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Designer Michael Cinco And More Answer Back To Miss Canada Org’s ‘Scam’

“Next time don’t ask me or any Filipino designers to dress up your candidates,” Cinco said

Filipino designer Michael Cinco who is based in Dubai is in on a controversy involving an accusation from the team of Miss Universe Canada. Through a now-deleted post from MGMode Communications, the public relations group working with the Miss Canada Organization, they mentioned that Cinco sent the pieces late and none of them fit their country’s representative to the Miss Universe 2020 show, Nova Stevens, in an attempt from Cinco to sabotage the Canada team. This is even after a fitting and shoot in Dubai in Michael’s office. 


Cinco, the type to admittedly not to rant and overall a positive person, couldn’t help but answer to these allegations through a Facebook post. The post, addressed to Miguel Martinez, Denis Davila and the Miss Canada Organization, listed the truth on Cinco’s side. “You and your team have been using me and taking advantage of my kindness for the past 3 consecutive years to dress up your candidates,” said Cinco having been supportive of Miss Canada representatives to the Miss Universe. 

He then cited the false accusations from MGMode saying first, the gowns did arrive on time, as they have personally sent him photos and videos of Nova Stevens in them. And with the issue of ill-fitting gown, “You were forcing me to make Nova’s 26” waist line to be cinched to 23”,” Cinco mentioned while still going for the 26”. Cinco said that for the org “In pageants, comfort doesn’t matter.”

The post cited how Michael also dressed other candidates in recent pageant such as Miss Romania, Miss Mexico (this year’s winner), and Miss Czech Republic who wore his creations in the preliminary round of the competition and were thankful for all his efforts and support.

“Stop blaming me for Nova’s not making it to the Top 21 in Miss Universe,” the post continued. It is to note that even on Michael Cinco’s official Instagram page, a series of photos of Nova Stevens can be seen wearing his beautiful creations. Cinco later on revealed that he shouldered all the expense for that shoot including a world class photographer in one of Dubai’s premier destinations. Is this the making of a designer about to sabotage a candidate?

“Next time don’t ask me or any Filipino designers to dress up your candidates. Ask your Canadian designers to showcase their works in world stage,” Cinco ended.

This isn’t the first time a Filipino designer was used wrongly and mistreated under the same circumstances, involving the same group. Gian Fernandez, a Philippine-based designer, shared his experience with same group via Instagram. “I was hesitant 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. I just want to share the dreadful experience I had with them as well,” the post said. 

In a nutshell, Fernandez was promised that Miss Canada 2018 Marta Magdalena Stepien would wear his creation. He then made 5 gowns and went back and forth Thailand for the fitting and the pageant night for weeks, all expenses shouldered by him, only to find out that Marta won’t be wearing his pieces all along. 

Fernandez asked for the 5 pieces to be returned, only to have one sent back to him, with no thank you from their end. He shared having experienced physical paralysis from the incident due to stress and anxiety. “I did not have the courage to speak before because I am just a small brand,” he continued. 

This just shows how Filipino designers, big or small, have been used by MGMode or those involved in the situation. Designers go the length of providing beautiful gowns to Miss Universe candidates around the world, mostly on their expense, but not having it go awry this way. 

Just today, Michael Martinez spoke to MJ Felipe of ABS-CBN News saying he “never said anything that is not true.” “But, I did say that [the] gowns arrived late, the gowns didn’t fit properly and somehow, they find time to make other gowns for other delegates,” Martinez said when he thought Miss Canada was the only contestant Cinco would dress.

Their camp was also surprised the gown wasn’t what they initially talked about. “It was a collaborative effort for that [gown]. It was beautiful, amazing, incredible. It was everything we wanted. But it didn’t happen. We didn’t know it happened until we came to Miami,” Michael continued. And if in case anyone doubts his words, he is willing to share the truth. “It’s my experience, it’s my story and I have the receipts of every single thing that I say.”

In a video, Nova Stevens said: “You have created the most beautiful gowns I could think of. I’ve never once imagined that I would work with you because you’re Michel Cinco. So the fact that I was able to work with you is honestly a highlight of my career as Miss Universe Canada,” she said. “And I’ll express that gratitude publicly and privately.”

“I love you. Sorry if I hurt you,” Michael ends. “Those were some mean words, like really mend. But hopefully, we can still mend this.”

Art by Raff Colmenar 

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