He launched his label ‘Manish Arora’ in 1997. Four years later, his second label ‘Fish Fry’ became a cult label of sorts; suddenly, everything with a riot of colours was associated, almost immediately, with the designer. Today, his designs are stocked at 75 stores worldwide, including Maria Luisa and MC2 in Paris, and he has showcased at Miami, London and Paris Fashion Weeks. The designer doesn’t bat an eyelid when proclaiming, “I am a self made man...[with] more experience than any other designer.” We catch up with him for a chat.
Why Fish Fry?
It’s just a catchy name. It’s nothing to do with fashion. Surprisingly, I don’t even eat fish. What amuses you the most? That I still get thousands of job offers on my facebook account, with people asking me to either work for them or assist them.
Your favourite colour?
The Indian pink.
Any career highs or lows?
I try and make my lows into highs. As far as career highs go, it’s every time I see my clothes on the cover on international magazines. I recently googled my name and was pleasantly surprised to see almost 49,000 write-ups on me. I like it when people talk about me.
I wish we had some kind of government funding. Your favourite shopping destination? Tokyo (primarily for its colours), Paris, London and the flea market in Goa.
What do you shop for?
I pick up toys, I have a beautiful collection of toys. I have the Japanese manga toy, a special edition dog from Prada, and more.
Your style statement?
Comfort before style in the morning and style before comfort in the evening.
Your take on Bollywood designs.
I don’t think Bollywood is fashionable and that’s why I don’t design as such for Bollywood. I am game only if the clothes are the hero/protagonist in the movie.
Fashion’s most beautiful and horrendous creation?
The sari is the most beautiful, while bra tops and short kurtis are the most horrendous.
Shoes, bags, sunglasses, cosmetics… what’s next?
Watches. I have collaborated with Swatch for a limited edition that will be launched in 2009.