Today, everyone knows Manish Malhotra as the celebrated Indian fashion designer, but not many know Manish Malhotra as the young Mumbai boy who struggled to reach where he is today. For someone who never even received any formal training in fashion, he sure has achieved unimaginable success in this industry. Having said that, he has still managed to maintain his realistic and down-to-earth persona in spite of his celebrity status, which can probably be attributed to his middle class upbringing.
Truly, a self-made designer, he began his career with a Mumbai-based boutique, but he also harbored the life-long dream of designing costumes for movies. So, he began to pursue his ambition to become a costume designer, and thus the struggle began. After a few hits and misses, he finally came across the right opportunities which led him to be the first Costume designer to start Reverie, which was a one of its kind fashion store, and from there on, there was just no looking back. He is the man behind 'Bollywood Styling' as we know it today. Blessed with an impeccable sense of imagination, he is the first designer who actually requests to read the script of a film before designing costumes for it. His ability to envisage a look for the character, true to life yet creative, has made him quite the fashion phenomenon in Bollywood.
Having found the right balance between styling and designing, Manish launched his eponymous label in 2005, which went on to create a place for itself in fashion industry's hall of fame. Also, his diffusion label 'MANISH MALHOTRA' which was launched back in 2004, brought him immense appreciation, and with prices starting at a humble Rs. 2,800, everyone can own a MANISH MALHOTRA! This is what makes him a hot favorite not only among the Bollywood stars, but also among the general audience. He also received accolade for his new collection in 2006 at the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.
His garments have instantly become trend setters in India. He is the man responsible for the rise of embroidered jeans, among other trendy looks. His work with sequins, boho chic kurtis, tassels on sheer, kaftans, and embroidered shirts for men have always been a treat to the eye. His garments also reflect a strong play of color and texture with relatively softer fabrics draping the body. And the best part of his designs is the flexibility of the garment. You can sport a Manish Malhotra dress to a black tie event and look as elegant as ever, or even rock the same dress at a beach house party!
This gifted designer soon became an international sensation when he was asked to design for Michael Jackson's appearance during the Bollywood Awards held in New York. The outfit inevitably became a hit and he was asked by Jackson to design outfits for his show in Munich as well, and also a couple of outfits for his children.
His clothes are famous for their color storytelling and intricate craftsmanship. From the boy next door, to becoming one of India's most influential designers in the country, Manish has definitely created an inimitable path to success and has become a source of inspiration for all wannabe designers.