Tehran-born Filipino-American Brian Tenorio is a Manila/New York-based design manager and strategic design and communications consultant for international organizations and the corporate and social development sectors.

About Brian Tenorio

    • Chair, Designers for Development
    • Filipino Shoe Designer; Founder, Tenorio Manila Shoes
    • design@briantenorio.com   |   www.briantenorio.com
    • Manila +639064377054   |   New York +1 (646) 3409268
Brian Tenorio awarded a marker by Marikina City for his work in promoting the Shoe Industry of his hometown, Marikina

Strategic Communications and Global Development

Tenorio is formerly an International Consultant for Branding and Design at the Asian Development Bank and a Design and Communications Consultant at the World Health Organization (Western Pacific Regional Office). 

He heads his business in coffee+culture in the Philippines, KapeTayo Coffee and Tenorium Ent., his multi-disciplinary design agency in Manila. He is also the co-founder, CFO, and CXO of Mindcare Club, a network of mental health clinics and spaces in Metro Manila. 

He is the Founder and Chair of the non profit organization, Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce. 

From left to right: LGBT Chamber Vice Chair for Externals Angel Romero, Netherlands Embassy staff Linde Leemhuis, Netherlands Embassy Senior Political Officer Atty. Jennifer Buan, LGBT Chamber Chair & Founder Brian Tenorio, Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Marion Derckx, LGBT Chamber Vice Chair for Business and Industry and also CSDI Project Lead Evan Tan, Cogencia’s Paulo Edrosolano, and LGBT Chamber Vice Chair for Internals Amrei Dizon.

Diversity, Equality, and Advocacy Work

As Chair of the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Brian Tenorio discusses “Power in Diversity” as a panel speaker at “On the Margins of Development: Asia-Pacific LGBT Inclusion, Poverty Reduction and Prosperity”, hosted in recognition of 16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women, held at the Asian Development Bank (December 2016). Opening the discussion was Juan Miranda, Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank. The Keynote speaker for the event was Professor Lee Badgett, a Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute. Besides Tenorio, the panelists for the talk included: Congresswoman Geraldine Roman, the first openly transgender woman elected to the Congress of the Philippines and recently cited by Motto (a subsidiary of Time Magazine) to be one of the 13 most inspiring women of 2016 globally and Jogendra Ghimire, Senior Counsel, Asian Development Bank. The talk can be viewed on the Knowledge Learning site of the ADB.

The Executive Board, Leadership Board, and Youth Volunteers of the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce - 2019

Diversity and Equality

As Chair of the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Brian Tenorio discusses “Power in Diversity” as a panel speaker at “On the Margins of Development: Asia-Pacific LGBT Inclusion, Poverty Reduction and Prosperity”, hosted in recognition of 16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women, held at the Asian Development Bank (December 2016). Opening the discussion was Juan Miranda, Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank. The Keynote speaker for the event was Professor Lee Badgett, a Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute. Besides Tenorio, the panelists for the talk included: Congresswoman Geraldine Roman, the first openly transgender woman elected to the Congress of the Philippines and recently cited by Motto (a subsidiary of Time Magazine) to be one of the 13 most inspiring women of 2016 globally and Jogendra Ghimire, Senior Counsel, Asian Development Bank. The talk can be viewed on the Knowledge Learning site of the ADB.

At the Asian Development Bank

Representation and Advocacy Work

As Chair of the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Brian Tenorio discusses “Power in Diversity” as a panel speaker at “On the Margins of Development: Asia-Pacific LGBT Inclusion, Poverty Reduction and Prosperity”, hosted in recognition of 16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women, held at the Asian Development Bank (December 2016). Opening the discussion was Juan Miranda, Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank. The Keynote speaker for the event was Professor Lee Badgett, a Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute. Besides Tenorio, the panelists for the talk included: Congresswoman Geraldine Roman, the first openly transgender woman elected to the Congress of the Philippines and recently cited by Motto (a subsidiary of Time Magazine) to be one of the 13 most inspiring women of 2016 globally and Jogendra Ghimire, Senior Counsel, Asian Development Bank. The talk can be viewed on the Knowledge Learning site of the ADB.

State of Philippine Design talk at the Ayala Malls Merchant Forum of 2011 (Glorietta, Makati)

Branding and Strategic Design

Tenorio filled up to capacity the largest Ayala Malls theater space as he delivered the State of Philippine Design. (More video coverage of the talk here: Part1 Part2 Part3a Part3b Q&Aa Q&Ab) Tenorio just recently concluded Design Filipino, a series of events sponsored by the most premium retail space in the Philippines, Ayala Malls Group to promote Strategic Design Thinking and to initiate the public dialog on the Philippine Brand. Speaking to more than 2,000 Design proponents from the different major creative industries from across the Philippines, Tenorio surveyed the Design and Creative sectors of the country.

Brian Tenorio’s Eight Leather Monster on display at an exhibition at the Schafler Gallery of Pratt Institute, New York

Entrepreneurship and Style

His design company, Tenorio Manila, won the Battle of the Business Plans competition in the country, and was a semi-finalist in the Harvard Business School 2005 Entrepreneurial Idol in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a winner of the 2007 Dutch-sponsored Philippine Bid Challenge (a satellite search of the International Business in Development Network Foundation) and also the Philippine Junior Chamber International’s Creative Young Entrepreneur for 2007. Tenorio’s designs have been shown in art exhibitions in New York and in Manila and were also included in the book 50 Must-Buys from Manila launched December 2008.

Graphic Design work

Graphic Design and the Arts

Before designing shoes and accessories, Tenorio designed for Jaime Zobel, multi-nationals and corporations in the Philippines, Europe, and the United States. He has won graphic design awards in Asia, including the Asian Print Awards in Singapore and the Philippine National Book Awards (2008 Best Book Design). He also worked as an international correspondent for United Colors of Benetton’s COLORS Magazine, and as a contributor to major newspapers in the Philippines.In November 2009, Tenorio launched his first project in industrial design: a designer line of luxury caskets and urns in the Philippines—Lux Mortem.

Tenorio trained in Communications and Design at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York in 2010. In this photo with Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro

Education & Training

He finished the Managing the Arts Program at the Asian Institute of Management (2002), after graduating a few years prior at the Ateneo de Manila University (2000). After teaching design at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Communications Department, he was the first to teach footwear design and aesthetics in the Philippines at Manila’s School of Fashion and the Arts. Tenorio finished his graduate degree at Pratt Institute’s Design Management Program in New York in 2010 (Pratt Circle Awardee, graduated with Honors).

After five years of entrepreneurial work in Fashion and Style and eight years in Graphic Design, Tenorio trained with the Language and Communications Programme of the United Nations, with his academic research focus on National Design Policy Frameworks for Developing Countries (via Pratt Institute in New York).

In 2012, Tenorio is produced and hosted the first and only Design x Entrep x Travel show in the Philippines, DESIGN PARA SA LAHAT (“Design for All” in Filipino). The show airs nationwide in the Philippines and internationally Sunday evenings primetime (West and East Coasts of the US, also showing in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia) on the GMA TV Network.

Brian Tenorio at TEDxXavierSchool: Innovation Built on Tradition. February 18, 2012. Xavier School, Manila, Philippines. Photo: Mark Celvin A. Esquibel

Speaking Engagements

One of Tenorio’s two TEDx talks. This was about shoes x empathy, while the other talk was about Philippine coffee.  

Work in Media and Engagements

In 2012, Tenorio is produced and hosted the first and only Design x Entrep x Travel show in the Philippines, DESIGN PARA SA LAHAT (“Design for All” in Filipino). The show airs nationwide in the Philippines and internationally Sunday evenings primetime (West and East Coasts of the US, also showing in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia) on the GMA TV Network.