Chatting with Michael Cinco, one is reminded that one day far into the future, his clothes will be the vintage finds that dreams are made of. He is a designer who reminds us that Haute Couture and ready to wear are inextricably linked and when used correctly, they render the most astounding of creations. It seems very timely to show him off at this time given the recent attention paid to Charles James.
Cinco is a paradox of couture as he is based in Dubai (where the Chanel cruise collection for 2015 chose to show this year) but has shown everywhere from Paris to Los Angeles to New York and of course, the far reaches of the Middle East where he is considered a design god. He is amongst the new crop of fashion designers who work in the same manner as the great haute couture designers have done in Paris and Rome for decades. He may be young in years but he is an old soul when it comes to the traditions of the haute couture and he has only been at it for 15 years.
His collections are the intersection of where reality and fantasy meet. His inspirations are quite clear to the cognoscenti of fashion but it is so refreshing to see the artistry employed with such great affect. When you see these clothes you are reminded of McQueen, Saab, Dior and possibly the grandeur of Charles James but this does not mean you see “knock offs” or literal translations from these great designers; instead you see how a designer designs dresses that interpret these fashion legends while creating his own signatures.
Jeffrey: What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships?
Michael: Gratitude. I always thank people who helped me and treated me well. I like friends who are honest and have a sense of humor.
J: What is on your bedside table right now?
M: My crystallized trophy when I won Breakthrough Designer in WGSN Global Fashion Awards in New York. I put it beside me so I’ll be motivated every time I wake up.
J: What if any, book are you reading now or last read?
M: I read the book of DIOR a hundred times.
J: What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
M: Dream great dreams. Believe in yourself. Believe that anything in this world is possible.
J: What is the best advice you ever received?
M: My mother always tells me to believe in myself.
J: If you won a $200,000,000 power ball (lottery), what is the first thing you would buy or do?
M: I'll open a couture house in Avenue Montaigne in Paris right across the atelier of Christian Dior. And I’ll buy taste and class and give them to women who don't have any...hahaha...
J: If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
M: I'll dine with Anna Wintour and Carine Roitfeld while Diana Vreeland tells us her stories about Vogue, fashion, love and tragedy. And of course I will invite Maria Callas to sing for us while we enjoy our caviar and wines.
J: Do you have a dream collaborator?
M: Oh! How I wish John Galliano is drunk right now and he will call me and ask me to collaborate with him...hahaha...
J: What is your crowning achievement thus far in your career?
M: When I appeared as guest designer in US hit reality show America's Next Top Model Cycle 16 and showed my collection in the final runway of ANTM All-Star. It paved the way for my brand to be noticed globally. I was a guest judge in the first ever Asia's Next Top Model. One of my greatest dreams is to see famous Hollywood stars wearing my couture clothes on the red carpet. I became crazy when I saw Sofia Vergara wearing my gown in Golden Globes Awards, Britney Spears in Oscar's after party, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.
Michael's appearance on America's Next Top Model and his gown on the show
Lady Gaga, Sofia Vergara and Christina Aguilera in Michael Cinco.
Beyonce in Michael Cinco.
Paloma Faith, Fergie and Brandy in Michael Cinco.
Crystal Reed, Jennifer Lopez and Ashley Rickards in Michael Cinco.
Britney Spears in Michael Cinco.
(L) Paris Hilton in Michael Cinco, Harper's Bazar. (R) Michael Cinco.