Travel+Leisure India & South Asia’s champion of Indian Couture is Manish Malhotra who defines Indian couture at its best. In a conversation with the publication, Manish Malhotra talks about his journey, the future of his label, how Indian couture has evolved over the years, and more.
Excerpts from the interview with Manish Malhotra:
T+L India: Over the years you have done a great job of showcasing Indian couture, how do you think this space has evolved?
Manish Malhotra: The past few years have redefined the word ‘couture’; it’s more than just a physical product of privilege. Brands are nurturing and building lasting relationships and making clients feel they’re a part of something crucial. In the newer times, from viewing the product digitally and connecting with its brand story to physically acquiring, the process has become personal. And that’s how every consumer wants to feel; when life seems short, they want to invest in something valuable and everlasting.
T+L India: Indian couture has found a place on the global fashion map. What more can be done to consolidate this position?
Manish Malhotra: In a growing technology-run and globalised world, people are forgetting traditional crafts. Due to this, Indian artisans and their art are losing grip. Consequently, we design timeless and seasonless collections that meet the requirements of new-age customers and simultaneously preserve and protect the artisans’ livelihoods.
T+L India: There are various fashion-for-cause initiatives that you are associated with like Mijwan. Tell us more about it.
Manish Malhotra: Our constant quest is to promote the artisans of India through every possible business I venture into whether it’s couture, jewellery, or movies. We tied up with Mijwan Welfare Society a decade ago for the women of the region to find a sense of purpose and have a stable employment opportunity. Over the years, the number multiplied and the community grew. These artisans are the breadwinners of their families now.
T+L India: The road ahead for Manish Malhotra couture?
Manish Malhotra: We’re bringing additional changes and innovations to the platter. Expansion plans with stores, audiences, and customers are on the way. With beauty, jewellery, virtual store, and NFT already on the horizon, I plan on taking these ventures to newer heights. We will soon widen our label’s physical reach beyond Indian borders.
T+L India: Best place in India for traditional textiles
Manish Malhotra: Every state or city has its own textile hub, comprising thousands of clusters that beautifully weave and give us the most beautiful fabric. Chikankari, one of our signatures originates from Lucknow, pashmina from Kashmir, kalamkari and ikat from Andhra Pradesh, Banarasi silk from Varanasi, and so much more.
T+L India: Favourite fashion destinations
Manish Malhotra: From India, Delhi and Northeast have an amazing fashion audience. Paris is a sartorial hub, Dubai is quite futuristic, New York is experimental, and Istanbul is creative.
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