Manish Arora is known for his vivid palette of riotous colours, psychedelic prints and kitsch motifs. His garments usually combine contemporary western silhouettes with a range of traditional Indian craft methods including embroidery, appliqué and beading. He is also referred to as “the John Galliano of India”.
Manish was studying Commerce in Mumbai when he decided to change his career path and applied for NIFT, Delhi. He won the best student award when he graduated in 1994. He started his eponymous label in 1997. Since then awards have not stopped but what is more interesting is his ever growing presence in international markets. He designed his career path carefully, choosing to focus on international shows more than back home but keeping the designs very Indian.
In 2000, Manish participated in the first-ever India Fashion Week held in New Delhi and represented India at the Hong Kong Fashion Week. He launched his second label, “Fish Fry”, in 2001. This colorful, sportswear-styled line was created in association with the athletic apparel manufacturer Reebok. During 2002 Manish opened his first flagship store, Manish Arora Fish Fry, in New Delhi and in the following year opened a second store in Mumbai. Another successful showing at India Fashion Week (2003) led to a stocking deal with the fashion house Maria Luisa (Paris) and the beginning of a successful export business. he was awarded the Best Women’s Prêt Designer at the first ever Indian Fashion Awards’ 2004 held in Bombay and MC2 Diffusion Paris started representing the label for the export business in 2004. The following year Manish participated in the Miami Fashion Week in May 2005 where he was presented with the designer’s choice for Best Collection Award. He had a successful debut at the London Fashion Week in September 2005 and received an overwhelming response from the press as well as the buyers. He opened a new store at Lodhi Colony Market in New Delhi in December 2005. Arora exhibited some of his work at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London for an exhibition called “Global Local” in association with the British Council, India. In 2007, Arora teamed up with make-up and cosmetics giant MAC for designing a signature collection. He has also collaborated with Swatch for a limited edition of watches.
In May 2011, the designer faced a severe criticism in Indian and International media for using Lord Shiva on leg wear as part of his collection. Arora was quick to respond. He removed the piece from his collection and his online store as well.
Arora is always in the media for his out of the world designs. Personally i feel that most of his designs are not wearable at all. Not by us mortals at least. This is what he had to say about the wearability of his designs:
“Yes, they are an expression of my creativity and all my garments are made to be worn, where and how now that depends on the person and occasion.”
We understand what he means when we look at his followers. Katy Perry is an avid fan of the designer and has been spotted wearing his designs at many dos. Have a look:
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