The controversy didn’t stop with Michael Cinco. This time, my dear friend Rian Fernandez shared his experience with the same organization.
I was adamant to share this story, but with all the hullabaloos circulating the social media right now on how Miss Universe Canada Organization deceived the great Michael Cinco, a well-renowned Filipino designer based in Dubai, I just want to share the dreadful experience I had with them as well. An awful experience that almost cost my life!
Maybe people will be asking why I am only speaking up right now, or maybe I just want to ride this wave of controversy to gain popularity… OH NO! That is not my intention. Unfortunately, I did not have the courage to speak before because I am just a small brand. I was scared that it will boomerang on me. Now that I know that I was not the only one treated badly by Denis, but other Filipino designers as well… I cannot be silent anymore.
I wanted my voice to be heard NOW because I am one with M5 when he mentioned that FILIPINO DESIGNERS SHOULD NO LONGER TRUST Miss Universe Canada Organization, under the directorship of Denis Martin Davila. I will not allow this VILE & CHEATERY of Denis to continue!
Here goes my story… Denis and I go way back. We had several collaborations before but netizens only took notice of this partnership when I dressed Siera Bearchell during Miss Universe 2016. I know everyone remembered that white serpentine gown that was bashed online. Yes, I did that. Yes, I was criticized because of that! But I have another gown that I wanted her to wear for the finals. This was the brown high-slitted gown with sweetheart bustline that Nick Verreos, a famous US-based blogger, ranked 1st for the Miss Universe 2016 Red Carpet event worn by Cynthia Bailey. Since Denis mentioned that Siera wanted to wear the white serpentine gown, I just lent Cynthia the said gown. Just to know that Siera didn’t even see the brown gown! (BTW, Siera and I are still good friends, and I even made her wedding gown.)
This was not drama yet. Fast forward. I left this all behind me because I felt that I have a great collaborative relationship with Denis (or so I thought!). Around September 2018, where Marta was just crowned as Miss Universe Canada, Denis and I were already discussing the gowns for Marta Magdalena Stepien. To make sure that Marta will have several options for her preliminary & final gowns (and other functions like Red Carpet & dinner events), I made 5 in colors of deep red, blue, green, gold, and nude. I have shown these gowns to Denis, Marta, before the fitting. They said they were excited. So, my team & I went to Thailand on Nov. 28, 2018, for Marta’s fitting, then went back to Manila on the 30th. And returned to Thailand again on Dec. 9 to make sure that Marta will get all the assistance. My team and I stayed in Thailand for weeks… ALL EXPENSES FOR MY TEAM WAS SHOULDERED BY ME! The gowns were made out of love for the reason that Denis promised me that I will get the exposure & media mileage.
But alas, the preliminary competition happened and I was shookt that Marta is wearing a Michael Cinco creation. I have nothing against M5 because he is an icon! My point is, we were promised by Denis that Marta will wear me to the preliminary and final competition because we have a group chat of continuous updates on how the 5 gowns are going. Since this happened, I asked Denis to return to me all the 5 gowns so that other ladies can wear me on the final night, even just for an OOTD on backstage so that people will see the creations that my team & I worked hard for! Denis didn’t return the gowns (except for the one Miss Cambodia wore… the deep red gown) for he promised me that Marta will really wear me for the finals, but you all know that it didn’t happen and Marta still wore M5… THAT HE B*$H!+ ME TWICE!
I was devastated and cried in my hotel room!!! I FELT FRUSTRATED, CHEATED… and I questioned my talent and skill as a designer! Until the stress and anxiety level escalated and I felt half of my body paralyzed. It was the scariest moment of my life. Luckily, there was this supporter of Catriona, a licensed Physical Therapist in Dubai, who helped me. If not, I might not have seen the light of day.
After that incident, I never received any explanation or apology from their team. I know that I shouldn’t be counting the cost of that dreadful experience (both financially, mentally & psychologically) because I wanted to be part of Marta’s Miss Universe journey. To sir Michael Cinco’s point, a simple THANK YOU would do! But those 2 simple words that could have eased my anxiety was not even uttered by Denis Martin Davila, Marta Magdalena Stepien and Miss Universe Canada organization.
Let this be a lesson to all of us Filipino designers. Never shall we be scammed again by this MUC organization! To you Denis and your team, please have some gratitude and a little sense of professionalism when dealing with people who want to help your queen. Please have a little shame. May this be the end of your swindler personality!
Note: Michael Cinco and I have talked about our terrible experience with Miss Universe Canada org.
#DontScamFilipinoDesigners #FilipinoDesignersUnite #MissUniverse #MissUniverseCanada