10 Things You Didn’t Know About Manish Arora

Manish Arora is a name that resonates with flamboyance, panache, and audacious aesthetics. The Indian-born, Paris-based designer’s work is an homage to the spirit of vibrant colors and eccentricity that continue to bewitch fashion enthusiasts worldwide. Yet, like his elusive creations, many facets remain unknown about this fashion maverick. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Manish Arora.

1. Homegrown Beginnings

Manish Arora’s journey into the world of fashion was kindled in his homeland, India. Born in Mumbai, Arora later attended the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in New Delhi. His first stint in the industry was the launch of his label, ‘Manish Arora,’ in 1997, which garnered recognizance among Indian audiences with its unusual blend of traditional and modern elements.

Arora’s home-bred skills in fashion designing also paved the way for him to represent India at the Hong Kong Fashion Week in 2001, marking India’s first-ever participation in the event. He also debuted at the India Fashion Week the same year, and his works evoked admiration and intrigue for their psychedelic colors and quirky ideologies.

2. International Acclaim

Arora’s designs did not just permeate Indian borders. In 2005, he was invited to showcase at the London Fashion Week. This marked the inception of his global popularity, showcasing the potential of Indian design aesthetics on an international platform. His grand international debut led him to be the first Indian designer at Paris Fashion Week two years later.

The designer has since become a recurring face at the Paris Fashion Week, where he continues to stun audiences with his surrealistic presentations inspired by diverse themes ranging from spirituality to space travel. His quirky aesthetics and notable motifs have securely placed him as a unique voice in global fashion.

3. Collaboration with MAC

In 2008, Arora entered into a collaboration with the prominent cosmetic brand MAC to launch a makeup range. This happened parallel to his show at the Paris Fashion Week. The range encapsulated Arora’s vibrant design philosophy and was confined to 6 products, from eyeshadows to lipsticks, all packaged in his signature, effervescent style.

This limited-edition range was a display of Arora’s iconic design signatures and a testament to his commitment to visual diversity in design. The collaboration is considered among the most successful fashion-makeup crossovers in recent years, blending Arora’s vivid aesthetic spirit into the cosmetic world.

4. Designing for Nicki Minaj

In 2011, Manish Arora experienced one of the defining moments of his career when he was enlisted by American rapper Nicki Minaj to design outfits for her tour. The pair’s quirky style sensibilities aligned perfectly, and Arora’s vibrant, embellished outfits became a staple in Minaj’s stage wardrobe.

The collaboration didn’t end there, as Minaj continued to don Arora’s designs in her music videos, notably her gold dress in the video for ‘Turn Me On.’ This gave Arora significant exposure to an international audience and further solidified his unparalleled niche in the fashion industry.

5. Role in Bollywood

In addition to his international acclaim, Arora has also left his mark on Bollywood’s costume design. He curated outfits for colourful Bollywood drama ‘Raanjhanaa,’ infusing his trademark quirk and flamboyance into the characters’ wardrobes.

Further, he has also designed for various Bollywood divas for their red carpet appearances and other events. His long, flowing ensembles, paired with his unique knack for marrying traditional Indian fabrics with modern tailoring techniques, have made him a favourite amongst Indian movie stars.

6. Creative Director at Paco Rabanne

Arora’s globally recognised talent in fashion design led to his appointment as the Creative Director of the French fashion house Paco Rabanne in 2011. This role marked another milestone in Arora’s career, signifying his rise as a leading figure in the global fashion scene.

However, his stint with Paco Rabanne lasted only two seasons. While his vivid and innovative designs were heralded by some, they failed to resonate with the established customer base of the brand and he left the position in 2012.

7. Love for Art

Arora’s love for the arts extends beyond fashion. The designer is known to be an avid art collector, with a particular interest in contemporary Indian artists. His impressive collection reflects his eclectic tastes, with works ranging from modern abstract pieces to traditional miniature paintings.

Arora’s love for art is also reflected in his work. Often drawing inspiration from various art movements and artists, he ensures his creations are as much a work of art as they are fashion statements.

8. Tribute to His Mother

In a departure from his usual flamboyant aesthetics, Arora’s Fall 2013 collection in Paris presented an emotional tribute to his mother. The collection saw a shift in Arora’s typically vibrant color patterns to a monochrome palette, infused with elements of mourning and melancholy.

His signature flair remained intact with intricate Indian embroidery and foil work. However, the emotional intensity of the collection, marked by its delicate symbolism and nuanced details, set it apart as one of Arora’s most personal works.

9. Significance of Skulls in His Design

A recurrent element across his designs is the symbol of the skull. From accessories to embroidery accents, skulls feature prominently in Arora’s work.

However, they are not intended as morbid symbols, but rather, they represent the idea of embracing mortality and celebrating life. It’s an emblematic example of how Arora incorporates profound ideas into his design ethos, transforming fashion into a medium of philosophical expression.

10. Recognition From The French Government

Given his significant contributions to the creative arts and fashion, it was inevitable that Arora’s work would be recognised by the fashion industry’s gatekeepers. In 2016, the French government awarded him with the prestigious Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur.

This decoration stands as the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits, recognising his decades-long commitment to pushing boundaries in the fashion industry.

To learn more about Manish Arora, visit his official website and social media platforms:

Official Website