Filipino furniture designer a Hollywood hit


By Jason Gutierrez (AFP)
CEBU, Philippines — His designs may be in Hollywood but his heart is at home: renowned Filipino furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue says he still gets his inspiration from the sun-baked shores of Cebu. The multi-award-winner is regarded by international design magazines as one of the poster boys of Asia’s chic furniture design industry and his unique works have penetrated the luxury market around the world.

They can be found on movie sets, in the home of US movie star Brad Pitt — who bought a Cobonpue bed — and in leading hotels, establishments and resorts in Paris, London and the Caribbean.

Yet for all his success, the 40-year-old father-of-two remains firmly grounded to his roots.

He says his creative ideas come from nature and locally-sourced materials in Cebu, an island province in the central Philippines, famous for its colourful festivals and sweet mangos.

“In the beginning, I always looked at nature for reference — the transparency, fluidity. These are characteristics of nature that I want to capture in the objects I design,” Cobonpue told AFP at his factory in Cebu City, which is also the country’s booming furniture industry capital.

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