This year’s Havaianas Obrigada invitations were out and the muted yet beautiful color palette of the invitation along with the carefully crafted, daintily distressed details suggested that something naturally alluring was afoot. The world’s most beloved flipflops brand and their exclusive sub distributors of Havaianas in Southeast Mindanao, MT Martish Corporation, had something special in store for its media and blogger friends and other special guests. If the clipboard and words ‘Instagram styling workshop’ were anything to go by, it held the promise of an afternoon that brought all thoughts to setting our styles for the coming summer and how to best feature them on our social media feeds.
As I passed through the gorgeous green doors of Sea Green Cafe & Boutique Rooms, seeing the three ladies who are collectively known as The Kreativ Gypsies confirmed my hope. Only a year since they formally banded, it was shaping up to be a real up-close-and-personal with Davao’s premier styling trio which also happened to be a favorite of MT Martish Managing Director Marga Nograles. Helen Co, Anna Santos and Apple Quiñones
were at Sea Green bright and early since that morning, perfecting the island rustic tablescape where the guests were to converge, propped and prepared the all-to-important main backdrop and made sure there was an abundance of materials all arranged artfully yet ready to be used for the ensuing activity that afternoon. Pairs upon pairs from the Havaianas Summer collection adorned the shelves on the walls and were arranged in their respective racks for everyone’s viewing and styling pleasure.
We were welcomed by Feb Lim of MT Martish to the informal get-together and she quickly handed us over to The Kreativ Gypsies. Apple gamely introduced their creative clique and enjoyed everyone’s rapt attention as most were already familiar with their outstandingly styled bodies of work. Helen prepared a short list of tips that would help the guests further improve and curate their social media posts as they were now the accepted modern windows into a person’s identity. From how to execute a good flatlay to the rule of thumb that only three big objects must be present in a balanced bird’s eye shot, these ladies had posting fundamentals down to an exact science.
The hands on portion of the afternoon would go on without a hitch with each guest trying their hand at styling their own shots using elements of summer and showing the Havaianas pairs prominently. MT Martish was sweetening the fun challenge by upping the stakes with prizes up for grabs to be given to the two most well-executed flatlays. The Kreativ Gypsies stood nearby like the good design deities they were, doling out pieces of advice and making small adjustments to make sure everyone could get the best possible shots. Because really, these little digital snapshots were among our best souvenirs of that fun afternoon as they represented a lot of what we were excited about in the months to come. We were all quite feeling the essence of ‘Obrigada’, which means “thanksgiving” in Portuguese, by the time we left our design outpost. It would be another unforgettable moment when there was fun to be had and a pair of Havaianas flipflops was involved.