Manish Arora knows the power of a collaboration. In his 20-year career he has worked with over 50 brands, including MAC and My Little Pony. For his latest venture, he’s tied up with Middle Eastern fashion brand Riva.
One of the region’s most-loved fast fashion brands, Riva is known to fuse modesty with modernity. “Working with a brand is like a marriage, and I found it easy to merge my brand aesthetic with that of Riva,” says the designer. The man who calls himself a darzi (tailor), is one of India’s most recognised names on the global fashion scene. The former creative director of Paco Rabanne divides his time between Delhi and Paris. But when it comes to his work, be it through a reference to Indian artist Bharti Kher’s swirls, or his use of the oversized paisley—you can never forget that Manish comes from India.
His collection for Riva finds flowing dresses, cape-style abayas and military-inspired jackets. “I think both India and the Middle East have same approach to embellishment. It is about the ‘more is more’ philosophy,” says Arora, which probably explains why Riva looked to an Indian designer for their first designer collaboration. “I think I am international thanks to the fact I never forget to be Indian. By that I mean Indian culture is always a part of what I do,” the designer adds.
In the last few months, Arora has been in Middle East more than once—he was most recently in Oman speaking at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference on ‘Mindful Luxury’ and prior to that was in Bahrain and Beirut. He counts Elie Saab as one his closest friends. “There is no such thing as western and ethnic fashion anymore,” he says. Which is why Arora made sure that while the Riva collection was tailored to respect the culture of the Middle East, it is also something women can wear in Milan, Mumbai or Muscat.
Arora has been very conscious about the pricing, starting with a tag of DHS 250 (approximately Rs 4,400). “I want this to be a collection that is truly accessible.” And while the collection is exclusively available in retail store at Riva’s Dubai Mall store, you can buy in online in most countries (including India) on Sivvi.com.
RivaXManishArora is available at Riva, Dubai Mall and on Sivvi.com
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