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Entertainment

Michael Cinco on dressing up Hollywood A-listers, favorite Pinay celeb client

RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza - The Philippine Star
Michael Cinco on dressing up Hollywood A-listers, favorite Pinay celeb client
Michael reveals that it was initially very difficult for him to try his luck in Dubai in 1997. He initially encountered many challenges like racial discriminination and trust issues. His perseverance paid off because soon after, his creations were catching the attention of the royal family and the very wealthy women of Dubai.

I have long been an admirer of Michael Cinco, the Filipino fashion designer extraordinaire based in Dubai, who caters to royalty and jet-setting Hollywood A-listers. And so, when I heard that NET25 president Caesar R. Vallejos (CRV) was going to interview Michael on his program Open For Business, I asked CRV and my good friend Keren Pascual (who was arranging the interview) if I could tag along, so I could meet Michael and interview him as well. Fortunately, both CRV and Keren were able to accommodate my request.

Michael was in town for a few days to receive an award from Gusi Peace Prize International last Nov. 24 at Club Filipino. He was honored and humbled by the award, and he was the only Filipino to be feted during this years award ceremony.

Our interviews were set for last Saturday, Nov. 26, at 4 p.m. in one of the function rooms of Shangri-la Hotel in BGC, where Michael was billeted. When he walked into the room, he was wearing his signature all-black attire and sunglasses. After introductions were made and pleasantries exchanged, he and CRV sat down to start the formal TV interview, which Keren and I listened intently to from the sidelines.

Michael revealed that it was initially very difficult for him to try his luck in Dubai in 1997. He chose Dubai because its a vibrant city where women are known to spend a fortune on fashion. However, he initially encountered many challenges like racial discrimination and trust issues. For one thing, Filipino designers were looked down upon and seen more as tailors than fashion designers. But he forged on, worked overtime and twice as hard, making many sacrifices along the way to prove his worth and talent. His perseverance paid off because soon after, his creations were catching the attention of the royal family and the very wealthy women of Dubai.

Michaels clientele includes Arab, Russian, Malaysian, Indian and Pakistani women because they love opulence. The more bling, the better! Michael, after all, is known for his intricate beadwork and embroidery. And because he specializes in wedding dresses, some of his customers order several wedding dresses at a time because the wedding celebration sometimes lasts several days.

These days, however, the other thing thats keeping Michael busy is his newly-launched ready-to-wear line, which will soon be followed by a perfume and fashion accessories line.

After the interview with CRV, we had dinner, and it was during this time that Michael loosened up and shared even more fascinating stories and anecdotes. Here are some of the ones that he said I could share with you, my dear readers:

When asked why he wore sunglasses all the time, he revealed that he suffers from vertigo. Somehow, when he wears shades, he feels a certain calmness. He admits it is psychological and jokingly said that he wears them to intimidate his rich clients and stop them from asking for discounts.

When pressed about how many pairs of sunglasses he owns, his estimate was 200 pairs.

Michael doesn’t buy designer brand clothes. He buys off-the-rack from Zara and COS since he always wears all-black ensembles anyway.

Among the local stars he dresses, Marian Rivera is his favorite.

The most expensive wedding gown he made cost a million dollars. It was worn by Victoria Swarovski, heiress to the Swarovski empire, and cost a mint because of all the crystals sewn into the gown.

His favorite winter destination is Iceland, and he has been there five times.

Even though he travels a lot, he still has a fear of flying.

Despite the fact that he has “dressed” many Hollywood celebrities, the only one he has met in person is Mariah Carey. More often than not, Michael coordinates with the celeb’s team of stylists, who send him the measurements of their client.

He employs 80 full-time workers, half of whom are Filipinos while the other half are Indians.

Lastly, Michael doesn’t smile for the camera, he pouts!

MICHAEL CINCO

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