MANILA, Philippines – The Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) 2022 competition might be over, but the drama continues as Lapu-Lapu City candidate Sashi Chiesa and fashion designer Axel Que face off, amid accusations that Sashi had not yet paid for her national costume, which Que designed.
The online row between the two parties began when Sashi’s mother, Mariz Chiesa, called out Axel’s team from Origin Model and Artist Management and its managing director, Sven Chua, for allegedly “scamming” her daughter.
In her Facebook post, Mariz said that the management team claimed to be the accredited partner for Lapu-Lapu City and had collected P100,000 from them. “[They] promised to be Sashi’s team who [would] take care of her [MUPH] journey, but [they] didn’t,” she said.
Mariz added that the team had also messaged Sashi a day before the MUPH coronation night to settle her balance for her national costume. Mariz, however, said that they’d already paid their due of P20,000 to the team, before they were told that the total price had gone up to P40,000.
A photo attached to Mariz’s post shows the estimated breakdown of expenses for full production handling by the management. There, the estimated price for the national costume was listed at P20,000.
Mariz also alleged that the management team has been threatening to report Sashi to the MUPH organization.
Axel then came to his team’s defense, saying that they had to “clear things up” since Chiesa had “launched a libelous social media tirade” about them. In a Facebook post, the designer said that he was tapped to make designs for both Miss Cebu City and Miss Lapu-Lapu City.
“Miss Cebu City, Chantal Schmidt, [had] settled all her payables [with] the team way before she left for the final stretch of the competition in Manila. In contrast, [Miss Lapu-Lapu] City, despite the inability to settle her balance before flying out to Manila, my team and I still poured our hearts and soul into making sure we [finished] the costume, and out [of] my personal empathy and willingness to understand her situation, I still made sure to send the costume to her. She was able to use it for the [national costume] competition held in Vigan,” the designer shared.
Axel added that they had reached out to Sashi through Facebook Messenger but was “ignored” and “seenzoned” when asked about the remaining payments for the national costume.
“It came to a point where I really had to put my foot down. I informed [Miss Lapu-Lapu] City that if she [didn’t] respond to my messages I [would] be compelled to reach out to the Miss Universe Organization to ask for their assistance in the collection of both the balance and my costume,” Axel wrote.
The designer ended the post by emphasizing that “pageants are still a business” and that creatives lending their services to the industry should be compensated for their hard work.
In a separate Instagram post, Axel also clarified that the P20,000 Mariz had talked about in her post was simply the estimated price for the national costume, and not the actual total of expenses.
Following this exchange, Sashi broke her silence to insist that she had paid for the costume, and that Axel was “bullying” her into giving him more money.
“I’m 26 years old. I’m a straight-A student. I speak four languages. I know how to respect professionals. Do you really think I won’t pay a designer for a gown? I paid. He just wants more and is bullying me for it,” she wrote.
The Miss Universe Philippines 2022 coronation was held on April 30. Pasay’s Celeste Cortesi won the crown. – Rappler.com