing industry.

Vogue Philippines publisher, Rhoda Aldanese shares, “We discussed a lot about our character and values system and that is what we have put into the platform. The platform aims to help the business as a whole.”

She elaborates, “I remember Bea saying that when the industry or economy is practically on its knees Vogue is here to help create a more robust ecosystem for our economy as a whole.”

Salvador shares, “Our role as media people and journalists is obviously to story tell and through storytelling we are hopeful that we can make people’s lives easier. By putting out stories through Vogue or MEGA or Lifestyle Asia we hope to shortcut people’s process in trying to get to know something.”

Aldanese adds, “I think we have the most powerful voices internationally that will really put us in that international landscape. So that’s one of the pluses we have, our access to the brightest in the industry.”

Valdes says, “Hopefully we want to be one of the most creative platforms out there for our fellow countrymen to be able to express ideas. The wonderful thing about fashion is it tells human stories.”

While that can lead to fantasy or pseudo reality it always points towards this creative lengthening and the magazine hopes to include as many stellar writers, producers, make-up artists, photographers, offering a safe haven and an exciting, dynamic place for creatives to showcase the best of what they can do.

Valdes shares that one of the interesting mandates that Vogue has is the thrust towards sustainability.

She explains, “What that means to me is that it has the potential to reframe our relationship with nature, our relationship with each other, and with ourselves. And when I think about it and what the magazine’s pages can do is bring these stories of people who are doing it in their own way, locally and showcase this to our readers.”

She believes that it is the spark they would like to ignite by featuring those who are doing meaningful and powerful work.

“The power of our platform is to bring small stories with global dreams to a wider audience,” Valdes concludes.

Vogue Philippines invites you to step into its world, one that is uplifting and inclusive and filled with the Filipino values of optimism, empathy, and the spirit of bayanihan. The September issue is only the beginning of a journey Vogue Philippines intends to take with its audiences, navigating the new and nuanced meanings of beauty, style, and luxury, and championing Filipino creativity in its multitude of forms. 

Vogue Philippines is published under a license agreement between Condé Nast and MEGA Global Licensing. Inc. Condé Nast’s media licensing business publishes editions of the global media company’s iconic brands with local partners around the world. 

Visit vogue.ph and follow @voguephilippines on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok and @vogueph on Twitter.

Banner photo courtesy of Vogue Philippines.

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