A boyhood spent in rural San Pablo, 87 kilometers south of Metro Manila, informs much of designer Ito Kish’s work. “I paid attention to everything that surrounded me—the market basket and how it was woven, the construction of our dining chair, the print on my mother’s dresses—there were so many things to see and learn from.”
After time spent in the field of sales, Kish worked in Indonesia as a consultant for visual merchandising. He also studied the ins and outs of retail. Always curious, he then delved into the basics of design. “I knew that I had a nose for beauty, so I focused on learning what I didn’t possess naturally,” he says.
When he came back to the Philippines, he opened a small shop selling home accessories from all over the world. After cultivating a dedicated client base, in 2012 Kish launched his furniture line.ITO KISH DESIGN is dedicated to the recovery and adaptation of the design traditions of his native Philippines. “My design will always be about who I am and where I come from,” Kish emphasizes. Applying these to a range of home furniture, furnishings, and accessories, Ito Kish has launched 13 collections to date. Most have won local and international design awards.
To meet the demand for his interior design services, he set up another business, ITO KISH INTERIORS. “As a product designer, I articulate my personal aesthetics, but as an interior design consultant, I bring out the stories of my clients and reflect these into their spaces. In both instances, I am a storyteller whose duty is to breathe life into all these stories within a space.”