I was one of the three judges at this year’s Cebu Next international furniture show for the awards called Mugna. One of the designers that caught my attention was Debbie Palao. She’s not new in the business. She’s been designing furniture for over twenty years. She and her husband, Gus, run a successful furniture factory in Cebu. They’ve focused mainly on the foreign market, resulting in a strong brand that’s represented abroad but not locally (yet).
This year, Debbie granted our wish to feature her work and showroom in Urban Zone. I approached Debbie for the design auction I was organizing for UNICEF, called Auction for Action. She generously donated two Maze tables. The auction was a huge success. We raised over P1.4 million through an online auction. A lot of people were asking, who is Debbie Palao. Here’s Debbie’s world.
The showroom. In the foreground, another of my favourite, E’Kiss. It reminds me of telecom tower but with abaca rope criss crossing the steel bars. Again, I love the irony of mixing high tech metal against the humble abaca rope.
Another witty piece. Debbie calls this Ripples. It looks like a soft rug thrown on top of a stool. But it also looks like ripples in water caused by one pebble. I love how the piece was tied or woven together in one continuous line starting from the centre point.
The reason they called it Meryll was because of Meryll Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada who threw her jackets around. Debbie jokes that her family and staff refer to her as that same character when she’s not looking. 🙂
Check out Debbie Palao’s site here.