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Miss Universe Canada org apologizes to Michael Cinco, Rian Fernandez over gown controversy: 'We will strive to do better going forward'

By CHUCK SMITH Published May 25, 2021 4:48 pm

The Miss Universe Canada organization (MUC) issued an official apology to Michael Cinco and Rian Fernandez after the two Filipino designers publicized their negative experiences working with the organization.

In a Facebook post over the weekend, Dubai-based Cinco slammed Miss Universe Canada 2020 Nova Stevens and her team, PR firm MGmode Communications, for allegedly insinuating that he tried to sabotage their run at the 69th Miss Universe pageant. Cinco made Stevens' evening gown for the pageant.

Following Cinco's post, Fernandez also shared in a Facebook post his experience with the MUC, saying he made five gowns for their candidate for the 2018 Miss Universe pageant in Thailand. But MUC chose to use a gown by Cinco instead, without returning all of the gowns he made for them. 

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, May 25, the MUC said they are "deeply saddened" by the negative comments directed at them, Stevens, and their supporters, adding that they appreciate the relationships they have made with designers all over the world.

"We strive to ensure our designer partners such as Michael Cinco and Rian Fernandez are always aware of our gratitude for their tremendous support. However, based on recent online statements others believe that we as an organization are not doing as well as we thought. We will strive to do better going forward. We thank and appreciate our design partners tremendously for their ongoing support," their statement added.

"We specifically want to apologise to Michael Cinco and Rian Fernandez for any damage these recent incidents have caused to them or to their brand."

Explaining why their titleholders do not always get to wear all designs sent and lent to them, the MUC explained that they do not "commit any specific design for any specific event" with designers.

"Instead we collaborate with the reigning MUC titleholder, and based on her input and comfortability in each outfit we decide which outfit to wear at which event."

The MUC also clarified that while they do get the help of third-party supporters for their titleholders, "it is important to recognize, they are not official representatives of the MUC organization."

"And while we respect their opinions, those opinions are not necessarily the opinions of the MUC organization. If something is not published by the MUC organization directly, we ask that it not be considered an official statement from our organization," the MUC added. 

It added that they have been receiving several hate comments over the controversy. "This type of behaviour is unacceptable, and nobody should be subjected to this level of cyber bullying, hate and violence. The MUC organization strongly objects to this level of abuse, and we refuse to partake in stooping to that level of ugliness."

The statement ended: "The Miss Universe Canada organization is a collaborative organization valuing all the people we have worked with over the last 18 years. We continuously strive to provide the best opportunities each year for the annual MUC titleholders, and to maintain strong positive relationships with them and other third-party organizations and sponsors. We are always working to make things better year over year, and we thank you all for your continued support through the good and bad times. Thanks and love to all with beauty and strength."

Earlier today, Nova Stevens also took to Instagram to call out the hate messages she has been receiving because of the controversy. 

Read Miss Universe Canada's complete statement here:

Banner photo from Instagram/Miss Universe Canada