Zaldy (above) has styled some of the biggest names in Hollywood like Jennifer Lopez, Mick Jagger, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga.
A New York City-based Filipino stylist and costume designer, who worked on the stage wardrobe of Michael Jackson’s ill-fated 2009 “This Is It” concert, is being sued by his two business partners charging that the designer owes them as much as $480,000 in commissions.
Style guru Zaldy, who has also worked with Mick Jagger, Jennifer Lopez, the Rolling Stones and Gwen Stefani, wrongfully cut the two creative artists out of more than $280,000 in proceeds from work done for the late King of Pop’s wardrobe, the complainants claim in court.
Zaldy, a former model whose real name is Nestor Goco, was contracted to design costumes for Jackson’s world tour, though the singer died on June 25, 2009 of an overdose of propofol and benzodiazepine, according to a 2009 profile in W magazine.
Zaldy was subsequently paid to allow his designs to be included in an ongoing worldwide tour of Jackson memorabilia and other shows authorized by the Jackson estate, including the “Immortal World Tour” and Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson ONE,” a Las Vegas stage production inspired by his hits.
The complainants, Zaldy’s former associates Christopher Demers and Travis Payne, claim in New York County Supreme Court in a case filed June 26 — a day after the pop superstar’s fifth death anniversary — that they signed a four-year contract of artist management agreement with Zaldy on July 10, 2009, related to any and all business ventures “regarding the artist known as Michael Jackson and all entities relating to same or his estate.”
Demers and Payne claim they agreed to serve as Zaldy’s managers from July 2009 to secure work with Jackson’s estate in exchange for a 20 percent cut of profits.
They say they fulfilled their obligations to Zaldy, but that the designer has stonewalled every time they sought payment for their services.
Zaldy “has not only failed and refused to pay any sums due under the agreement, but also failed and refused to provide information concerning his MJ-related income that is required to calculate the precise sum due,” says the lawsuit.
Zaldy also created a Swarovski crystal blanket for Jackson’s coffin.
Demers and Payne estimate that Zaldy — a Parsons and FIT-trained designer who has also made clothes for Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Keith Richards, Mary J. Blige and other big stars — has earned at least $1.4 million from his Jackson-related work since 2009, and that the amount could be as high as $2.4 million.
As a result, they say, they are owed at least $280,000, “and perhaps upwards of $480,000.”
The plaintiffs seek an accounting, money earned and costs.
Demers has worked as a brand consultant for stars like Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z.
The late Michael Jackson is seen wearing the stunning jacket created by Zaldy for Jackson’s “This Is It” concert. (Getty Images)
The Emmy-nominated Payne was the choreographer for “This is It” and first gained fame as a dancer for Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation tour in 1989.
He’s also performed with Madonna, Ricky Martin and Prince.
The two are represented by David Trachtenberg, with Trachtenberg Rodes & Friedberg LLP.
Zaldy did not respond to requests for comment.
Born in the Philippines, Zaldy was costume designer of Lady Gaga’s The Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden, and Britney Spears’ The Femme Fatale Tour, both in 2011.
Before becoming a designer, he walked runways for Vivienne Westwood, Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier.
He also served as consultant to Donna Karan, RuPaul, Shiseido and MAC.
ZALDY: Designer to A-list stars.