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What’s with the L.A. Fashion Week?

In line with the 2018 National Women’s Month celebration, any kind of harassment or prejudice in any form is not acceptable. It does not matter whether it was done to man, woman or child of any age, race, religion or affiliation. Though we do not condone such acts, it is just fair that any action must merit an explanation to those parties involved. In so doing, justice is served in equal opportunity, and not just a one-sided affair.

The L.A. Fashion Week (LAFW) has been instrumental in promoting fashion to the world. It not only showcases famous brands but also caters to innovative design and modelling; with Los Angeles as its home ground.

However, it was recently marred by a controversy which eventually sparked an outrage amongst the Netizens. It should have been a momentous event with L.A. Fashion Week celebrating its 10th Season Anniversary slated last March 12 – 16 at The Macarthur, Park View Street in Los Angeles, California. Seven Filipina models were invited by Lebanese Fashion Designer Elie Madi to grace the opening of his show, but according to reports shared by makeup artist Cherry Ordoñez and Alan Del Rosario, the models were unceremoniously asked to leave the backstage by staff members of Art Hearts Fashion, the event’s organizer. They also added that Art Hearts Fashion president Erik Rosete “did not want the Filipina models to participate in the fashion show.” “No Filipinos on the runway” was allegedly the given directive from an undisclosed source. Two notable Filipinas among the models were Kiana Valenciano (artist, model and daughter of renowned Filipino music singer and producer Gary Valenciano), and former Miss Earth Jamie Herrell (Alan Del Rosario’s niece).

In support of the Filipinas, Filipino designers Resty Lagare and Rocky Gathercole, backed-out from the said event. For The Stars Fashion House owner Jacob Meir, US distributor of the creations of Madi, Lagare and Gathercole, also withdrew his participation as a sign of protest for the alleged discrimination.

Manila Genesis big boss, Angeli Pangilinan (Kiana’s mother), in her official statement on the matter said that her daughter Kiana was extended an invitation in the opening day of the LA Fashion Week event for a special cause (the AIDS Foundation). “All flew to Los Angeles for the fundraiser from the Middle East and the Philippines ... I believe however that everything happens for a reason and that God has better plans for Kiana.”

To air his side on the controversy, Erik Rosete stressed that there was no discrimination on Filipina models as initially reported. He further pointed out that he is a “minority” and likewise his designers are all minorities, and his opening model for his Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is the first ever Filipina Victoria’s Secret model is none other than the 2012 Miss Universe 1st Runner-Up Janine Tugonon. Rosete apologized to designers Lagare, Gathercole, and Madi. He has a couple of points which led to the cancellation of the show:
  1. Because of the affiliation with Jacob Meir of For The Stars Fashion House; who owes him thousands of dollars in unpaid sponsorship from events of past    years. Rosete also accused Meir for “sneaking in sponsors and collecting money on the side during Fashion Week” while “telling us they couldn't pay us,    but would find sponsors for us eventually.” Thus he calls Jacob Meir a “scam artist, crook, and liar.”
      2. Requirements are 5’9”+ for the girl models without distinction on either race or color.

Below is a copy of Erik Rosete’s full statement as reflected on Facebook prior to being deleted; images of which courtesy of PEP.ph

Yes it is true that pulling out the Filipina models unceremoniously and eventually cancelling the event could have been dealt in a more professional manner prior to staging. However, one cannot overlook the prerogative of the main events organizer, especially if they have previous misgivings with the opposite party concerned.

What do you think?

The Keen Observer is a non-partisan, non-political view of current and trending news in and around the Metro. The views expressed herein are insights on persons, places and events, having social relevance in nature, and may directly or indirectly affect people’s lives. It is not our intent to support nor contradict any factions or organizations, but simply show the facts as they happen. 

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