Michael Cinco critiques celebrity culture for expecting free services from Filipino designers

In a candid Instagram story that has since disappeared, renowned Filipino fashion designer Michael Cinco has sparked a conversation about the fashion choices of Filipino celebrities and influencers. Cinco expressed his bewilderment and criticism towards the preference for European designer labels over local Filipino talent.

“So Filipino celebrities and famous influencers are often seen wearing European designer clothes? It seems like they spend a fortune on these items just to keep up with the latest fashion trends,” Cinco remarked. He questioned the irony in celebrities’ readiness to don international brands while expecting Filipino designers to provide custom creations for free. “It’s a sad reality that many talented and hardworking Filipino designers have to face,” he added.

Cinco, who is based in Dubai and launched his fashion line in 2003, is known for his luxurious designs and has recently unveiled a collection titled “The Impalpable Dream of Japan,” inspired by Japanese culture. His work showcases the potential of Filipino designers to produce work that rivals that of any European brand.

“They pour their hearts and souls into their creations but are often undervalued and underpaid. As a society, we need to start recognizing and supporting our own local talents, including fashion designers,” Cinco urged. He highlighted the disparity in appreciation for local designers, calling for a shift in perspective to uplift the Filipino fashion industry.

Cinco’s remarks touch on a broader issue of cultural and economic support for local industries. “Every time some influencers and starlets ask me if I wanna do their wedding dress or red carpet dresses for collaboration or for free, I always tell them: What a wonderful life, beautiful things in this world are not free. In other words, magbayad ka,” he concluded, advocating for fair compensation and recognition for designers.

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