MANILA - Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., the founder of retail empire Rustan’s, has passed away, his family said in a statement on Tuesday.
He was 100 years old.
Tantoco, a revered figure in the retail industry, started Rustan’s in the 1950s with his wife Gliceria, selling luxury goods out of their home, before creating their flagship department store business.
Rustan’s stands today as one of the largest retailers in the Philippines, specializing in luxury and upmarket goods.
Tantoco was honored by his colleagues in the industry in 2018 as the "Father of Luxury". His Store Specialists Inc. brought to the country, among others, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Givenchy, Prada and Tory Burch brands.
The Rustan’s patriarch also served as Philippine ambassador to the Vatican from 1983 to 1986. He was a lifetime devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Divine Mercy, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, according to his family.
“He lived his best life and reached the age of 100. Together with his wife Gliceria “Glecy” Tantoco, they changed the landscape of luxury retail in the country,” the Tantoco family said.
“Beyond his reputation, he is mostly admired for his love for God, family, friends, and his extended family of staff and employees.”
A memorial service to be announced soon to honor and celebrate the late Ambassador, the Tantoco family said.