EXCLUSIVE: Michael Cinco on creating fashion that inspires dreams | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Say the name Michael Cinco, and you evoke fantasy worlds and beautiful days. The Filipino fashion designer is all about inspiring fables. Only he can elevate a beauty queen into a mythical muse seen on our cover with Pia Wurtzbach. When it comes to his brand, one thing will always be constant. “Impalpable dream,” he says definitively. 

This creativity is met with hard work and dedication. Since 2003, the year he established his label, Michael proves to be one of the most sought-after designers. Clients include Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Dita Von Teese, Ashanti, Tyra Banks, and Naomi Campbell. And that’s not even the full list. Just today, Billy Porter was spotted in a couture ensemble suit by Cinco. 

His creations have also walked the red carpet for the MET Gala and the Academy Awards. In 2019, he collaborated with Ballet Philippines as the dance company celebrated its anniversary. 

It is no surprise that Cinco manages to remind us to dream again, even in the most difficult of times. If anything, as fashion faces tough decisions, he champions the artistry that makes us believe in better days ahead. 

For our September cover story, we got a chance to talk to Cinco in between his latest collection and as he prepares for the Paris runway. 

Michael Cinco FW 2021

How did you find your inspiration for this latest collection, especially given the current situation?
I was in Austria six years ago and visited Leopold Museum and saw some art by my favorite modern artist Gustav Klimt. I was so inspired by his works for a long time but never had the chance to create a collection inspired by his masterpieces. So I believe now is the time to do it.

What are the key aspects that you learned recently between this collection and the last one you made?
My last collection was called the Impalpable Dream of FAITH which is inspired by the faith and confidence of many people all over the world who are faced with the current challenging situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most pieces are made from upcycled garments from old and used fabrics, and I transformed them into new couture pieces. The new collection will send messages of love and hope to people and will inspire them to dream. When we present something beautiful, it affects the people by allowing them to feel like there are always beautiful things that survive. 

How long does it usually take for you to decide on a collection, from inception to the first day of production?
I travel a lot, so I get most of my inspiration from most places that I visit. Then I collect all the things that inspire me, like arts, museums, culture, and the people. It usually takes me three to four months to create a collection from the concept to production.

Michael Cinco FW 2021

For the campaign, you worked with Chona Bacaoco of MM Milan. How did this collaboration come about and blossom from your kids and teens wear collection in Dubai?
Chona is a friend of mine who owns a talent agency and a brand MM Milano in Milan. She asked me to collaborate with her talents which are mostly kids and teens, to shoot in Dubai, all wearing couture Michael Cinco to launch my new kidswear collection.  Then when I planned to travel to Milan, she helped me find the team for my shoot: photographers and hair and make-up artists who are all Filipino.

What’s your schedule like these days? What has changed about it since you started?
When I was working as the creative director of one fashion house in Dubai during the early days of my career here in the Middle East, I just design and create a collection. Now my schedule is super hectic. Being the business owner and creative director, I have to manage time and creativity at the same time. Luckily for me, I’m very good at it.

Michael Cinco FW 2021

What do you always prioritize when it comes to your designs?
I always prioritize silhouettes that will make the person who will wear my clothes look beautiful and expensive.