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How See Things Eyewear Climbed its Way to the Top

The team behind the brand offers a way to take care of your eyesight issues without having to lose sight of style.

Since its creation in the beginning of this year, See Things Eyewear has been gaining a following online for their collection of on-trend frames that flatter various face shapes. Those factors might seem like a given for any brand that ventures out into eyewear, but this one has something that gives it an extra boost in credibility—it has an ophthalmologist behind it.

Practicing ophthalmologist Charles Ting had been wanting to create a line of good quality and reasonably priced prescription eyewear for his patients, and finally he’d decided to take the venture together with his wife, physician Maan Briones-Ting, and long-time friend Bruce Sy. “Bruce has always been looking for a business that he could start, while Charles always thought that there should be quality frames that his charity patients can afford,” says Maan.

After designing their first line of glasses, they had initially made it available to optical shops, but presenting the line to their friends brought on a different idea. “Almost all of our friends wanted to buy it, which made us realize that there was a good market for selling them ourselves,” the team shared. “We naturally expanded to sunglasses, still with the objective of offering trendy and classic pieces, while maintaining our affordability.”

The shift created the need for strengthening the brand, and the trio was up for the challenge. In fact, they show their creativity in their name—the team brought together their last names Sy and Ting for an interesting juxtaposition.

To make their collaboration even more superfluous, each person has their own task to take care of. “I’m in charge of conceptualizing designs, while Charles guides us in terms of the frames’ structure and quality,” Maan explains. “I also help out in marketing and sales, as I’m in charge of the brand’s social media presence.”

“With my background, I’m in charge of sales and marketing direction,” adds Bruce, who works in real estate and has a degree in Developmental Studies. He admits, though, that the start-up does require them stepping into each others’ job descriptions. “With this team, we overlap each others’ roles as we help out in all aspects, which works because we all have full-time jobs outside of this.”

Inspiration comes by way of classic frames that have stood the test of time—wayfarers, aviators and more—but See Things Eyewear put their own spin on the designs to give them a trendy look. “Our frames for prescription eyewear are named after our friends, so we had their different face shapes and profiles in mind when we were coming up with the different designs,” Maan shares. Their sunglasses, on the other hand, are named after cities, so the lifestyle of these destinations inspired those shapes.

It seems that their formula for creativity is working, with See Things Eyewear having already released four batches in their six months of operations. “Each batch is conceptualized with consideration to consumer feedback and current trends in mind,” they explain, but they emphasize that being fashionable still isn’t their primary goal. “We have an eye doctor on board, so all designs are carefully crafted with your eyes’ anatomy and comfort in mind,” says the team. 

The steady growth is an inspiring one for those who hope to start their own business, and the trio has some pieces of advice for budding entrepreneurs. “There are so many aspects in starting any business,” they admit. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from those who already know what they’re doing.”

It’s easy to understand why See Things Eyewear’s chic frames are finding success. But of course, it’s more than that—the team behind the brand offers a way to take care of your eyesight issues without having to lose sight of style.

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Events

BVLGARI in Cebu

May 10 – Cebu City  |  Step inside a world of opulence where gold shimmers and diamonds sparkle. BVLGARI, the renowned Italian luxury brand, is celebrated for its exquisite gemstone jewelry, thin watches, perfumes, and leather goods. With a legacy dating back to 1884, BVLGARI has become synonymous with elegance and craftsmanship. The newest BVLGARI boutique opened last week at the sparkling The Mall at Nustar Resort and Casino, fast becoming the shopping destination for discerning consumers.

Eva Gullas, Jeffrey Hang, Jaja Chiongbian-Rama and Butch Carungay

Jeffrey Hang, BVLGARI’s Regional Marketing Director for South East Asia, flew in from Singapore to welcome guests. “We are happy to unveil BVLGARI to the Cebu market. This is the company’s 140th year, and BVLGARI celebrates this landmark with the Aeterna High Jewelry Collection in Rome this coming May 20, attended by all our global ambassadors like Zendaya and Black Pink” Jeffrey shares with us. The collection will be available in SE Asia later in the year and in the Philippines at the end of the year.

Leading the ribbon cutting was Joseph Muñoz (commercial director of Bulgari Philippines, Jeffry Hang (regional marketing director of Bulgari South East Asian operations, Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey (Bulgari Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015), Allan Teo (chief operating officer of NUSTAR Resort and Casino and May Adolfo (mall director of NUSTAR Cebu).

Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey, BVLGARI’s local Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015

Sheila Osmeña-Go and Jaja Chiongbian-Rama

Spotted at the event was Joseph Muñoz, Commercial Director of Bulgari Philippines escorting Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey, BVLGARI’s local Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015, Allan Teo, Chief Operating Officer of NUSTAR Resort and Casino, Howard Go, Summit Media’s CEO and his wife, Cebuana Sheila Osmeña-Go as well as some of Cebu’s young fashionable set like Claudia Bezza Yeung, Marjay Ramirez, and Danessa Onglatco.

May Adolfo, Danessa Onglatco, Marjay Ramirez and Claudia Bezza-Yeung

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Fashion

The Qipao As Interpreted by Innovative Filipino Designers: PHILIP RODRIGUEZ

The Qipao, an iconic symbol of Chinese fashion, takes center stage as we celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. This singular closely-fitted garment crafted from the most opulent silks originated in 1920’s Shanghai. ZEE fashion editor Oj Hofer, has sought the creative insights of some of the Philippines’ most innovative designers for their interpretation of the elegant Qipao, also known as Cheongsam.

Cebu’s esteemed designer, Philip Rodriguez, pays homage to imperial attire with this stunning yellow silk brocade qipao. While adhering to the traditional cheongsam silhouette, Rodriguez infuses a touch of sensuality by incorporating see-through silk tulle panels along the waistline. Known for his timeless designs and culturally respectful creations, Rodriguez’s attention to detail is unparalleled. His embellishments are intricate and exquisite, showcasing impeccable taste and luxurious design without veering into ostentation. Take, for instance, his cheongsam for the Year of the Dragon. While it may seem daring compared to traditional sensibilities, Rodriguez maintains elegance by delicately veiling the wearer’s skin with sheer tulle on the cutout side panels. The front slit of the dress is cautiously calculated to strike the perfect balance between modesty and allure “I design for women who possess sophistication beyond their years, “ Philip emphasizes. “My clothes are crafted to evoke a sense of beauty and allure, leaving her feeling exquisite and confident.” As a seasoned designer, Rodriguez consistently achieves harmony in his designs. His qipao for 2024 seamlessly blends elements of royalty and sensuality, luxury and practicality, reflecting his mastery of the craft and his ability to create pieces that are truly elegant and well-balance.

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Fashion

The Qipao As Interpreted by Innovative Filipino Designers: JC BUENDIA

The Qipao, an iconic symbol of Chinese fashion, takes center stage as we celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. This singular closely-fitted garment crafted from the most opulent silks originated in 1920’s Shanghai. ZEE fashion editor Oj Hofer, has sought the creative insights of some of the Philippines’ most innovative designers for their interpretation of the elegant Qipao, also known as Cheongsam.

JC Buendia, celebrated for his ability to tell a million style stories through minimalist details, is a master of clean, chic lines in fashion. Eschewing frivolity and nonsensical embellishments, every element of his designs contributes to their overall elegance.

Inspired by cinematic portrayals of Chinoiserie, Buendia’s first fascination with the Qipao began with Gloria Romero’s iconic portrayal of a Chinese princess disguised as a ‘sampan’ girl in the 1957 film “Hong Kong Holiday.”

“This admiration for orientalalia only deepened as I watched films like “The Last Emperor” and “In The Mood For Love,” JC recalls.

Buendia’s latest creation is a testament to this cinematic influence. His interpretation of the Qipao for the Year of the Wood Dragon features a cropped top crafted from silk Dupioni, embellished with diamond brooches on the reverse closure for a touch of glamour. Paired with a tea-length bouffant skirt made from frothy layers of delicate tulle, the ensemble exudes sophistication and timeless elegance.

With meticulous attention to detail and a keen eye for design, JC Buendia’s Qipao captures the essence of cinematic glamour while offering a contemporary twist on a classic silhouette. It’s a tribute to the enduring allure of Chinoiserie and the timeless beauty of the Cheongsam.

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