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Michael Cinco: The man behind the sunglasses

Debonair catches up with the Dubai-based designer as he prepares to showcase his latest collection at Fashion Forward

Fashion needs to stay, survive and sustain the world.

Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco is best known for his fabulous couture gowns. His innate creativity and masterful techniques have catapulted him to the front ranks of fashion. He has cultivated a dedicated following for the luxe and intricacy of his designs, with their fresh, elegant and detailed juxtapositions of fabric and Swarovski crystals.

Cinco’s celebrity clients include Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Jennifer Lopez, Naomi Campbell and Sofia Vergara. He’s also dabbled in menswear, and Nick Jonas and Chris Brown are fans.

Debonair gets to know him:

My earliest fashion memory is…  The first time I watched the film My Fair Lady, with Audrey Hepburn, when I was a kid. It inspired me to become a fashion designer.

The most stylish item I own is… my huge sunglasses.

Fashion needs to stay, survive and sustain the world.

My most valuable item is… a matador jacket I made for myself.

The difference between fashion and style is… Fashion is an expression of joy of wearing something beautiful. Style is the way how you match fashions together and the way how you carry yourself.

The one look I wish I could pull off is… wearing all white.

The one item nobody should wear is… ugly sneakers, which are the biggest shoe trend over the past two years. Unfortunately, I own a pair — from Gucci — but I hope this trend will end soon.

What are your thoughts on accessories? They complete the total look.

Michael Cinco

When I shop I… pay attention to my bills.

Do you prefer bricks or clicks? Brick-and-mortar businesses have found it difficult to compete with online stores but I still prefer to shop and browse in a physical store and experience shopping where I can test and touch the product.

Who would you say is the most stylish man to have ever lived? King Edward VIII.

If you could invite three designers (past or present) to a dinner party, who would you invite and what would you serve? Valentino Garavani, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. I will let them eat and drink fashion.

The one item I can’t live without is… my sunglasses. The only time I remove them is when I go to sleep.

What I like best about my job is… seeing my finished couture gown worn by a happy client.

How do you feel about the industry? Fashion needs to stay, survive and sustain the world.

If I weren’t in the fashion industry, I would… be a film director.

Fashion Forward Dubai is presented at Dubai Design District October 30-November 2. The event strategically evolves into a shop-now fashion platform for its latest edition, showcasing collections immediately accessible to a global audience.

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