Indeed, if there is a Kagay-anon fashion brand that tells its story loudest, it has to be Mags. Owned by a natural born fashionista and former commercial model Mags Lopez Calpito Cue. That day that I interviewed her, she was beaming with so much beauty and class. But who is Mags behind the extravagant and glamorous world of fashion?
Born and raised in Batangas City, Mags is the fifth child among the eight. During her childhood years, she was religious and was actively involved in their church. Everyday, she would wake up early to attend the 5:30 AM mass.
After high school, Mags went to Manila for college. She graduated BS Psychology at Far Eastern University. Because she is undeniably pretty and fashionable, she was discovered to do commercial modeling. She did TV commercials for San Miguel and City Bank, to name a few. And she also had TV appearances. One of them was a dating game at Eat Bulaga.
Mags met the man of her life in Manila. He is Oliver John Yu Cue who hails from Cotabato City but manages family businesses here in Cagayan de Oro. They are blessed with three kids, all boys. Mags is so proud that her sons have grown to be very loving and religious.
The birth of Mags Boutique
She really didn’t have any plans to open a business. Since she was living a life of a pure housewife, she was left alone in the house while her husband goes to work everyday for a family owned business. Out of boredom, she decided to venture into her own boutique. Business is not new to her. Her parents had a dress shop that exported baby dress and a tailoring shop where everything was made, from school uniform to basketball jerseys. They also had a restaurant.
In 2003, Mags started with a boutique in a 40 square meter space at De Leon Plaza. It was not a clothing line yet but something that almost had everything under the sun like Christmas decors and toys. She was happy that there were lots of customers that kept coming back who requested her to open a branch in malls. That inspired her and so she considered to establish her own label. In 2004, the clothing line for women Mags Boutique was born at Limketkai Mall.
Since the demand in CDO is really high, Mags Boutique expanded in other key cities. Its first branch outside CDO is at SM City Davao. Today, Mags Boutique has 22 strong branches nationwide. The latest one opened last December at Robinsons Place Butuan.
Mags love for fashion paid off when she was awarded as one of the Best Dressed Women of the Philippines 2013 held at Makati Shangrila. Some of the most notable past recipients of this award are Dr. Vicky Belo, Margie Moran, and Dawn Zulueta.
Another great accomplishment of Mags is the strong performance of Mags Boutique nationwide. It has constantly been recognized by SM Malls as one of their most consistent tenants that achieves and even exceeds sales quota. It has established itself as a trusted brand. Today, Mags Boutique has been the official casual wear of Mutya ng Pilipinas and in other prestigious beauty pageants in the country such as Miss Cagayan de Oro and Miss Dinagyang in Iloilo City.
“As a businesswoman, it is not the number of branches that I have but the appreciation of our customers. Everytime na sasabihin nila na I love what I wear and promote sila ng promote. That is one of the best achievements that I have.”
Of all her awards and recognition, I asked Mags of her greatest achievement. She was quick with her answer… family.
The faces of Mags
Rica Peralejo is the first and longest endorser of Mags Boutique for four years. Following her is Cristine Reyes. And the latest one is Miss Angel Aquino that has been modelling Mags since August last year.
Biggest Fashion Events
“Mags on the Catwalk” is an annual fashion show featuring the brand’s latest collection and all the fashionable women who wear Mags. The biggest and the latest event took place last year at SM North Edsa Skydome in line of its 10th year anniversary. It was packed and well attended by the country’s style icons. Among those who were present are top models Marina Benipayo and Abigail Arenas.
Who wears Mags?
There are a bunch of famous names that wear MAGS like former Binibining Pilipinas International Alma Concepcion, Darlene Maceda, Ginger Conejero, and Dimples Romana. But, regardless of age and social status, anyone can wear Mags especially those who love to dress up. It is affordable. One can buy a dress for as low as P500. The collections are manifestations of the sophisticated taste of Mags Cue and her creative team here and abroad.
Unknown to the public, Mags engage herself with activities that have social relevance. She holds charity works every year. She does feeding program to less fortunate kids in Cagayan de Oro and Manila. When Sendong hit Cagayan de Oro, Mags together with her models extended their help to the victims and was able to feed 3000 people, distributed clothes and goods.
Other Business Ventures
Aside from her clothing line, Mags has ventured in food business. She has brought the dining experience in Cagayan de Oro to a whole new level by franchising her first restaurant, Mesa Filipino Moderne at Centrio Mall.
Aside from women’s clothes and accessories, Mags also has its own scent which was launched two years ago. Then the latest addition to its growing portfolio is Andre. It is a men’s wear clothing line which is named after her third son. It is currently available at Mags Boutique Limketkai Mall. A clothing line for babies is also in the pipeline which already has a name “Little Mags” but it is still subject for further evaluation.
Tsada Gyud: What is fashion?
Mags: It is not yung clothing talaga but it is how you carry the clothes. It doesn’t have to be too expensive. The comfort really matters.
Tsada Gyud: What does it take to be fashionable?
Mags: She is somebody who can carry herself very well with style, elegance, and poise. No need to be expensive. And she has to be consistent.
Tsada Gyud: Who are the most fashionable women in the Philippines?
Mags: Marami like Angel Aquino, Amparito Lhuillier, and Tessa Prieto.
Tsada Gyud: You own Mags but do you still wear other brands?
Mags: Yes. It is definitely not an issue for me. But, my every day wear is really Mags. I also wear designer brands.
Tsada Gyud: Who are the best designers in the Philippines?
Mags: Renee Salud, Jot Losa, and Eric Delos Santos.
Tsada Gyud: Where will you be 10 years from now?
Mags: Mag laylo na siguro ako and just stay in my house and take care of my grand children.
Tsada Gyud: If you were not an entrepreneur, what were you?
Mags: I’m an actress and I’m not kidding. Actually I had several TV series supposedly before. I was supposed to act as Ruffa Gutierrez best friend for Young Love Sweet Love pero iniwanan ko. Gusto ko talaga mag artista before pero hindi ko kayang maghintay ng ganoon ka tagal sa taping. Recently, Viva asked me to do a mother role for a movie and Carlo Maceda offered me an Indie Film. Pero hindi ako pumayag. Kung short lang na role, siguro okay, but if it will take us weeks or months to shoot, I don’t think I can handle that anymore and my husband doesn’t like that. Somebody also offered me a hosting job but the problem is ayaw ng husband ko. I have to be based kasi in Manila and my family are here in Cagayan de Oro.
Tsada Gyud: You were born in Batangas, spent college in Manila, and now you’re in Cagayan de Oro. Can you firmly say to your self that you are already a proud Kagay-anon?
Mags: Definitely. I live here and my heart belongs to Cagayan de Oro. Ang daming nag start in Cagayan de Oro eh. When I lived here, I had my babies here. Mags Boutique was born here. I owe Kagayanons so much.
Tsada Gyud: How do you want to be remembered?
Mags: A fashionable woman with a very good heart.
For someone who is originally not from Cagayan de Oro, Mags Cue has already made remarkable contributions to the city. She humbly said that she owes the city a lot. Well, the city owes her too. She has created a fashion brand that every Kagay-anon can rightfully claim as “Cagayan de Oro.” And she redefines Kagay-anon as someone who doesn’t have to be born and raised in this city. Anyone can be a Kagay-anon by heart.
Mags Lopez Calpito Cue… fashionable… beautiful… successful… trend setter… PROUDLY KAGAY-ANON!
Other photos credits to Mags Ph Facebook Page