These Are the APEC 2015 Chairs You’re Looking For
All eyes were on just one prize during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2015 held in Manila in November, and I’m not talk about the #APEChotties. OK, fine, I’ll admit women were looking at handsome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and even US President Barack Obama, but what was really on people’s minds? The Kenneth Cobonpue-designed Yoda chairs they sat on during the welcome dinner reception held at Mall of Asia Arena. Though most chairs were sold to private indiviuals, six special chairs were reserved for UNICEF’s Auction for Action to benefit its 1,000 Days Campaign. This auction is going live on December 16, 2015 and if you are very lucky, you too might be able to own a piece of beautifully designed history for your home.
Filipino Kenneth Cobonpue is known for making iconic interior design pieces inspired by nature. Even celebrities Brad Pitt and George Clooney own pieces for their home. Kenneth designed the Yoda chair with nylon, rattan and stainless steel and inspired by blades of grass and was tasked to recreate his original design specifically for APEC. “The construction of these chairs is different,” he said during the press conference held at his flagship store in Greenbelt 2 Residences, Makati. “This one has stainless steel legs and made to swivel to catch the action. The cuts are shorter so the views are unobstructed.” Microfiber armrests and a seat cushion were added for comfort. The designer made 60 pieces and thought they would be a burden to sell after the excitement of APEC died down, but he was dead wrong. He was able to sell almost all of them straight away – with one businessman wanting to buy 40 for his boardroom.
“I am always in support of UNICEF and it’s a privilege to extend this same privilege to the children of the Philippines,” he says. He called UNICEF Special Advocate for Children and TV host/producer Daphne Osena-Paez if UNICEF was interested in the chair used by President Obama. Daphne replied, “Yes, we would but I think we will need more than one!”
The designer has previously donated his Harry chair and Chiquita chair for Auction for Action, which began in 2011, where Daphne tapped artists and designers to donate for the social organization. The past three Auction for Actions raised a total of Php8.2 million for UNICEF.
Thus Kenneth generously donated six Yoda chairs specifically used by the aforementioned Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, Mexican Enique Pena Nieto and US President Barack Obama as well as those by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and last but not the least our own Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. All chairs bear a silver plaque indicating who it was used by during APEC 2015. “We are cry thankful for Kenneth’s generosity,” says Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative. “This auction will go a long way in ensuring more children can benefit from this life-changing initiative.”
The UNICEF 1,000 Days Campaign believes the first 1,000 days of a child’s life can set the tone for how well that child will flourish and thrive. Those interested in bidding for a Yoda chair need to pre-register today up to 6PM of December 15, 2015 on www.unicef.ph.
For all those bidding ,may the force be with you!
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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.
We are The Gypsetters.