Davao designers criticize Miss Universe org over cultural fashion show


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Davao designers criticize Miss Universe org over cultural fashion show

Alecs Ongcal

Davao-based designers will not dress the Miss Universe candidates at the pageant's cultural fashion show to be held in Davao City

MANILA, Philippines – Designers from Davao expressed disappointment in the Miss Universe organizing committee, as they were not asked to dress the candidates at the pageant’s cultural fashion showcase.

The fashion showcase will be held on January 19 in Davao City and will feature Mindanaoan textile. 

The designs that will be worn by the candidates at the event will be by Batangas-born Renee Salud.

A statement from the Davao Fashion and Design Council (DFDC) that aired on TV Patrol on Tuesday, December 13, read: “[The DFDC] expresses its utter disappointment on the explicit disregard of local Davao-based and Mindanaoan designers, in general, at the January 19th event of Miss Universe in SMX Convention Center in Davao City.

“No consultation among local designers was done by the Miss Universe committee, represented by Renee Salud…”

Another excerpt from their statement that aired read: “Adding insult to an injury, is the proposal of the committee to ask local designers in dressing up local models instead…”

In the same report, fashion designer Alfonso “Boy” Guinoo became emotional over the news.

“I don’t know whom to blame, whether it’s the [Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo] or the organizer,” Guinoo said. “I tried to talk to Wanda [Teo] and she told me she has nothing to do about it. But para naman imposible (it seems impossible) when she’s the secretary and she’s from Davao. The president [Rodrigo Duterte] is from Davao.”

Guinoo also said that about 50 Davao designers were ready to dress the ladies, and they felt that they had been snubbed.

Aztec Barba, president of DFDC, said: “We’re going to fight for this. The chance should be given to us to showcase what Mindanao really is.” 

The DFDC is set to present the issue to the President Duterte.

In the same report, Salud said that any insult that the Davao-based designers may feel is unintended. “I’m very sorry kung na-insulto sila (if they felt insulted) but I don’t mean to harm them,” said Salud, adding that he had a shop in the city for 15 years. 

He also said that it was Teo who approached him about the show: “It was offered to me by Secretary Teo to present Mindanao to the world market.”

Salud also claimed that he had spoken with the Davao-based designers properly before and that he was hurt by their comments.

He added that the star of the January 19 event is not the designers but the textiles that will be shown and the weavers who made them.

To the Davao-based designers, Salud said: “Friends tayo. Peace.” 

The Miss Universe pageant is set to be held in the country in January 2017. The Philippines’ Pia Wurtzbch will crown her successor on January 30 in Manila. – Rappler.com

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