From Jordan’s Queen Rania to Hollywood’s royalty, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Kenneth Cobonpue has captivated many with his masterwork. His eponymous brand has put the island of Cebu on the map with its nature-inspired luxury furniture that combines locally-sourced, organic materials with handmade production techniques. Operating in the US $20 billion global luxury furniture market, the company (KC) sells in over 60 countries through 100 retail showrooms. KC furniture can also be found in fine-dining establishments and hotels across the world, and pieces have been featured in Hollywood films and television shows including CSI Miami and Oceans 13.
To complement Kenneth’s aesthetic; his partner, Christopher Reiter brings in the bottom-line brawn. Raised in California, Chris began his career as a fund manager. A job posting in Indonesia opened his eyes to the world of art and antiques, which inspired him to quit his job to set up a home design boutique in Jakarta. A few years later, he moved to Washington DC to become a full-time textile and furniture retailer so he could bring Asia’s unique fashion and crafts to the US. Chris crossed paths with Kenneth in 2000, when Chris visited Kenneth’s store. Impressed with Kenneth’s delicate yet sophisticated designs, Chris joined KC as a partner in 2001, and has been instrumental in launching KC’s New York-based store, bringing KC furniture to 30 showrooms across the US.
Beyond design, the company’s network of local craftsmen and innovative in-house production techniques make its products difficult to replicate. Kenneth Cobonpue is truly the pièce de résistance of the Philippines’ design ecosystem. KC’s design collective, Hive, serves as a platform for mentoring and an avenue for lesser known designers to showcase their work. As KC is a strong brand interwoven with meaning and, despite becoming global, still possesses a Southeast Asian soul, Endeavor Philippines believes that Kenneth Cobonpue can show the world that luxury brands from the emerging market can compete internationally.