Expedition: Luxury

Published August 7, 2022, 6:00 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Heart Evangelista takes a tour of Greenbelt on her retail therapy day

Heart visits Louis Vuitton

When it comes to style mavens, Heart Evangelista is among the first to come to mind. From her trips to Paris and Milan for Fashion Week to just running an errand on a regular day, she never fails to come up with an impeccable ensemble decked with designer items. Ever wondered where Heart shops for all her stunning luxury pieces in Manila? Heart takes us with her on a retail therapy day at her favorite and trusted one-stop spot for all her luxury needs! Heart shares, “Today is a special day, but it’s just like almost every day. We’re here at Greenbelt.”

Considered the country’s luxury and fashion capital, Greenbelt 3 has recently undergone a refresh to further solidify its reputation as a venue housing the best luxury brands in the market. It’s also followed by Greenbelt 4, which is currently wrapping up its own refresh. With an imposing facade and elegant halls that compliment and enhance the luxury brands’ show windows, Greenbelt is at par with the world’s fashion hubs.

“I’m a Greenbelt baby. This was my school. It’s my alma mater,” says Heart. “I was here basically every day with my mom and my sister after school. We always have lunch here, and I love how it has grown to be the capital of fashion here in the Philippines.”

Sitting on Univers’ royal blue bubble seat

Kicking off her shopping day-out, Heart beams, “This is my happy place! I can finally visit all of my favorite brands under one roof and shop to my heart’s content.”

The first stop is at Louis Vuitton, the largest store in the Philippines, where she is greeted with an exemplary bold and colorful interior design with a Filipino touch.

Delectable canapes and drinks are served in the VIP room while Heart scans the newest clothing, shoe, and bag collections.

Next on the itinerary are brands under Jappy Gonzalez’s retail group H&F Retail Concepts, which are conveniently placed next to each other. Univers welcomes Heart with bright white walls contrasted with pops of eccentric colorful pieces, incorporating bits of play amid the understated rack of clothes. She eagerly peruses the shelves, before plopping down on the iconic royal blue bubble seat while scanning the racks for pieces to catch her fashionista eye. Hidden somewhere in the store, which piques Heart’s curiosity, is the Assouline book shop, where wooden panels and warm light create the perfect ambiance for reading.

At Bulgari

Next door is the Officine Universelle Buly, which transports Heart back to France with its French antique wood carving designed walls and parquet flooring. Heart scans the beauty care products enclosed in glass cases and tries out various perfumes on display. Last but definitely not least is the late creative genius and visionary Virgil Abloh’s Off-White. Its marble white walls and industrial interior set the perfect backdrop for its iconic luxury streetwear pieces.

‘I’m a Greenbelt baby. This was my school. It’s my alma mater.’

After a “trip” to France, Heart is instantly transported to Italy with Bulgari’s impressive facade reminiscent of Rome’s architectural glories. Inside, Heart goes through the latest jewelry collection, all the while taking in the great marble interiors mixed with earth-toned walls. Kenzo’s stark white walls and navy blue carpet draw the eyes to what’s important—its newest collection. True enough, Heart goes heart-eyed as she enters the store, viewing the collection and picking out the items that catch her eye. Architectonic design and warm-toned interior set the stage for Max Mara’s signature bold colored pieces. Hermes’ two-story shop boasts of a collection of beauty products, home decor, and its beloved collection of bags and accessories. “People aren’t intimidated at all to come to Greenbelt because it caters to everybody. It feels like you don’t really need to travel to feel like you’ve been somewhere because Greenbelt really just gives you everything all at once,” says Heart.

At Max Mara

From Greenbelt 3, Heart strides through the lush greens of Greenbelt and makes her way to Greenbelt 4. “At Greenbelt there’s always a shift of emotions and mood where it’s always a good mood, you feel really excited and happy. Again it goes back to the variety of stores, different feels, and the different aesthetics of each store, and you feel really fresh,” says Heart. Tod’s white walls mixed with brown and gold interiors make a good show of its newest pieces even from afar. Heart bolts straight for a bright purple shoe and a royal blue bag with a glimmer in her eye. Capping off her luxury fashion adventure is Salvatore Ferragamo, which takes her right back to Italy, with the quintessentially Italian feel of its crisp white walls and wooden interior. “Ferragamo is such a classic!” Heart enthuses, as she wanders through the store, eyeing a wardrobe staple—porcelain white flats.

Enjoying a breath of fresh air walking toward Greenbelt 4

Looking for investment pieces has never been easier. Take it from the muse of multiple luxury brands herself. “I’m a digital person. I also like to shop online but it’s still different to see things in person and to feel stuff, to try it on, so I truly enjoy my experience,” says Heart. “I can’t wait for the new Tiffany store. I’m also such a huge fan of Celine. I’m so excited to see the opening, which I heard is going to happen very soon. Thank you so much Greenbelt for being a happy place not just for me but for a lot of people.”