UPDATE (March 2, 2011): The couple and Quiñones reached a settlement on February 25, 2011, so it is safe to say that the issue has now been finally resolved. We continue to wish both parties luck.
UPDATE (February 21, 2011): After sitting down with the aggrieved couple last Friday for an interview, Style Bible was told that there were some discrepancies in this report, namely: (1) Quiñones did show up during the fittings, not as otherwise reported; and that (2) contrary to readers' impression that the issue has reached a final conclusion, both parties are still attempting to ameliorate the situation. As of press time, we can report that the couple and Quiñones have agreed on a particular concession. Please watch this space for updates. As before, we hope this story will end well for both parties involved.
Published February 17, 2011:
Last Tuesday, a scandal made the rounds of social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, which involved an engaged couple and a Filipino designer who reportedly scammed them. Based on the threads, the story is as follows.
The groom, Jhon Maala, ordered a custom-made suit from designer Puey Quiñones for his wedding to Shea Gamboa. After several arduous tries to meet with the designer for fittings, in which the latter frequently did not show up, a suit was finally delivered to Maala, for which he was charged P30,000. But he discovered it was not what he had ordered. He received a suit carrying two labels: BOBON by Puey Quiñones, and a Dansen care label tucked into the suit jacket's hidden pocket. (Dansen is a brand carried by SM Department Store.)
Kat de Castro, a dear friend of Maala and Gamboa, posted the following photo of the jacket in question on her Twitter account, with the caption: "The designer asked 30k for this suit. Pero bakit may Dansen tag? Sa SM ito di ba? Napeke kaya yung friend ko?"
The fiasco quickly spread online, with Chuvaness retweeting de Castro's post and Michael Lim uploading the photo on his Facebook account together with a photo of an unaltered Dansen suit, intact with the Dansen logo and care label, which retails for P3,300. Lim's post generated over a hundred comments, some of which hint at other malpractices by other designers.
Maala and Gamboa are undoubtedly upset about the situation, but they have already taken steps to resolving the issue. "I talked to Puey already and we're trying to fix everything legally and emotionally," Maala says in the Facebook thread.
Gamboa has also absolved BOBON, commenting, "To the owner of Bobon... just want to let you know that the transaction was between the couple and the designer. So don't worry. You're out of this." BOBON has also issued an official statement, declaring that "BOBON is not in any way involved in the design, production or sale of the suit in the photo, or the affixing of the 'BOBON by Puey Quinones' label to the suit."
Quiñones, meanwhile, has expressed his regret in an email to this writer. "I have been so stressed by this issue and I hope that this statement will finally bring an end to all of this. I just want to move on and focus on more worthwhile things in life."
The following is Quiñones's official statement and public apology:
Regarding the recent “fashion scam”, I regret that all this happened. First and foremost, I would like to apologize to the couple for all the trouble that it has caused them.
I was simply pressured to create a suit and found a perfect blank canvas to develop. I know the entire situation could have been handled better but now it has just been blown out of proportion and affected so many others.
I assure all concerned that I am doing the best that I can to fix this situation. I have been in contact with the party involved and intend to settle this peacefully.
To the couple who brought attention to this matter and to everyone else that have raised concerns over the quality of my service as a designer... I am sorry.
I am doing all that I can to make sure that this does not happen again.
Thank you for your understanding and for your concern.
We hope Maala, Gamboa, and Quiñones will resolve this issue peaceably, and that both parties will move on with strength and courage from this unfortunate incident. We also hope that this fiasco will be a deterrent to delinquent designers who do not always practice proper business ethics. The Philippine fashion industry is gifted with too many truly talented and hardworking designers to be besmirched irrevocably.