A Filipino Creative Feast at the House of Lords

Bianca Acebedo Lopez and Justin Salimbangon models from Cebu City for the finale number with Midz Dagamac ( in Philippine ethnic attire) President of Davawenyo –UK and other Filipino community members.

Parkfleet Consultancy & Services and Topline Global & Investment Ltd.UK held a forum and fashion show called “Creative Economy Through Fashion” at the House of Lords on September 16.

The exclusive event took place at the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace. Panelists at the forum discussed about the tremendous business opportunities that Filipinos can undertake with the British and other nationalities.

The eloquent panelists were Dr. Vanessa Brady, OBE; Professor Mark Watson-Gandy, barrister/CEO; Erik Lim, CEO and chairman of Topline; and Mike Acebedo Lopez, commissioner of the Cebu Ports Authority and managing director of Topline. It was moderated by Stacy Danika Garcia, a consul at the Philippine Embassy in the UK.

While well-heeled and well-dressed guests got a glimpse of the London Eye and the River Thames, Cebu-based designer Philipp Piezas Tampus showcased the ingenious uses of indigenous materials such as hablon and piña cocoon.
It was the first time in fashion history that a Filipino designer was able to present the finest of the Philippines at the Palace of Westminster.

“Creative Economy Through Fashion,” which aims to empower the farming sector that is the main source of materials for the fashion industry, is the brainchild of Marie Cordero Fairbank, the owner of Parkfleet Consultancy.
“When I realized that our designers who come to the UK spend thousands or millions and go home without ROI because they have no access to business people for collaborations and business sustainability, I wanted to help in my own way,” said Fairbank, a doyenne in the Fil-Brit community in London, who is also the company secretary at Topline.

First board meeting of Topline

Topline’s business philosophy is “to provide services in the most responsive way, with the help of our trained employees, armed with the values of professionalism, initiative and trustworthiness” with the mission “to become a successful public company through our dynamic business portfolio in fuel, real estate, port development, energy and technology.”

“I believed that to do a forum at the House of Lords, I’d be the first-ever Filipina to organize an event in such a prestigious place. The venue was chosen so we can attract high-profile business people, potential investors and government officials so we can link them to the designers,” said Mrs. Fairbank, whose husband David was also instrumental in the mounting of the event.

Among the posh attendees were lords and ladies, a diamond dealer, Deputy Chief of Missions Ambassador Frank Cimafranca and wife Lu Calunsag, Deputy Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood Cynthia Alcantara-Barker, Bahrain-based designer Jugger Onate, hotelier Julie Aquino, businesswoman Eme Echavez, CareHands Ltd. director Elsa Binas and Davawenyo UK president Midz Dagamac and Sorayda Cabaguio, former president of the Philippine Muslim Association in the UK.

“I wanted to promote the Philippines but starting first with Cebu, because that’s where I’m from. In my next event, I will include anyone that will support my cause,” Fairbank said. “I will also invite fashion designers from Africa, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.”

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