Award-winning international fashion designer John Herrera expressed his disappointment with Kim Chiu's camp over a gown that he designed for the Kapamilya actress-host.
Herrera gained global renown for his “Agila” collection, which drew raves during this year's London Fashion Week.
He also won in Britain's Top Designer Competition last February—the only Filipino to have gained such distinction to date.
The acclaimed designer was approached by the organizers of Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) to do the outfits of the hosts—Kim Chiu, Robi Domingo, and Piolo Pascual.
The awarding ceremony will happen tonight, June 10, at The Theatre at Solaire.
THE ISSUE. Apparently, there was a major miscommunication which took a toll on John, who invested his time, effort, and money to create Kim's gown.
On Wednesday, June 6, the gown was supposed to have been delivered to Kim's house for fitting.
Through an exchange of text messages with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last Wednesday, June 6, Herrera narrated what happened.
He typed, “My staff was not even allowed into her village.
“Her team said we just leave the gown sa guard house.
“My staff said, 'Fitting po ito. Hindi pa tapos yung gown.'
“Her [Kim] staff said kase kala nila tapos na, 'tapos susuotin daw niya kung gusto niya.
“Kung hindi daw, hindi niya susuotin.
“My staff called me, and I said, 'Don’t leave the gown.'"
Thinking about Kim's disregard for his creation, John's frustration became evident on these text messages, which were sent after the supposed fitting.
He added, “I was wrong in thinking she is not a diva anymore. FAMAS kase kausap ko.
“I heard she does this with sponsors designers. I didn’t think until now ganito pa din sya.
“Lesson learned. Grabe.”
WHAT HAPPENED. PEP.ph asked John to relay the chronology of events involving his collaboration with the FAMAS organizers.
He pointed out, “FAMAS came to me asking me to dress up the three hosts as a sponsorship..."
Then he was asked to coordinate with Kim's stylist Patty Yap.
He continued, “I messaged her stylist and sent sketches.
“One sketch was approved. We took her measurements.
“Fitting was scheduled kanina [Wednesday, June 6]."
Who asked John to leave the gown? Who said, “Kim will only wear it if she wants to”?
John answered, “Si Donna Sanchez, production ng FAMAS.
“Sabi daw ng team ni Kim, iwan daw yung gown sa bahay ni Kim para pagpilian.
“Pag bet niya suotin, go. Pero pag ayaw, hindi susuotin.”
John told Donna, "...this is not how I do business.
“Kaya ako mag-submit ng sketch, because I want everything clear."
But John only learned today, June 10, that Kim did not really agree to wear his gown.
FAMAS APOLOGIZED. John said, the organizers "apologized so much," immediately after they found out about the aborted fitting.
He added, "They were kind naman. Nahiya raw sila sa nangyari.
“Sana daw may respect sa industriya especially when free yung labor of love."
John pointed out that the gown he wanted Kim to wear was not an off-the-rack design, but was something created out of scratch.
“Hindi ko alam if this is an issue, but all I know is medyo naabala talaga ako.
“Hindi naman siya model size. Ang laki ng hips niya, so we made a new dress.
“Gastos, time, and effort."
Fortunately, he had a smoother coordination with Piolo and Robi, whom he described, "way easier to work with.”
So, what will happen to the gown that he designed for Kim?
John stressed, “I said I won’t leave it and I’m not sponsoring her ever.
“That gown is worth PHP100 thousand. I’ll sell it na lang to others who would value it.”
NO PROBLEMS WITH OTHER CELEBS. This never happened to him.
John knows the value of having good relationships with his clients—among them were Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, who, according to him, was "walang ego"; Lady Gaga, who was "more respectful"; Paris Hilton, who was "mas madali pa katrabaho."
Referring to Paris, he added, "Her team asked to take home the gown. I did let her take it home.”
Aside from Pia, John has also dressed up other local celebrities including Regine Velasquez, Vice Ganda, Anne Curtis, Ruffa Gutierrez, Marian Rivera, Nadine Lustre, Toni Gonzaga, Angel Locsin, and Tim Yap.
German actress Laura Pradelska of Game of Thrones fame has also worn his creations.
PEP.ph got in touch with FAMAS producer Donna Sanchez last Friday night, June 8, via phone call, and she openly acknowledged John's frustrations in working with Kim's camp.
However, she was unable to issue an official statement because she and her team are all busy preparing for the festivities scheduled tonight.
Through a text message she sent to PEP.ph at 2 p.m. today, she clarified, "...the message that Kim did not yet give her go-signal for her to use the gown for the awards, did not reach me."
She promised that they will do their own investigation and figure out how the miscommunication started.
John himself talked to Kim's stylist, Patty Yap, who said that Kim had no idea about the issue.
PEP.ph also got in touch with Patty and Star Magic to air their sides regarding John's grievance.
PEP.ph remains open to statements or clarifications from both camps regarding this issue.