Jappy Gonzalez is the first Manila-based Filipino in ‘Business of Fashion’ 500

By Martin Yambao

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Fashion industry maverick Mark “Jappy” Gonzalez joins heavyweights such as Vogue’s Anna Wintour, Comme de Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, and Marc Jacobs in the Business of Fashion  500.

MANILA, Philippines — Mark “Jappy” Gonzalez is the first Manila-based Filipino to be inducted to the Business of Fashion Top 500 index of powerful global fashion industry influencers. 

He joins industry heavyweights such as Vogue’s Anna Wintour, Comme de Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, Raf Simons, Marc Jacobs and other members of the creative class in this honor roll.

Gonzalez is the co-founder and managing director of H&F Retail Concepts Inc. with retail shops Homme et Femme, Univers and Hoodwink — cathedrals of cool that cater to the discriminating fashion market which veers away from the predictable mainstream retail stores.

Counting top designers (from Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele), executives (LVMH’s heir-apparent Antoine Arnault), editors (Vogue Paris’ Emmanuelle Alt, New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman), fashion-tech pioneers, models, muses as part of a professional index — basically, the who’s who of fashion — the list is made up of 500 highly-vetted power personalities.

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Jappy co-founded H&F Retail Concepts Inc. with retail shops Homme et Femme (Shangri-La Plaza Mall and 8 Rockwell) and Univers (One Rockwell) — cathedrals of cool that cater to the discriminating fashion market.

Based on hundreds of nominations received from the previous year’s BoF members, coupled with extensive data analysis and research, Gonzalez was selected this year as the only Filipino to make the fifth edition of the #BoF500, and third overall, all time (1.0 blogger Bryanboy made the list in 2013; V Magazine’s editor in chief Stephen Gan has been added to the BoF Hall of Fame, its highest honor reserved for the likes of Anna Wintour, Comme des Garçon’s Rei Kawakubo). 

Awarded last Sept. 9 at the BoF gala at SoHo’s Public Hotel in New York, Gonzalez writes from New York: “Firstly, I feel very honored to be included in this list primarily because it’s the only list that credits the human resources behind the industry.” Gonzalez is the founder and managing director of H&F Retail Concepts, a holdings company of multi-brand concepts such as Homme et Femme (in Shangri-La Plaza Mall and 8 Rockwell), Univers at One Rockwell, Hoodwink in SM Aura Premier; and foreign franchises such as Balenciaga, Lanvin, Comme de Garçons, Y-3; rounded out by British heritage sportswear brand Fred Perry, French gifting boutique Pylones, and upscale patisserie known for its macarons Ladurée. 

Having built his business on a directional portfolio of luxury brands (an experimental yet saleable mix of cult classic brands and storied labels — counting 3.1 Philip Lim, Dries Van Noten, Maison Margiela, Jil Sander; up-and-coming disruptors such as Vetements and Off-White, to name a few) Gonzalez plays a significant role in the inclusion of Manila to the industry conversation. He is a fashion visionary who defines luxe retailing with his edgy, maverick eye. 

After 22 years of quiet success for H&F, it comes to no surprise that BoF, the “Economist of fashion,” finally took notice. “Also,” he adds, “it feels great to have been considered at all, given that the Philippines is not really in any retail radar.” 

To his milestone inclusion in the #BoF500, Gonzalez says: “I’d like to thank everyone who’s given something of themselves in this endeavor. My family, my co-workers, and my clients.”

Here’s to next year’s list, to the BoF Hall of Fame, and beyond.

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