Our Hella Pinay Gift Guide Will Make Everyone On Your List Super ‘Maligaya’
Maligayang Pasko! It’s the most wonderful time of year, and we’re here to make sure your holiday gifting game is on point this season. Shower your loved ones with these unique and well-crafted gifts rooted in tradition by innovative Pinxy designers and artisans, and everyone will be wanting you as their Secret Santa next year.
Have a powerful, fashionable friend in your life who you never know what to gift because he/she is so fabulous? Maaari is your one-stop shop of modern design certain to please even the most discerning of tastes. Rooted in consciousness and inspired by cultural tradition, Maaari in Tagalog means “what is possible” and “can be done”. From jewelry to home goods, everything in their line is sustainable, artisan made, and with an eye for style. For instance, the Banga Vase is a perfectly-poised vessel with a sexy silhouette. Inspired by the traditional Filipino Banga Dance performed by women balancing bangas (or pots) on their heads, the Banga Vase celebrates the strength and agility of women and the grace with which we balance being a provider, lover, creator and friend. Never thought a vase could make you think “fierce”? The Banga Vase will do just that.
For the little one in your life, SugarcaneSF - “Designed by a mother. Woven by mothers. Made for your children” - produces a small line of children's clothing designed and made in California. It uses textiles called inabel, which are hand-loomed in the rural villages of Ilocos, Philippines, in order to preserve the weaving tradition and support its artisans. The weavers are nanays and lolas taking care of their families, realizing their dreams, and paving the way for their children's futures in the belief that family and community benefit when women benefit. The Salud Dress in Multi Stripes comes in a striped kantarines weave and perfectly encapsulates the vivaciousness of youth. Perfect for special occasions and everyday wear, it is fully lined in cotton voile and has a natural waist, full skirt, and three-quarter sleeves.
HALIYA is extra special for us here at Hella Pinay, because it is a fashion line created by our founder and editor-in-chief, Stephanie Gancayco. Named after the Bikolano warrior goddess of the moon and protector of women, HALIYA represents the strength and resilience of women, and reconnecting to pre-colonial roots. HALIYA collaborates with indigenous Filipino artisans to bridge ancestral techniques and contemporary design, resulting in edgy sportswear with unmistakable Filipino roots. The ‘Pako-Pako’ Cropped Bomber is the perfect piece to demonstrate HALIYA’S signature style, featuring batwing sleeves and traditional hand embroidery by master embroiderers in Ilo-Ilo, Philippines. Portions of the proceeds from each sale go back to the Panay Bukidnon School of Living Traditions, which passes on cultural arts to the next generations.
herman & co. Clothing
Looking for something cozy to buy a loved one who makes you feel warm inside? Look no further than Herman & Co. Clothing, a heritage brand showcasing indigenous textiles and artisan products from Philippine tribes. Its products are sourced directly and showcase distinct art forms handed down from generation to generation. Each piece is stylish and practical - the Marianelle Oversized Sweatshirts are made of silky crepe fabric and showcase a panel of Tausug textile called “pis siyabit.” Available in four colors, the sweatshirts are perfect all-day wear made for a cold night and warm drinks. But hurry - Herman & Co. pieces are limited edition and no two Tausug textile designs are alike.
Yakang Yaka Barter
Stuff the stockings of your favorite people with accessories made by Yakang Yaka Barter. Promoting the indigenous crafts of Mindanao with sustainable and ethical fashion made by women artisans and weavers in Zamboanga, the company sells bags, shoes, scarves, travel accessories and more. It is also a big proponent of slow and sustainable fashion - its dazzling Yaka Earrings are made from leftover Philippine cotton thread that supports local Filipino farmers. Slow and steady will definitely win the holiday gifting race.
Want to give a gift of classic elegance that will withstand the test of time? Give them the refreshed take on modern Filipiniana created by Vinta Gallery. The Toronto-based company updates traditional wear with modern silhouettes, so you can look and feel timeless. Manufactured in the Philippines by Filipiniana artisans and embroiderers, all of Vinta’s products are embedded with craftsmanship and the aura of old Filipino glamour. Founder Caroline Mangosing was a former executive director of Kapisanan, a Filipino arts & culture organization based in Canada, before she became the head of Vinta Gallery. Now proceeds from Vinta Gallery helps to support Kapisanan, making it a beautifully circular economy. Our pick is the jaw-dropping Shirt Coat Barong, an edgy take on the classic piece made with silk cocoon (100% organza). Chic and versatile, you can dress it up or down along with dresses, pants, shorts, or whatever suits your fancy.
Still haven’t found anything on this list that’s quite right? Well, head on over to Cambio Market, an online marketplace featuring a wide catalog of well-chosen brands and products. Their tagline says it all: "Curated products for the socially conscious. Handmade, fair trade, and ethical gifts made with love." From bags to jewelry to paper goods, Cambio Market gathers the most charming gift ideas from their positive impact partners. And of course, the co-founder is a Pinay - Gelaine Santiago founded Cambio Market with her life and business partner, Jerome Gagnon-Voyer. Our pick? The Tagua Nut nNecklace, made with a real tagua nut (comes from a palm tree, and just as strong as ivory!) and set on square brass tubing. Minimalist and chic, it is a versatile piece that adds a spark to any outfit, from office wear to date night.
Now go on, be your sexy Santa self! Here’s to making this season (and every season) Hella Pinay!
Dyanna is a San Francisco "jill of all trades" - attorney, budding rockhound, tea jockey, marriage commissioner, health enthusiast, and writer for her personal blog, Style & Fitness in San Francisco. She is passionate about sharing the stories of Filipina womxn's diverse, vibrant, and innovative movements. Her style stems from the vintage clothing her Abuelita collected from garage sales for Balikbayan boxes, and she strives to promote the tenents of slow fashion.
Ruby Veridiano is a fashion changemaker. She is a writer, fashion correspondent and speaker whose work focuses on connecting the dots between women's empowerment and socially-conscious fashion, as well as promoting diversity & inclusion in the fashion industry. She is a contributing correspondent for NBC News, NYLON Magazine, and Mic.com, and has interviewed designers Anna Sui, Vivienne Tam, and Prabal Gurung, among other multicultural designers in the fashion industry. Ruby has worked on the social responsibility team of the Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) Group in Paris, where she worked on global diversity initiatives. She is a proud Filipina-American from California now living in Paris, sharing her ‘glamour for good’ approach to life & style.