Michael Estes
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Michael Estes

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Fashion – Toronto, ONT

Michael Estes’ design epiphany came in 2015 when he constructed an Optimus Prime costume out of CBA foam for Halloween. “As a kid I was always creating different things from everyday items that I found around the house -cardboard, paper, and other recycled products - to make toys for my brother and myself,” he says. “But when I completed my costume, I was proud of myself for constructing something out of an idea and transforming it into a physical object. That’s when I knew costume design was what I wanted to do.” During that time Michael was living in Toronto, working as a non-union actor and waiter. Before that he worked a two-year stint on a cruise ship as the entertainment host/assistant cruise director. “As many would say, I was Judy on the Love Boat.” It was a polar opposite from frowning up in Alberta as a petroleum engineer at a gas plant. He enrolled in the fashion program at the Toronto Film School and graduated in the Spring of 2018. Before Michael walked across the stage for graduation, he was part of the team who won the Creativ Festival, a Toronto-wide design school competition. As early as second term, he began an internship with Canadian fashion designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine. He had also volunteered his time as lead costume designer for several student music videos and films. “It was getting hectic with all the work I was doing, but it was all worth it in the end.” ...more