Manish Malhotra - Today It’s Been 31 Years in the Industry and the Journey Has Been Nothing Less of a Fulfilling One (Fashion Designer From India)

I feel the fashion industry is the one industry that is acceptable to all. Over here we all are equal and our work speaks, not who we are or what gender we are. 

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

I grew up in a typical Punjabi household, where my mom always encouraged me in all that I wanted to do. Growing up, I was always fascinated by Bollywood films and made it a point to watch every single film that was released. But I wasn’t a very good student and found academics boring.

In the 6th grade, I remember joining a painting class -- I enjoyed it so much! From watching films, to painting, and being surrounded by my mother’s clothes, my love for fashion grew. I used to even give fashion advice to my mom on her sarees! When I got into college, I started modelling and began working at a boutique. 

I couldn’t afford to go abroad and study fashion, so that was my school in a way. I’m completely self-taught -- I used to sit and sketch for hours! Finally, at the age of 25, I got my big break -- I worked on a film starring Juhi Chawla!

Today it’s been 31 years in the industry and the journey has been nothing less of a fulfilling one. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best names in the business. I have always believed that change is the only constant and I love to expand my horizon. After setting up my label and expanding into jewellery and beauty, I am now all set for my directorial debut for which I’m most excited. 

2. Fashion industry is often considered women-centric and stereotypes men? What's your opinion?

Not at all. If anything, I feel the fashion industry is the one industry that is acceptable to all. Over here we all are equal and our work speaks, not who we are or what gender we are. 

3. How can one become a successful fashion designer according to you?

Love what you do. Learn the craft, the minute details of it. If you have the passion and zest for what you do and what you want to create, you will always get success. 

4. What are some of the top colleges for studying fashion in India and the world?

Well, there are many like the National Institute of Design (NID), Pearl Academy and National Institute of Fashion and Technology (NIFT) and so many other institutes that teach fashion. I believe if you want to hone your craft, you will be willing to learn anywhere, just have the zeal to learn. 

5. Do you have any tips for people who want to join this field?

Be prepared to work hard, work odd hours. Don’t conform to a mundane routine, explore new things, challenge yourself and be willing to learn at every step of the way. Change with times and keep reinventing yourself according to keep up with the new and last but not least always keep that passion alive. 

Interviewed By: Namisha Saxena

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  1. Interesting outlooks of varied nature. But the common root is HARD WORK. You can have different opinions depending upon where you are working and doing what. Hardwork with commitment comes out strong.

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