This Women’s Month, we put the spotlight on The SM Store’s homegrown brands for women in celebration of their many roles. Whether she is a home manager, a career woman, an entrepreneur, a caregiver, a mom—The SM Store got it all for you.
The SM Store’s in-house brands cater to all types of women to highlight their individuality as they carry out their mission confidently and comfortably. “Each brand represents different lifestyles and personalities that span from classic to chic,” said Christine Cang-Sapnu, Vice President for Women’s Wear of The SM Store.
Among these homegrown brands is the iconic Parisian, known for quality and affordable shoes. The brand draws inspiration from Parisian clothing taste and the city’s reputable fashion sense — classic, chic, and forward. Today, Parisian bags, flats, slip-ons, and heels are recognized for being reasonably priced without sacrificing quality.
SM Woman is a go-to brand for the latest fashionable ladies’ apparel. From simple to fancy office wear, casual to formal wear, active to loungewear—all types of women are sure to find something that suit their fashion needs.
The SM Store also has Coco Cabaña for vibrant and lightweight swimwear for the “always summer” wardrobe, Gigi Amore for the comfortable yet stylish lingerie and innerwear, GTW Urban for the trendy casual streetwear that reflect the youth’s fashion spirit, Prima for classic and polished pieces, and Baleno for everyday go-to essentials that are versatile and familiar.
For more flavor and style, SM Accessories is a one-stop-shop for fashion accessories that can instantly elevate a look.
“Through The SM Store’s homegrown brands, we are responding to the evolving needs of our women shoppers by making our pieces relevant to the times. This allows them to wear functional fashion while being creative and expressive through their clothes, shoes, and accessories,” explained Joyce Salvacion, Vice President for Shoes and Bags.
“During the pandemic, the fashion needs of women changed, and The SM Store catered to these evolving needs. From easily cleanable bags to safety essentials and sandals for grocery runs, we have made all these items available to them,” she continued.
Behind every fashion piece are women. “Women are definitely all over the fashion industry. Most of the roles are occupied by women, from those in the front lines to those behind the scenes. At The SM Store, it is mostly women who develop the merchandise, promote the collection, and provide high-touch interaction with our shoppers,” said Cang-Sapnu. Eighty percent of The SM Store’s partner entrepreneurs are operated and owned by women, creating jobs and livelihood opportunities for many people.
Fashion for women led by women
The SM Store is a company led by women. At its helm is Chelo Monasterio, The SM Store President. “Women make up 63% of our employees. The majority of our senior management and middle management are occupied by women. We create an environment for women to grow their careers and maximize their potential,” shared Monasterio.
SM was given the Gender Equality Award by Bloomberg in 2020 and 2021, recognizing the company’s strong support for women. It is also a signatory of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, signifying the company’s commitment to the gender equality dimensions of the 2030 agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Asked about being a leader in the country’s largest fashion retail chain, Salvacion believes in leading by example and walking the talk. “Nothing beats the mentoring style of showing your people the actions that you want them to emulate.”
Women at the frontlines
“From the headquarters to the front lines, The SM Store is supported by women who make the daily operations smooth, efficient, and safe for everyone,” said Monasterio.
For Bianca Ambrosio of The SM Store Aura, leadership means paying it forward. “My journey with SM has taught me to pass on the mentorship I received from my women bosses and be a nurturing leader to the team that I lead.”
Maricel Panganiban, customer services manager at The SM Store Southmall, said that the leadership team—who are also mostly women whom she looks up to—makes sure that the voices of the staff are heard and recognized. “In my 19 years of working in SM, we have been consistently molded to be leaders and better versions of ourselves. As a manager, my goal is to ensure that everyone in my team is heard, recognized, and valued. No one should be left behind.” For Kathleen Cruz, branch manager of The SM Store Makati, leading a team of one of the busiest branches of the largest retail chain in the country can be challenging but fulfilling. “My daily mission is to keep our staff motivated, unified, and focused on our goal of providing excellent service to our customers.”
Behind The SM Store’s operations is a woman who keeps intact the health and well-being of all employees from the headquarters to the stores. Jeanette Cruz, head of medical services, emphasized that ensuring the physical and mental health of employees and customers is crucial in empowerment.
“My mission is to keep our employees safe and healthy in the workplace so they can take care of their families when they get home,” said Cruz. “I also make sure that the entire medical team is armed with skills and knowledge so they can fulfill their duties better.”
“Through The SM Store’s products, services, and values we stand for, we want women from all walks of life to know that they have an ally in us not just during Women’s Month but in all days of the year. Women have navigated and embraced change through their exceptional skills, compassion, and mindfulness to reach their goals. It’s only apt to celebrate them not just this March but all throughout the year,” Cang-Sapnu concluded.