“Prizmic & Brill is a trademark developed with the idea of two travelers seeking the beauty, diversity and essence of the world and its cultures.”
This is how New York-born designer Matthew Sven Brill describes the brand that he built in 1986 together with writer and performance artist Vinko Mario Prizmic. Based out of San Fernando in the province of Pampanga, P&B Valises et Compagnie Inc. employs thousands of artisans and workers with the common goal of creating pieces that would bring character to any space.
Prizmic & Brill’s signature style is combining hardwood, hand-forged brass and exquisite leather hides, and a detail-oriented and meticulous fabrication process. The brand specializes in vintage-style home furnishings and period pieces inspired by travel. “Thus, our hallmark resembles a vintage luggage badge,” points out Brill. “We have used a ‘Travelers Palm’ as part of our marketing graphics as well.”
The studied blend of travel influences and Old World charm translates into a very specific and refined aesthetic. Most of the pieces have a rustic and nostalgic feel to them; exotic and eclectic, even. Similar to heirloom items that have been passed on through generations, a Prizmic & Brill piece is marked by history and excellent craftsmanship.
“Our customer relates to our products because of their historical and classic roots. Many of our items are travel-related – Trunks Campaign Furniture – and they target a sophisticated clientele,” Brill notes.
That a space filled with Prizmic & Brill pieces encapsulates what a sophisticated traveler is looking for, the brand is a favorite contractor in the hospitality and property development industries. Both in the Philippines and abroad, they have designed custom pieces for major accommodation properties, upmarket residential developments and swanky restaurants.
Here at home, the Prizmic & Brill touch can be found at the Sofitel, Shangri-La hotels, Raffles and the Amanpulo resort. They’ve done work for Century Properties and Ayala Land as well. The company’s hefty contract design portfolio of international clients can be found on its website, www.prizmicbrill.com.
“Contract business is usually custom design or variations of our existing designs. The product is designed for commercial use and designs often vary from the retail product by dimension and fabrication,” Brill explains. “Our designs are a collaboration – a result and evolution of combining the ideas and expertise of our customers over the last 25-plus years. I am talking about working with the best minds in furniture design, hotel developers, resort owners, interior designers and others.”
It is also very inspiring. “We have interpreted the designs of so many talented people that the result has crept its way into our own products – we improvise more than we design.”
Prizmic & Brill is in contract with the Professional Golfers Association as its exclusive supplier of pro-shop buildout and fixtures, locker rooms, and dining and hospitality tent furnishings. Brill notes that while contract design for export “can be very profitable” due to “substantial” quantities, it is very risky because “interpreting the specifications of the client is difficult,” especially for products that have not been tested.
“Things can go wrong, which can be very expensive mistakes,” Brill candidly admits. “We must be very careful and methodological.”
Retail, on the other hand, “is much easier although we are selling products directly to the consumer, which requires a good sales and customer service team.”
Brill says, “We have two or three main collections that we add to over time. We reintroduce modified or improved versions of the same item as an evolution of product and design. We try to keep our products looking fresh and forward while always addressing how to improve utility, comfort and aesthetics.”
These products are showcased at the Prizmic & Brill flagship store at Greenbelt 5, which features trademark collections and pieces as well as the occasional new or updated item. The Prizmic & Brill brand also has presence in over 20 locations across the globe available through franchise holders.
P&B Valises et Compagnie was given the Mabini Award for Employer of the Year in 1991 for being the largest employer of handicapped workers and the Golden Shell Award from the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions in 1993. The business is currently operated and managed by Brill’s wife, Carol Nicdao-Brill.
What’s next, then, for the company and the brand? According to Brill, “the future is more exciting products and presentation. Being world-class and staying there is the mission.”