How Filipino Designer Michael Cinco Dominated Paris

Couturissimo group show MICHAEL CINCO Haute Couture Fashion week – Paris

“Every designer worth his salt dreams to showcase his collection in Paris, the fashion capital of the world.” Michael Cinco said with all humility and honesty. Fifteen years ago, while walking around the Tuileries, Michael told himself, “One day I will have a show here at the Tuileries.” And in June this year, that once impalpable dream became a reality, making Michael Cinco the first Filipino designer to present a collection in the Paris Haute Couture Week.

Couturissimo group show MICHAEL CINCO Haute Couture Fashion week – Paris

How meaningful is it for you to present a collection in Paris?

Paris is love. It is the realization of an impalpable dream. My first venture in Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week is quite unique and unnerving. Through the Asian Couture Federation, I was asked to present two collections in one show, my impalpable couture lines and one for Couturissimo, the retail arm of ACF that aims to market my luxe couture lines inspired by couture globally. It was indeed challenging as I wanted a collection that is reflective of my Filipino heritage and yet transcending barriers and therefore, of strong global appeal. Showing my collection in PARIS is my ultimate goal as fashion designer.

How were you feeling before, during and after the show? 

I cried before, during and after the show. This first venture at the Paris Fashion Week meant a lot to me. It has been always my dream. It is every Filipino fashion designer’s dream to showcase his collection in Paris, the world’s fashion capital. And mine was rather unique and more than I could ask for, as I presented a dual collection for a start. It was truly an impalpable dream come true.

What were your inspirations for your collection and what were your favorite pieces and why? 

The collection was called The Impalpable Dream of Jardin des Tuileries. I was inspired by the beautiful garden of Tuileries, where the show was located. I used a lot of flowers and butterfly embroidery to match the softness in silhouettes and the dynamics of the collection. And yes, there is the unmistakable Filipino influence in my collection to underline my Filipino heritage; and of course, to showcase it in the international market. I showcased barong-inspired couture gowns with calado embroidery and solihiya weaving pattern beadwork. I also infused some banig and ikat pattern in some of the couture exquisite embroideries. Each piece in my collection is a favorite. But I take exceptional pride in my Filipiniana collection. The piece de resistance finale dress was my sentimental favorite. The 20-foot-long cape is made of delicate PIÑA fabric and it took 4 months to do the full hand-made calado embroidery with 50 talented artisans working day and night.


What’s next for Michael Cinco?

I have only just begun.   




Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, Dec-Jan 2017.

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