Just a quick post on ADORA, the new upscale department store in Greenbelt 5, Makati. Mrs. MM, The Kid and I went out for lunch today and ended up at Cibo at Greenbelt 5, after which we headed to ADORA for two main reasons… good friends of ours supplied a lot of the fabric and possibly the lighting materials for this impressive retail space and told us to go have a look-see, AND Margarita Fores has a small but innovative flower outlet within the premises (not to mention her crew did all the flowers in-store). The verdict? Wow! Impressive digs, indeed. I am biased in this regard, of course, but I don’t think I have come across a retail space in Manila with as fine a use of really wonderful fabrics and furnishings. Maybe I just don’t shop like I used to 20 years ago, but this store was a very pleasant surprise. It is a bit “heavy” in that the entire second and third floors are clad in stone or stone tiles, albeit in a light cream color, and clothes are displayed around dozens and dozens of alcoves and closet-like spaces, but it is certainly opulent and extravagant and trumps most retailers anywhere in the city. Interiors were done by Anton Mendoza, if I am not mistaken.

Surprisingly, the clothes and other items aren’t all over the top or outrageously expensive, though their first floor with the “really good stuff” has yet to open. They have some brands so far unrepresented in Manila, some interesting luggage, shoes, colognes, leathergoods, jewelry, houseware, etc. I am not sure if there is enough buying power in Manila to sustain such a store, but it’s a nice addition to the rather boring local retail scene. Some SERIOUS capital went into this store, and I hear through the grapevine that the owners are descended from the folks behind Rustan’s and all those Western luxury brands, but ADORA is NOT part of the Rustan’s group of companies… ah, a little real competition is always useful, wouldn’t you agree? While I wasn’t necessarily bowled over by the goods on offer, or maybe I am just too old to expose the crack in my rear end (what is the attraction with low-waisted pants, really???), the premises were impressive. And the staff struck me as being several notches above the norm… ADORA is definitely worth a visit if you have a shopping gene in your DNA. Very nice shopping bags as well. :)

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32 Responses

  1. adora is owned by xxxxxxx one of the xxxxxxx cousins. the whole clan was against her putting this store coz it will compete with rustans. to the point of all of them going to the patriarch. he told them just to leave xxxxxx alone and to do what she wants. well what can they do, me if i have the money i will do the same. rustans is very predictable, lacoste, rl etc.

  2. MM, i hear the shop is amazing. i did include it in the recent article i wrote on retail in the philippines for wwd, but it got edited out – due to space constraints, i guess

  3. this came out as a series of blind item last year pa. in star or inquirer. a daughter of a big store owner etc etc etc.

  4. i wonder why it’s named adora… sort of pandora? hehehe you got me excited mm, not posting enough photos made me more curious…

  5. yes daughter, mangaranon. he he he. your internet name is cool and funny. can’t stop laughing when i remember it.he he he you made my day.

  6. Been there just yesterday MM, and by heavens there was this sheer atmosphere of opulence that was choking me. Now I’m all with you in the fishpan incident. But I find Adora too expensive for my powers. The staff even looks better than me! (Which is to say I dress horribly.)

  7. chad, hahaha. You are right. They should specially invite the fishpan lady to ADORA and watch her spontaneously combust at the sight of the place… But if you picked out a few shirts or pants and checked the price tags, you would have discovered that they were actually at price points similar to ZARA or GAP which have less good-looking sales staff… So far, I think their premises overwhelm their goods… some balance is required, I think.

  8. Im happy to hear you enjoyed ADORA, one of my friends worked hard in planning for that store and is there often watching how things are going. Part of them training the sales staff is selling to customers too, so you never really know if you’re talking to a buyer, manager or salesperson..they all look so primmed and proper..hahah Yup their price point is setup around the Mango-Zara area for competition.

  9. I find it very annoying when a sales staff follows you around while looking around the store – man to man guarding. It’s as if you are going to steal something. Really annoying! I’ve experienced that in Rustans and even supposed to be high end shops in Manila. Why can’t they just put a surveillance camera! I fool around sometimes like going back and forth quickly para mahilo sila. I wonder how the staff in Adora are trained…there’s only one way to find out I suppose.

    I hope shops here would carry nice inventory. Banana Republic for instance have lots of nice stuff in the US and reasonably priced. But here, I see BR t-shirts most of the time. *sigh*

  10. I visited Adora yesterday, and was very, very impressed. I hear that everything has been designed by Wink Media (, led by the founder of Wallpaper. I actually visited, because it is very rare that local stores engage designers of that caliber. I also wanted to learn a thing or two about designing spaces, as I may be designing something related tangentially to Adora.

    In line with this blog. I also tried Adora cafe, located at the back of the store, and loved the experience.

    Some people may be turned off by the chi-chi, almost cold decor, and the low tables, but I found it particularly relaxing and refreshing. Part of me wishes people never discover that hidden nook. But I suspect it will get a lot more crowded soon, largely because of the great food, drinks, and unobtrusive service.

    The fresh strawberry and grape shake was good, and came with a bowl of broken up lavosh (crisp flatbread) and some garlicky eggplant caviar. The eggplant overwhelmed the lavosh, but I personally liked it.

    We shared a couple of excellent piadinas. A portobello mushroom and a chicken and alfalfa sprouts thing. Both very good.

    They’re very new, and it shows. In their menu, in the noise of their closet/kitchen, and other small details. But Adora Cafe is very promising and it just feels so right to me.

    I am definitely returning, and strongly recommend it, even if it may not be for everyone.

  11. hi, corrrine_p, thank you for bringing that up. please don’t worry, adora staff are trained NOT to tail customers. frontliners will leave customers to browse in peace :)

  12. hi suzette, “adora” comes from the french phrase “j’adore” which means “i love” :)

  13. Its a mother and son tandem – the TP’s. Both very anal but very nice as well. I know – I worked with them on Adora. Yes, the premises overwhelm the goods – just as Tyler. Thats the whole idea (marketing strategy). You’ll wanna buy somethin cos shoppin at a store that looks that opulent will make you feel like you’re loaded!

  14. i like adora’s merchandise and the very helpful staff. its very similar to the upscale department stores in australia. employees are very helpful and friendly even though ur just browsing their merchandise and has no intentions of buying yet. i also love their powder room which has mirrors all around, its so fancy and fun. im so into perfumes and one of the female employees there oriented me about the french branded perfumes they’re selling , its history,its notes,very informative.

  15. does Adora carry mostly European finds? If so, what are some of the labels they have?

  16. I will not be annoyed if a polite salesperson follow me around, they are there to help make my shopping easy. They have already a profile who are the real buyers I guess, and those who annoyed for no sensible reason at all.

  17. Greetings!

    I’m Mary Grace Rivera graduating student of De Lasalle College of Saint Benilde. I would like to ask for assistance for my subject in merchandising marketing that needs certain information about your floor plan. I am well conviced that your shop is really one of a kind, stylishly elegant and so i hope you guys can help me.

  18. yup. that’s my name. but no. i’m not the one who owns the store. :) adora means beloved, as they say. but i haven’t been there yet. one of these days… will load cash first. hehe.. :)

  19. Oh, so that’s Adora for you. I’ve always been curious of what this big block of space in GB5 is, from outside its totally opaque. I thought it was a super super high-end shop that I will never afford.

    Anyway, I’m wondering if this chic department store has good brands for men? I would like to bring my boyfriend here one of these days, he’s the type who wears simple collared shirts. Do they have it there? Yeah, somewhat Banana Republic style but the BR here is overpriced. Unlike in the states.

  20. heard of Adora from a friend who used to work there. and im kinda interested to apply as an inhouse makeup artist. does anyone know how to go about it? i would extremely appreciate your help.

  21. I found this wonderfully tailored jacket at ADORA which I wore during our company’s Christmas Party. And that jacket made a buzz among my circle of friends and No doubt I’ll be back for more interesting pieces…Although, I definitely agree that the interiors were a bit intimidating BUT the price range is OK….

  22. Hello People…

    Can anybody tell me how this adora originated?
    Whose idea it was originally that brought adora into existence?

    Please email me your answers at
    even any link which will point me in the right direction would help to.

    Thanks aot.

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