The Kahoy Kollection eyewear of Filipino-American designer-entrepreneur Ralph Santos is now trending in Hollywood.
Members of the popular show Dancing with the Stars were seen wearing the bamboo-temple frames, along with celebrities Christina Milian, Mike Epps, and Wayne Brady. Fashion gurus and bloggers have also expressed praises for the unique framed glasses of the Kahoy Kollection.
“Kahoy,” which in the Philippine language means wood, is the material used for the high-end eyewear with a line of vintage-inspired sunglass and optical frames.
The styles are named for beaches, streets or districts that Guam-born Santos has lived in or visited.
The eyewear collection is envisioned by the Fil-Am entrepreneur as an eco-friendly business that pushes Filipino culture to the forefront of fashion.
The bamboo material is currently sourced from Japan, but Santos is already looking into using Philippine bamboo.
Santos chose bamboo, believing it is “the most sustainable wood. It doesn’t use a lot of water to grow and it’s the most lightweight and comfortable wood.”
The designer is also teaming up with community organizations in the Philippines to help the business.
The Kahoy Kollection website lists Santos’ Filipino lineage from his parents, a grandfather who managed the first department store in Old Manila’s Escolta District, and a godmother who owns optical chain stores also in Manila.
The Kahoy Kollection brand was established in 2012. Santos drafted strategic plans while completing an MBA degree.
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