Industry veteran Renee Salud was chosen by the Miss Universe pageant hosting committee to head a fashion show. The show, which is a side event to the Miss Universe Pageant, will be held at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City starting January 19.

The decision did not sit well with The Davao Fashion and Design Council Foundation, Inc. (DFDCFI) and made a statement airing their grievance.

Here is a part of the statement:

“Call it proper and befitting, the Mindanaoan designers have all the rights and benefits to best represent the distinctive fashion and style of Mindanao, in the first place.”

“DFDCFI will continue to uphold its stand and will use all its resources and capacity to have this issue properly addressed by the Miss Universe committee, at the soonest. Should it not be, this turn of events will continue to become a blunder for local pride of place, where the President himself is coming from.”

The region’s widely recognized fashion czar, Alfonso”Boy” Guinoo, made a statement defending the DFDCFI.

“I am displeased by the insensitivity of the Miss Universe Committee, led by Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo to allow Renee Salud, a non-Mindanaon designer, to showcase the tapestry of Mindanao fashion in the Davao event of Miss Universe.”

“Teo, who is supposed to be a Mindanaoan herself, must have used her capacity to intelligently think about the impact her decisions must have caused our local pride of place and its people. I would like to think mediocre politicking has overran her.”

However, Salud defends the committee’s decision and Teo’s approval in an interview with ABS-CBN News’ Mario Dumaual. Salud also added that he himself is a Davao native with a fashion store based in the city for more than fifteen years.

Salud insists that the gowns for the show will be made from Mindanaoan silk and that the spotlight will be on the province’s women weavers, who will be making the outfits.

Some 40 candidates of the upcoming Miss Universe pageant are expected to attend the auxiliary event in Davao City.