Trying Something New

Sydney, Dec 9: A Sydney-based real estate entrepreneur is bridging the gap between property investment and fashion by acquiring the local distribution rights of well-established Filipino ladies’ designer fashion labels, Plains & Prints and Kamiseta.
The two labels will be available to purchase in Australia for the very first time exclusively at MNOVIS, a new fashion and homewares emporium being launched by Marites Idea Novis at Westpoint shopping Centre in Blacktown.
Novis, founder and CEO of Qfirst Property Investment Group, capitalised on her love of the fashion industry by establishing MFN Productions in 2018, a specialist production company responsible for producing and sponsoring some of Australia’s most notable fashion shows and events including two spectacular fashion showcases featuring internationally-renowned, avant-garde fashion designer to the stars, Rocky Gathercole.

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“I wanted to give an international platform to hardworking and talented Filipino artists who deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated internationally,” said Novis.
With the events industry coming to a grinding halt due to COVID, Novis, eager to continue waving the flag of the Philippines both in Australia and worldwide, decided to pivot and adapt by reaching out to two of her favourite Filipino fashion brands.
“As a Filipino with a love of fashion, I decided to franchise the well-known Filipino brands Plains & Prints and Kamiseta in the Australian market,” said Novis.
“This has allowed me to help keep jobs for fellow Filipinos and create more jobs here in Australia.”
Describing itself as “hip, youthful, and active,” Kamiseta is one of the first Filipino ready-to-wear brands that worked with foreign endorsers instead of Filipino celebrities.
Their list includes some of Hollywood’s biggest names from ’90s It Girl Alicia Silverstone and Kate Hudson to Katie Holmes and Natalie Portman.
Kamiseta, which means “shirt” in Filipino, comes up with designs that are targeted to women from 16 to 34-years-old.
It is designers also abide by what it refers to as the three Cs — cool, casual classics.
“Kamiseta has a good selection of pieces suitable for women wanting to look put together in the tropical heat without going overboard,” said Novis.
Plains & Prints is one of the leading fashion brands in the Philippines, but its humble beginnings trace back to a young college girl’s dream of starting her own clothing line.

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In 1994, the first Plains & Prints boutique was an 11-square meter stall manned by two staff.
“It was then that Plains & Prints began its trade mark creation of timeless pieces that never went out of style,” said Ms Novis.
“In the years that followed, the Plains & Prints vision of creating elegant, quality women’s apparel flourished and business continues to expand.”
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Novis will also be stocking her own eponymous label at MNOVIS – a collection of ladies fashion for everyday, casual and corporate wear.
Novis, the reigning Local Business Awards Blacktown Businessperson of the Year, has overcome the odds by conquering the ultra-competitive male-dominated real estate industry as a female who is also culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD).
“I’ve always been driven to thrive in the real estate and fashion industries, but just like any other fields requiring motivation, commitment and a strong heart, I’ve encountered countless challenges,” said Novis.
“I believe that whatever you’ve set your mind to, you most likely will achieve through the power of dreaming, working hard, and knowing your purpose.”

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