The larger-than-life Filipino designer who goes by the name Michael Cinco

The larger-than-life Filipino designer who goes by the name Michael Cinco

HE is the talent behind that resplendent jewel-toned gown that Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach wore when she passed the crown to Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere, who also wore a scarlet red ombré couture gown in her final walk designed by the same amazing designer. One of his dresses was featured in the movie “Jupiter Ascending” starring Mila Kunis, and was famed for dressing Miss World 1994 Aishwarya Rai, Mariah Carey, and Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and country singer Carrie Underwood, to name just a few. So when Austrian singer and Swarovski heiress Victoria Swarovski needed a custom-made gown with a six-meter-long train encrusted with Swarovski crystals and laser-cut flowers, there’s no other name that she had in mind but the Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco.

When he is not busy conquering the fashion world one gown at a time, he is inching his way to other ventures such as his first ever perfume called, Impalpable, which he launched in 2012; followed by his limited edition underwear collection for international brand Bench in 2015.

While it seemed like he caught all the ‘lucky stars’, Cinco didn’t just luck out in the fashion industry. His fascination for glamorous women in classic Hollywood movies started when he was young. Cinco was born on August 27, 1971 in the province of Samar in the Philippines. It was noted on his website that “the impeccable elegance and sophistication of Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford and Audrey Hepburn created an indelible impression on his formative design imagination.”

“I pictured those fabulous heroines and imagined dressing them up in my creations. I chased after those visions…,” Cinco recalls.

Cinco moved to Dubai where he got his first job and was instantly recognized for his fashion acumen. It was in 2002 when Cinco went to Paris and London to seek out more fashion inspiration. He studied at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design because of his fascination for London’s mix of old tradition and contemporary edginess. The following year, he returned to Dubai and established his own label Michael Cinco.

According to his website, 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 Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ellie Goulding, Nicole Scherzinger, Fergie Ferguson, Dita Von Teese, Brandy, Ashanti, Chris Brown, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell. Jennifer Lopez wore a crystallized Michael Cinco couture when she hosted American Music Awards in 2015. Sofia Vergara wore a stunning Michael Cinco gown at the Golden Globes 2013, who was voted Best Dressed by many TV shows and magazines in the US. British pop star Paloma Faith wore his couture dress at the MET Gala in New York.

He also appeared on the U.S. hit reality show “America’s Next Top Model,” Cycle 16 and All-Star Cycle 17 finale hosted by Tyra Banks. He was also chosen as the guest designer and guest judge on the new reality show “Asia’s Next Top Model,” in Singapore and was highly endorsed by Tyra Banks. He was also chosen as guest designer and guest judge in the new reality show “Asia’s Next Top Model,” in Singapore, and was highly endorsed by Tyra Banks. He was also featured as a designer and a judge in “China’s Next Top Model” in 2015.

In November 2011, Cinco won the Breakthrough Designer award from the WGSN Global Fashion Awards held at Gotham Hall, New York, against top contenders. He won Best Designer award in Grazia’s Style Awards 2016; People’s Choice Award at Dubai Fashion Week 2010; and was chosen as one of the top movers in Dubai in the Ahlan Hot 100 in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016.

Cinco just recently debuted his Autumn-Winter Collection 2016 at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week. He wowed audiences at Dubai Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week, Singapore Fashion Week, Australia Fashion Week, Philippine Fashion Week and did shows in New York and London.

As a Filipino, I marvel every time I hear about fellow Filipinos getting recognized worldwide. It brings us so much pride and honor. To Michael Cinco whose larger-than-life success keeps piling up, I wish you all the luck (not that you need it) and may you continue to inspire more and more people by your creative genius.


Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration. To contact Monet, please visit or email him at

Email Email  |  Print Print

Leave a Reply