Chelito Villaflor & Chris Albanese

Owner of Eskina

We were introduced to Chelito through multiple mutual friends. He seems to know a wide group of creatives. He has a talent for bringing like-minded people together, a natural connector. Spending the morning with him in Los Angeles, you can understand why he is loved by so many.  He surrounds himself, both in his personal and professional life, with colorful characters, artists, designers, and entrepreneurs because he himself embodies all those things.  He is truly magnetic, and what he puts out into the world is love, kindness, and a lot of creative expression, whether it be through his work, his artistic practice, or his own personal style. 

Journey from Cultural Mix to Creative Expression

Chelito and his husband Chris run Eskina, a retail and brand activation agency working with Shelter Social Club, a company with properties in Ojai and Los Alamos.  They create hotel lobby boutiques full of covetable items, some exclusive to the hotel and made in collaboration with local artists and friends of the couple. “A tiny corner shop of needs and wants.” As they like to say.   Chelito is also Sales Director at a creative brand agency, which means he is constantly traveling and working with brands and retailers, always searching for “what next.”  Although he lives in a world of trends, his own sense of style is a very personal thing.  As a child of Filipino immigrants, his childhood was shaped by the mix of cultures he was surrounded by: his musical Father, who was always playing guitar or piano and who filled his childhood home with songs and dancing. His artistic mother liked to alter her clothes and “dressed differently than other mothers.”  Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, as well as spending his teen years in Houston, added more layers of cultural richness,  all adding up to a worldview and personal expression that comes from his own deep well of life experience. 

Dynamic Days with the Rolltop Backpack

A typical day is never typical for Chelito, each day brings a new adventure.  During the week, he meets clients and works around LA or traveling.  On the weekends, he visits the hotels or working on merchandising.  He’s made the Rolltop Backpack a priority item in his life. “I was just in New York, and I can confirm I have found the ideal carry-on for the plane. It's lightweight. Looks like paper. Feels like a silky hug on my back. Fits like a dream under the seat in front of me. The best backpack for getting around New York City, and I especially love the side zipper pocket for access inside without having to unfurl the top roll. In my opinion, this is the perfect travel backpack and looks super chic. I kept getting asked by random people about the bag. Bonus points for my dog fitting snugly in it. :-) “

Harmonious Home

When Chelito and Chris are at home with their dog Georgie you will find them cooking and listening to records, relaxing. Their home is a colorful and creative sanctuary decorated with incredible art and furniture, mostly made by their friends. Chelito has an appreciation for Japanese culture and has started to study the floral art of Ikebana, which is so "Chelito and Chris," always expanding their knowledge and learning new things.   

We are grateful to count Chelito and Chris as Tsuchiya Kaban fans and for allowing us into their home.

Chelito Villaflor
Chris Albanese

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