Arts & Leisure

Penshoppe: Going global but staying local

Posted on March 20, 2017

AS MUCH as homegrown brand Penshoppe is known for hiring some of the world’s top models for its campaigns (think Kendall Jenner, Sean O’Pry, Gigi Hadid, Cameron Dallas, and Lucky Blue Smith), the brand is excited to use familiar faces to represent its Filipino roots.

Penshoppe’s new ambassadors, collectively dubbed as Club Penshoppe
On March 16 in Makati City, Penshoppe launched its new ambassadors, collectively dubbed as Club Penshoppe. These include former Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) contestants Brazilian model Maria Fabiana, part-American Tanner Mata and his brother, Tyler; Spanish model Emilio Francisco Perez, and young actors Loisa Andalio, Sofia Andress, and Ronnie Alonte. “This is part of our regional approach,” said Penshoppe brand director Jeff Bascon. “We want to [have] a parallel approach. We have global endorsers, [but] at the same time, we see [the] importance of having the local ambassadors, because we want to be able to reach more of the population of the Philippines.” He added, “I think you always have [to have] that “glocalization” thing; you’re global, but at the same time, you localize it.”

The stable of models included in Club Penshoppe in the Philippines is part of a regional initiative that would entail getting a similar roster drawn up all over the ASEAN region, specifically in countries where Penshoppe is present: for example, in Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. When asked what qualities the company would seek in their models abroad, Mr. Bascon said: “I think it’s a certain level of authenticity. You have to be like, true to yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. Just good personal style, I think.”

Some measure of fame is to be had, of course. “You have to be relevant,” he said, but then he noted that model Mr. Perez doesn’t have thousands of followers on Instagram like his colleagues do, explaining, “We wanted to add him, because he brings that level of authenticity.”

Another reason for selecting models from every country is the sheer difficulty of getting the international endorsers around. “We have the likes of Gigi and everyone, but the thing is, we’re not able to bring Gigi to Cebu, to Davao, or let’s say in Indonesia... so we need these local ambassadors to reinforce that.”

Meanwhile, just because they’re going local, doesn’t mean the public won’t get the buzz of more top models this year. “This year, we’re going to be big,” said Mr. Bascon. “People might say, ‘Oh, they’re letting go of global endorsers.’ Not at all.”

Penshoppe’s thrust for ASEAN nations to show off their country’s pretty faces for the brand stems from its regional and global expansion. Penshoppe has about 30 stores abroad, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia. About the regional approach, Mr. Bascon said: “This is where we’ve been opening our stores... just because it’s a booming market,” he said, citing stores in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar, as well as a few more opening this year, in locations Mr. Bascon isn’t at liberty to discuss.

Penshoppe is a brand under Golden ABC, Inc., which also owns the brands Oxygen, Memo, Forme, Regatta, and Tyler. While according to Mr. Bascon, Tyler is undergoing some “recalibrating,” Oxygen and Forme have opened locations in Cambodia and Vietnam. “The vision of the brand is to be planting one Filipino flag a country at a time.” -- Joseph L. Garcia