Milan, Italy

Fili collaborates with artisans to produce warm, bright, and beautifully crafted household items using traditional Filipino techniques and fibers.

The story of Fili can be found in its name, which is the Italian word for ‘threads’, and an abbreviated description for a person from the Philippines. Both are firmly woven into the history of this brand, which began to take shape when its founder, who had a background in architecture, moved from Manila to Milan in 2016, to specialize in strategic design.

Born from the idea of working from sturdy natural fibers native to the archipelago, Fili is a brand and collective made up of Filipino artisans, dedicated to the production of delicately made home items and decorative objects. The studio works primarily with abacá fiber. Locally grown in only three countries, it is a species of banana native to the Philippines, and produces one of the strongest of all natural fibers. The resulting objects convey a beautiful, natural warmth, and feature elegant configurations of natural and dyed colors. Since everything is handmade, no two are alike; each piece is rare and authentic. The series of rugs produced by the collective, including Block Area and Dash, play with regular and irregular linear patterning, fusing the homely comfort of the natural materials with subtly elegant nods towards fine art, and abstract visual composition. This fitting articulation of the materials is also evident in the versatile container-objects produced by the brand. The series of planters designed and produced by Fili are ideal for indoor plants but are also suitable for a wide range of interior storage solutions. Hand-woven in abacá around a rattan frame, they are finished in natural beige and dyed navy to create an elegant pattern of widely distributed horizontal stripes. It also features braided handles, making it easy to carry and move around. The fruit basket, similarly constructed, with a slightly tapered frame, also offers a convenient and fitting way of storing natural foodstuffs, and other household items. Elegantly minimalist in appearance, Fili’s designs provide space for the sculptural beauty of the fiber, emphasizing the expressive, textural nature of the artisanal weaving techniques that provide them with their form. Aiming to reach a market that perceives luxury as the time and skill an artisan dedicates to the creation of each one-off object, Fili represents a collaborative process, and a way of emphasizing the artistry and craftsmanship of the archipelagic country. Raw, yet warm, they do not subject their materials to over-manipulation, thus preserving the ways in which they are traditionally applied, interpreted, and utilized in the Philippines.

Fili exhibited at Milan Design Week in 2018. In harnessing a thoughtful, artisanal approach to traditional crafts and natural materials, it endeavors to produce pieces that, though current and contemporary in appearance, are nevertheless timeless, unconfined to the restrictions and diktats of fleeting trends.