When designer Manish Arora didn’t know who Katy Perry was

  • Nidhi Choksi
  • Updated: Apr 27, 2016 20:41 IST
Fashion designer Manish Arora (AFP)

He may have dressed celebrities such as Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, but fashion designer Manish Arora was oblivious about who his famous clients were.

Birthday: September 5

Sun sign: Virgo

Hometown: Mumbai

Place of Birth: Mumbai

School/College: NM College, Mumbai

Currently I am: Working with Koovs.com on my first menswear collection

Low Point of Your Life: Losing my friend Maria Luisa, who discovered me and took me to Paris

High Point of Your Life: I always feel I’ve just begun, so I hope it’s yet to come

First Break: My graduation collection at NIFT in the mid ’90s, for which I got recognised

If not a designer you would have been...

A filmmaker. Recently, I saw The Danish Girl (2015) and thought, I wish I’d made that.

One thing about the fashion industry that they don’t teach you in school.

How to survive. That’s something you have to learn yourself.

Which would you rather give up: colour, prints or craziness?

Prints. I’d keep colour and craziness with me.

One thing Delhi needs to learn from Mumbai about fashion and vice versa.

Delhi needs to loosen up a little bit and Mumbai needs to dress up a little bit.

A word/style that is so last season.

Being trendy. It’s about being yourself. And, blue jeans. I think they’re boring.

What was it like to be the first Indian to present at Paris Fashion Week?

It was a very proud moment. I was very conscious though and I overdid it, as usual. But it worked out. People weren’t expecting anything because they didn’t know who I was and they saw a blast of colour. Next day, it was all over the papers.

A statement in French that can get you out of a tricky situation.

C’est la vie (That’s life)!

Your reaction when Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj wore your designs.

I didn’t know who they were! I had to ask my PR agency if they were important enough. They thought I was mad.

Kitschy fashion is now everywhere. Do you take it as a compliment or a dilution of your style?

I’ll be very sad if people don’t copy me. But I hope they copy intelligently.

The first design you created was...

Something I’m very embarrassed about now. It was a garment I made while in fashion school.

One celebrity you’d love to dress.

I wanted to dress Beyoncé for the longest time and I did it.

One celebrity who needs more colour in his/her life.

The politicians of our country. Not only colour, they need styling too. They have to look at themselves before they decide what to wear.

Three biggest turn-offs in a model.

1. Those who overpower the clothes, 2. Big hips and short necks, 3. Overconfidence.

The biggest difference in designing for men and women.

Apart from the body structure, I think women are more adventurous. Men are more conservative in terms of fashion.

A misconception about fashion designers.

That our lives are glamorous. It’s a tough job. What people see is a fashion show, but what goes behind it is not all that glitzy.

What’s on your bedside table?

Phone charger and a glass of water with cucumber and mint.

One online shopping tip to get it right every time.

It’s not just about small, medium or large sizes. Know your body type and it will be a lot easier to shop.

The last line of your autobiography would be...

Life is beautiful.


My favourites

Colour: Pink and gold. My religion!

Shopping destination: Tokyo

Designer: I liked the last collection of Yves Saint Laurent

Travel destination: Birmingham

From HT Brunch, April 10, 2016

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Designer Manish Arora on his first-ever menswear collection
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