Celebrated designer Manish Malhotra says the Indian fashion industry currently lacks direction and feels designers need to concentrate on the numbers as well as on making fashion accessible for all. “There is a lot happening today — influx of stylists and young designers with bright ideas. What it lacks is direction,” Malhotra said.
“Everybody must focus on creativity and taking the business to the next level, offering a good product that is accessible will change the business of the industry. Each designer needs to concentrate on the numbers — fashion has to reach out to a lot more people,” he added.
During his 25 years as a stylist in the film industry, Malhotra has designed looks for Urmila Matondkar, Karisma Kapoor, Kajol, Rani Mukerji, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Sonam Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone.
He has received over 35 awards, designed looks for innumerable films and made inroads into global fashion. He is a known name on the runways of Paris, Milan and New York.
Malhotra is proud of his contribution to the industry but now wants to put Indian craft on the global map.
“I am so proud of my contribution to movies and what in turn it did for me. I love cinema and will always be grateful. But now I want to look forward and I want to focus on the expansion of my label. I want to take Indian craft and fabric all over the world and I want my brand to become a global brand,” Malhotra said.
But how do you go global with the brand?
“We want to expand the Delhi store that completes three years this year and has seen phenomenal success. We want to open one more store in Mumbai and a store in London,” he said.
The designer — known for weaving traditional Indian colours, craftsmanship, textures and embroidery together to create glamorous ensembles — also wants to extend his menswear line, a diffusion collection and start a more accessible and affordable line.
According to Malhotra, the next stop of fashion express in India will be mix and match.
“I see people dressing according to their personality and owning up to their aesthetics. I see a lot more individuality and a great mix of style and fashion… I continue to see a lot of global influences in fashion,” he said.
In the world of costume designing and styling for films, Malhotra’s latest work was seen in Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”.
“Next year will be ‘Mom’ for Sridevi and ‘Badrinath ki Dulhania’ for Alia Bhatt. I don’t want to do more than two movies a year,” he said, stressing on his resolve to focus on his label.