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Freeway X Imao | National Artist Collectors’ Series 2016

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#FreewayxIMAO: About the Collection

Freeway, one of the most innovative of local brands , is proud to present the latest National Artist Collector’s Series, where creative works of the country’s National Artists are immortalized through a beautiful fashion collection. This year, Freeway continues to revolutionize the meaning of fashionalism by showcasing the works of the first and only Moro honored as National Artist of the Philippines to date, Abdulmari Imao. Named National Artist for Sculpture in 2006, he worked not only as a sculptor but also as a painter, ceramist, photographer, film maker and writer. Imao was a patron of Philippine Muslim Art and Culture and is known for his unique adaptation of traditional Muslim motifs in his works such as ukkilsarimanok, pakorabong and naga. Imao’s artworks exude a strong sense of nationalism and passion for his culture and heritage, a fine example of unity through diversity.

Freeway X Imao 2016 A

Freeway X Imao 2016 B

Freeway X Imao 2016 C

Freeway X Imao 2016 D

His sculptures and paintings are reinstated to a lavishly beautiful 40 piece collection including casual and dressy tops, graphic tees, jumpsuits and dresses! Ranging from casual to semi-formal, the collection does not fail to serve you with rich colored sublimation print dresses and tops that can be worn from day to night affairs that the modern Filipina will surely love to wear. The collection features woven fabrics, soft materials like georgettes, thick knits and comfy soft that was perfected to flatter one’s figure, with all pieces using comfortable stretch fabric. Freeway X Imao Collection also offers unique and memorable gift items such as the popular canvas printed shopping bags, fans, coin purse, utility case and more!

Freeway X Imao 2016 E

Freeway X Imao 2016 F

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Each item will have a National Artist gift packaging and a bio-tag so that one can learn more about the life and works of Imao. With its special packaging, it is the perfect gift that blends art, history and fashion!

The collection is available at all Freeway and The Row branches nationwide or SHOP ONLINE with us, it’s easy and reliable! Visit freewayonline.com.ph or through their online partner, ZALORA! Visit www.zalora.com.ph, to choose over 1000 brands, COD accepted with 1-3 days delivery.

You may also visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/FreewayOnline or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @FreewayOnline for more information.Thanks to Janilyn (www.facebook.com/Janylinshoes) for the footwear and to Alvin Trono of Stages for the lovely wigs used in the campaign photos.




#FreewayxIMAO: Biography

Abdulmari Asia Imao was born on January 14, 1936 in Siasi, Sulu. He came from a family of Tausug fishermen and boat makers. His parents were farmers and stone crushers and he helped support his family through etching and carving souvenir items.

Abdulmari Imao Photo
Imao’s interest in the arts was awakened when a floating museum, part of a government outreach project, docked in the ports of Sulu. He visited the boat every day, until he was noticed by the museum curator. He showed the curator his drawings on the backs of used paper, and the curator, seeing his talent and passion, encouraged him to study in Manila.

When he has saved enough for a one-way ticket to Manila, Imao visited the Malacanang Palace daily, hoping to get a scholarship from then President Magsaysay. He walked from his host’s house in Tondo and often skipped meals to save money, such that, at one point, he collapsed in the halls of Malacanang. It was then that he got the attention of the president’s personal secretary who helped him apply for scholarships.

His persistence paid off when he received a grant to the University of the Philippines where he was taught sculpture under the watchful eyes of brilliant artists like Guillermo Tolentino, Napoleon Abueva and Anastacio Caedo. His innate creativity and competence in art gave him countless opportunities to study at top schools and art institutes in US through a Fulbright Scholarship and Europe as the first Asian recipient of the prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) grant. He studied at the University of Kansas, Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University, after which he returned to the Philippines to teach.

He is best known for his vibrant interpretations of the “Sarimanok”. His paintings give us a glimpse of Mindanao art: an explosion of colors and hues in perfect symphony creating a kaleidoscope of ethnicity tempered with contemporary art sensibilities. His sculptures also make a statement in mixtures of brass and wood which swirl out in various ukkit and shapes. There is no doubt his artworks exude a strong sense of nationalism and passion for his culture and heritage, a fine example of unity through diversity, thus, making him the first Moro to receive the National Artist recognition for Sculpture on June 9, 2006.

Freeway X NACS Imao Collection is available at all Freeway and The Row branches nationwide. Learn more about Imao and Freeway by visiting freewayonline.com.ph or visit our Facebook page facebook.com/FreewayOnline. You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram @FreewayOnline. SHOP ONLINE with us at our website or through their online partner, ZALORA!