Dubai-based couturier Michael Cinco has dressed the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. His message for Grazia readers? Our dreams are not in quarantine.
How are you finding the transition to a new way of working/life?
To be honest it has never been an exasperating experience dealing with current global situation. We are in an industry that requires constant interaction with people. And the new normal demands that we limit our movement and be individually responsible. I am very thankful that I have a seasoned team that are resilient and are ready for any work-related challenges.
What have been the biggest challenges?
I never thought it was possible to work separated from my team. Designers usually work with a skilled team of pattern makers, dressmakers and artisans. But although it's very challenging but still I feel quite productive. We started developing new tools and new ways of working within the design team, we hold meetings through digital tools, like Zoom and go through design documents collaboratively. This challenging environment has taught us to be more organised and more creative in a relaxed environment. Its not as good as the old normal but would surely suffice for now.
What's been the most pleasant surprise?
Oh, the gradual realisation! Life has been giddy ride, it was so fast-paced we tend to forget to stop and appreciate the things around us, even ourselves. I was actually surprised that this pandemic has brought people together with ideas, enthusiasm, and determination to make it work. And I've realised that I'm creatively inspired while in isolation.
What are your hopes for the future?
The future is not bleak. It’s really important to give people something to dream about. Getting dressed every day makes people feel human, and gives a feeling of purpose, even if we are going nowhere as our current norm. I think in an uncertain time such as this, fashion keeps us dreaming of the day when our regular lives of the past become a reality again. Everyone needs to still feel a sense of belonging and community, and the light that only fashion can bring to so many people. In God's perfect time we shall overcome this crisis and be better versions of ourselves.
What message do you have for Grazia readers?
Your body may be in quarantine, but your mind doesn’t have to be. We need to stay healthy if possible, and protect other people from getting sick so we can get through this together and move on as fast as possible. If you really want to help fashion brands like mine right now, you can do one big thing - social distancing. That’s what fashion needs from you right now - we need you to stay home.
Photos: Paul Kiefer