In the glamorous world of haute couture, where the glittering runway meets the pinnacle of design, one name stands out: Michael Cinco. Hailing from Dubai but with Filipino roots, Cinco recently made waves in the Philippines with a one-night fashion extravaganza that attracted a constellation of celebrities.
Cinco, celebrated for his jaw-dropping designs that have graced A-listers such as Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj, and even the stunning gown donned by Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach during her final walk at the 2016 Miss Universe pageant, is no stranger to the world’s fashion elite. His clientele reads like a who’s who of the entertainment industry, featuring names like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Nick Jonas, and many more.
Yet, for a designer whose creations have draped royalty and celebrities, the allure of exploring a new medium was too tempting to resist. The medium in question? Blockchain technology.
More than just your typical fashion event, Cinco’s recent showcase was a groundbreaking metaverse fashion gala—a first not just for him but also for the Philippines. This event marked the beginning of the second annual Philippine Blockchain Week (PBW) conference held at the Grand Marriott Ballroom, an occasion set to usher in a week filled with blockchain innovation and insights.
As explained by the co-founder of the PBW, Chezka Gonzales, some of Cinco’s designs will be sold together with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on a link that will be posted on the PBW website. NFTs serve as digital representations of the gowns, adding a layer of authenticity and uniqueness to these already spectacular pieces.
“Even Michael is not in the blockchain world really,” she says, “but when he understood what NFT means and what authentication will mean for the fashion industry, he was all in. The designs are now unique because of the blockchain, and he’s now part of the metaverse.”
Gonzales added that Cinco’s creative vision will be brought to life in a virtual space that echoes the vibrant world of Roblox, allowing attendees to experience his stunning creations in a whole new dimension— the metaverse.
The guest list was nothing short of star-studded, featuring celebrities, socialites, and even Liza Araneta Marcos, the wife of Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. It was a visual feast for the senses, with attendees not only being able to view Cinco’s famous gowns displayed in a hallway exhibit but also treated to a dazzling display of his collection in an unforgettable fashion show featuring both new and timeless designs.
Cinco’s seamless integration of fashion and blockchain technology drew comments and reactions from some of his distinguished guests.
Tim Yap, host, eventologist, and CEO of events and PR firm Yaparazzi, expressed his enthusiasm for the PBW. As a moderator of one of the panel discussions at the conference, Yap is eager to embrace blockchain technology and learn more about how it can benefit businesses, including his own.
“We are at the cusp of change for the future,” he remarked. “Seeing things historically right in front of us in this real world and in the metaverse… it’s truly exciting.”
Yap also emphasizes the importance of staying informed about the integration of blockchain technology in various industries.
“Events like this give us a window of opportunity to be more aware of what can happen in the future, so we’re not left behind,” he said.
Dr. Ali, co-founder and business partner of Michael Cinco Haute Couture, shares Yap’s sentiment, explaining that the world has undergone a digital transformation.
“We love to always be updated with the new collection, the new fashion, and new technology. That’s why we are here in the Philippines. We chose the Philippines because Michael Cinco is Filipino, and that’s why we selected his home country to launch our first fashion digital experience in the Philippines,” he said.
Manu Respall, a movie actor and fashion designer tasked with overseeing the production of the fashion exhibit and other events leading up to the gala, provided a candid perspective on blockchain technology’s infiltration into the fashion industry. He underlines the complexity of the technology, emphasizing that while it might not be easy to understand, it’s undoubtedly needed.
“The Web3 is going to go there, and the blockchain is already here,” he stated.
Manu also addresses misconceptions about blockchain, asserting that there is no inherent danger in being involved with the technology.
“Those people who are badmouthing blockchain, and who are not passionate, not believing in it, these are people who don’t know what the technology is about and how to go about it,” he said, stressing the importance of vigilance in interactions and learning from reputable sources.
Additionally, Respall highlighted the limitless possibilities of blockchain technology. He believes that there are numerous untapped avenues for utilizing and benefiting from the technology, some of which the original inventor might not have envisioned.
“Whoever invented blockchain and developed it, it’s open there, existing for people to experiment on it,” he explains. “It goes to another level and then another level until everyone does whatever they want with it.”
Cinco’s metaverse fashion gala not only blended the worlds of haute couture and the metaverse but also offered a glimpse into the future of the fashion industry in the digital age. As fashion continues to embrace blockchain technology, Cinco’s innovative event marks a significant milestone in this dynamic journey, where authenticity, innovation, and technology converge to redefine the boundaries of fashion and design.
Watch Philippine Blockchain Week 2022 highlights: Positioning the Philippines as blockchain capital of Asia
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