DUBAI: Manish Malhotra, the favorite Bollywood stylist and designer of Indian brides around the world, is a leading voice in the world of fashion.
The Mumbai-based designer is also well known in the Middle East, opening his first store in Dubai 14 years ago, so it’s no surprise that the first city he went to after easing India travel restrictions was Dubai.
Malhotra has visited many cities in the Middle East for both work and pleasure, including Riyadh and Bahrain, and told Arab News, “I always keep my eyes peeled for the beauty of this region.” So much so that for two years he designed a collection inspired by the “Zween” region.
“Even my latest collection, Ruhaaniyat, while drawing inspiration from the Awadh and Punjab regions, contains elements specific to the Middle East. I suppose the beautiful culture of the Arab region has influenced me so much that it has become my trademark.
The collection was released in the form of a digital movie in which Janhvi Kapoor made a special appearance. The young actress is the muse of the designer. (Her late mother, Sridevi, was also a muse and a close friend.)
Malhotra has unveiled two collections since the start of the pandemic and notes that COVID-19 has had an impact on fashion – with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
“People don’t want much today, so clothes that are versatile and season-free will be in demand,” he said.
During his short break, shopping and eating out were a priority, but the designer also met some local VIP customers.
“Dubai’s clientele is experimental and like to try new things, which allows me to explore more of my designs, and I love it.”
He noted that brides he met still wanted this special outfit, but a new approach to dressing had emerged.
“Today, the wearer has priority over everything,” he said. “The occasion and the season are more important than the trend and the topic. It gives me great joy to see young girls and boys, confident in their style and aesthetics and really knowing what they like and want to wear ”.
Malhotra is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its eponymous fashion brand this year. It also has its own beauty lines – and then the home assortment is listed.
In addition, for 30 years he has been creating projects for the film industry (among the films he has worked on are “Rangeela”, “Jab We Met” and “Student of the Year”).
And during COVID-19, with his voice, he drew attention to the plight of craftsmen in India – many of them earn money every day.
Malhotra hopes to return to the Middle East next year with its collection; before COVID-19, the designer regularly participated in flash retail events in the region. And maybe come back earlier – considering coming back for New Year’s Eve.
“I love the atmosphere,” he said. “Its structure, infrastructure and facilities – everything is so great here.”