As one of the most widely recognised Indian designers, Manish Arora boasts a dedicated following and significant critical acclaim from a host of influential industry insiders. Inducted into the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt à Porter des Couturiers in 2009, Arora was also invited by the French minister for culture to exhibit his work for two months in the windows of the Palais Royal in Paris. The celebrated designer, who oversees the production of three in-house labels alongside an eyewear range, was appointed as creative director of French fashion house Paco Rabanne in early 2011. After presenting his inaugural collection for Spring/Summer 2012, Arora left the position in May 2012 to focus on growing his own business and in November 2012 announced a joint venture arrangement with retailer Biba Apparel Pvt Ltd to extend the brand’s operations in India.
Having initially pursed a degree in commerce, Arora changed his career path halfway through, applying for a position in the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi. Graduating in 1994 with a ‘Best Student Award’, Arora went on to secure second place in a Smirnoff Fashion Competition and in 1995 was also awarded second place in the Young Asian Designers competition. With a bold and colourful design aesthetic, Arora caught the eye of editors at French Vogue.
Arora launching his namesake collection instead in 1997. In 2000 the designer participated in the inaugural India Fashion Week and shortly after, in 2001 launched Manish Arora Fish Fry, a diffusion collection of sportswear. In 2002, Arora opened his first Fish Fry flagship in New Delhi, marking a significant period of expansion that saw the designer launch several more boutiques around India and secure his first international stockist deal with Parisian boutique Maria Luisa.
Arora also began participating in several international fashion weeks, such as Miami Fashion Week in 2005 followed by a turn at London Fashion Week. Both presentations garnered positive review for the Indian designer and in London, Arora was selected to exhibit work in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. In 2007 Arora was invited to stage his first catwalk show at Paris Fashion Week, where the designer still presents his biannual Manish Arora Paris collections.
The quirky designer has collaborated on a number of creative partnerships with brands such as MAC Cosmetics, SWATCH, Mercedes Benz and Swarovski Elements. Arora’s long-running collaboration sportswear brand Reebok, established in 2004, has resulted in a series of successful Fat Fish for Reebok collections with as well as dedicated store opening in New Delhi in 2007.