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Michael Cinco clarifies rant on Filipino celebrities vs local designers |

Fashion and Beauty

Michael Cinco clarifies rant on Filipino celebrities vs local designers

Kristofer Purnell -
Michael Cinco clarifies rant on Filipino celebrities vs local designers
Filipino fashion designer Michael Cinco with Bollywood star Malaika Arora at his fashion extravaganza for the launch of the first ever fashion residences FashionZ by Danube Properties in partnership with Fashion TV.
Instagram / michael5inco

MANILA, Philippines — Dubai-based Filipino fashion designer Michael Cinco clarified and continued his rant toward Filipino celebrities and influencers who ask fellow local designers for free outfits.

Earlier this week, Cinco posted several Instagram Stories about Filipino fashion designers deserving better recognition and appreciation, juxtaposed with how local celebrities and influencers flaunt wearing international brands.

Cinco posted another series of Instagram Stories pointing out he had nothing against celebrities and influencers being dressed up for free as they are pivotal in promoting designers as huge marketers in the age of social media.

"My issue is — Why Filipinos influencers and celebrities seem more than happy to flaunt international brands, yet hesitant to promote our very own Filipino fashion designers?" Cinco asked.

The designer pointed out international brands built their prestige and status for years, making it unsurprising people want to be associated with them, especially if they are publicly known individuals.

He compared how Filipino celebrities and influencers promote international brands with multiple tags and large letters in the hopes of being noticed, but for Filipino designers, they will just "promote the brand in whisper as if they are embarassed wearing [a] Pinoy-made gown."

Cinco even took a dig at people who boldly post about international brands, "Thank you for this beautiful dress even [if] the dress looks like a curtain and mukha siyang maglalaba," while credit local artists as collaborators or obtained their services for free.

"If you tag these famous celebrities and influencers in your posts or stories wearing your dress, these people won't even acknowledge your post or repost your stories and won't even comment to say 'thank you.' Then you will realize they DON'T EVEN FOLLOW YOU on any social media," Cinco laughed.


A post shared by Vogue Arabia (@voguearabia)

The designer again asked about the discrepancy in the promotion of international and Filipino designers, bringing it back to Filipinos praising the former as superior, which leads to lack of support for local designers despite undeniable talent and unique designs.

Cinco noted "gamechanging" Filipino celebrities and influencers attending red carpets and major fashion weeks "breaking stereotypes and showing the world that we are so much more than just laborers and domestic helpers."

These personalities would be loaned outfits by brands — it is a common practice — and according to Cinco, through their fashion choices and confident demeanor, they are redefining and elevating the image of Filipinos.

With the season for balls, awards and pageants fast approaching, Cinco has this to say, "Expect sweet messages from celebrities, influencers, stylists, managers and pageant candidates. They will take this privilege a step further by treating designer ateliers as their own PERSONAL CLOSET.

The designer recalled being asked by one very famous Filipino celebrity's stylist if he could customize a gown for her client for free as they were attending a prestigious ball. Cinco said he would agree on one condition.

"You have to pay my mental health consultation, my anxiety and high blood pressure medicines. Because I will have sleepless nights creating your gown and suffer from PANIC ATTACKS from thinking if people will like my dress or I will be BASHED on social media," Cinco shared his reply. The said stylist stopped sending him messages.

Cinco ended his rant with a message to celebrities, influencers, stylists and managers, "Before you approach designers for loan or custom-made clothes for free, INOM ka muna KAPE para KABAHAN ka naman... and MAHIYA KA!!!"

Since establishing his fashion line two decades ago, Cinco has designed for global celebrities, including Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and Aishwarya Rai.

RELATED: 'Magbayad ka': Michael Cinco calls out Pinoy celebrities demanding free outfits

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