Manish Arora teaches Fashion Designing via Xpert

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About Manish Arora

First Indian designer to receive the " Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur ". In early 2011, he was appointed creative director of the womenswear collection of the French fashion house Paco Rabanne, although he left the company in May 2012.

Connect with Manish Arora's life

  • You have been tagged the ‘King of Kitsch’ and the tag has become synonymous with you. How is it to live with it?
  • How has been your French sojourn and what has been your biggest learning from this international experience?
  • Do you think that Indians have finally evolved in their fashion sensibilities or they still have a long way to go?
  • What’s in the offing from Manish Arora, the label?
  • According to you, tell us about one way French people are better dressers than Indians or vice versa?
  • You have been a front-runner in collaborating with various brands and launching exclusive collections with them, and then your contemporaries just followed your footsteps. How has been this feeling of inspiring many from your fraternity with an idea that was ahead of its times?
  • What is your global plan for brand, Manish Arora?
  • Your first collaboration with an Indian beauty brand called Kama Ayurveda- How did it come about?
  • What inspired the design of the box of Kama Ayurveda?
  • Tell us more about the brooch of Kama Ayurveda.
  • What’s the message behind the box of Kama Ayurveda?
  • Have you achieved what you have dreamt of or are there anything else you are still dreaming to achieve?
  • When I point out that embroidered motifs have become a global style trend, you point out that they have been a key element of your brand since the very beginning. Any particular reason?
  • Define ‘FASHION’.
  • Why do you think your collections are mostly favoured by the people of China and the Middle East?
  • From your first show in Paris to now, did you imagine that things would work out?
  • Do you ever think of yourself as a designer for strong and assertive women?
  • Did you ever feel misunderstood by the international media?
  • What did your short stint at Paco Rabanne teach you?
  • About straddling the Indian and Western markets—are there any differences between the collections you sell in India and the rest of the world, and how do you balance those demands?
  • What do you think about the new generation of Indian designers?
  • What makes Manish Arora one of the most successful Indian designers internationally? How does he do it?
  • How did it all begin for you?
  • Were you completely on your own when starting your company?
  • What do you think of the warm welcome your work has received in Europe?
  • Are you influenced by Paris?
  • You work for Paco Rabanne, a French company with a long history. Do you see it as a challenge?
  • Do other Indians work in your Paris studio?
  • Is there something specific about Indian techniques that you want to bring to Paco Rabanne?
  • How would you describe your universe?
  • What made you decide to study fashion? Was your family working in that field?
  • What was the state of fashion in India during your college days?
  • Are there any differences between the collections you sell in India and the rest of the world?
  • Do you feel there is a new generation in India, particularly in Delhi?
  • What brought you to the world of fashion?
  • How was the experience at NIFT?
  • What did you do after NIFT?
  • You and your business partner Deepak have stuck it out successfully for almost a decade now. How have you managed it?
  • When did you decide to go international?
  • What is discovering fashion for you?
  • Breaking into the international fashion circuit—something that few Indian designers have achieved—must have been a huge boost! Could you elaborate on that?
  • There you were in London—a highly competitive fashion market—clueless about the international fashion scene. How did you manage the situation?
  • Why is the public relations (PR) agency so critical to the fashion business?
  • How was the response to your first international show?
  • Can you take us through the routine of preparing for a show?
  • After four years in London, you moved to Paris. Why?
  • How was the experience of showing in Paris?
  • The fashion weeks are used to seeing a lot of good, fresh talent burst on to the scene every season. Yet your work stood out. What, about your work, do you think, appealed to the international audiences?
  • Is the current fancy for the “Indian exotic” working in your favour?
  • What defines the Manish Arora style today?Has it changed over the years?
  • Do people get the humour used by you?
  • Internationally, fashion houses dress up movie stars and celebrities to get publicity. Would Bollywood stars be a great opportunity for you to appeal to the Indian market?
  • Who is the quintessential Manish Arora customer?
  • Is it the Western woman that you have in mind when you design clothes?
  • The biggest risk fashion designers face is their designs being copied. How do you handle it?
  • If the theme is something personal, then how do you explain fashion trends? How is it that the designer’s personal expression turns into an international trend?
  • How do you find buyers?
  • Why do you show your designs in India?
  • What next for Manish Arora?
  • What are your constraints?
  • Why did you not take in outside investment?
  • Why did you not seek investment from Indian business houses?
  • Would you yourself consider “Manish Arora” to be a luxury brand?
  • Do you see anybody other than Manish Arora designing for the Manish Arora brand?
  • What is different about Manish Arora the designer?
  • What draws the big brands to collaborate with you?
  • You have been tagged the ‘King of Kitsch’ and the tag has become synonymous with you. How is it to live with it?
  • It is not usual for an ethnic designer whose collections are far from safe, especially now, not only to be accepted but also to be on top of the list. How difficult it was for you to become established in Paris?
  • When your work was first introduced in Paris there was a lot of theatrics which we don’t see much of today. What do you think has changed?
  • Tell us about your experience bringing a whole new world of Indian design to Paris, as well as how you brought your origins to Europe.
  • How difficult it was for you to be established in Paris, to begin with. It is not usual for an ethnic designer whose collections are far from safe, especially now, not only to be accepted but also to be on top of the list!
  • How possible it is for creativity to be connected with commercialism with good results?
  • There is a contradiction with the financial crisis and so on, everybody now plays safe but still there this need for survival and introduction to new things. How do you think we can combine the two?
  • When do you think fashion changed the most, between the 1990s and the 2000s, to develop a direction for womenswear and what the modern woman needs?
  • I have always wondered how easy or difficult it is for you to create such amazing mixtures of colors, patterns, and embellishment. Any secret?
  • Is there any tension between the idea and the execution, in terms of the time that separates them?
  • Do you feel anything is missing in India in the field of fashion to upgrade? If yes, why don’t you fulfil?
  • Who is the Manish Arora customer? What does this identity mean to you in the first place?
  • If we compare your life today with 1994, when you won the Best Student Award in New Delhi, what has changed? How different is Manish today?
  • Why do you think Paco Rabanne chose you as their creative director? How difficult was that role for you?
  • What was the balance between re-defining the signature of Paco Rabanne and doing something new each season? How high was the pressure to do something completely new every time?
  • How did you balance your role as Paco Rabanne’s creative director with running your own label combined with your own personal life?
  • How has the role of Creative Director changed through the years? Today is about one’s vision rather than fine technical skills. How do you respond to the responsibility of creating a collection each season? How involved are you?

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