Fashion touches everyone, whether it be the superstars of Bollywood and Hollywood, or the ordinary people on the streets. Everyone loves to dress up in the trendiest clothes. And if possible, designer clothes. Why should politicians be far behind?
Meet Manish Tripathi, a 28 year old fashion designer who hails from Lucknow, who is busy working with Bollywood stars, designing for movies and dressing up the who`s who of Indian politics.
Manish is a fashion graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) New Delhi and is a prolific caricaturist. The young designer has already made his mark in the industry working with movie directors, politicians and film stars. He plans to expand to the tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India and is also looking forward to ventures outside India.
Tell us something about your project antarDESI. How is it different from the other design studios that are coming up in Delhi?
AntarDESI is my first step towards achieving my goals. I always wanted to do something different. Being in the fashion industry and in such a competitive market, I have to adopt a unique path to establish myself. I always wanted to revitalize the era of couture; antarDESI is working towards that goal.
We don`t sell off the rack. We don`t impose our designs and creations on our clients. We genuinely try to understand what the requirement of the client is after meeting with them. We look at what occasion the client wants their ensemble for, their budget, choice etc. Then by assessing his/her personality we advise and provide our services.
It’s more like an expert advisory sale. We don`t stock any product so our suggestions are completely unbiased. Our idea is to create something completely unique and specifically crafted for the client to suit his/ her requirements & compliment his/her looks.
I have always enjoyed dressing up people personally. What I like about my profession is that I get to meet different kinds of people. Everyone is unique in their own way.
You are known for dressing up the who`s who of Indian politics. Who are in the elite list? Who have you liked dressing up most in that list?
Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Rajeev Shukla or Shivpal Yadav are some of the politicians I have had the opportunity to work with. They all treat me well and trust me as their designer and like what I have designed for them.
What is the main requirement of the politicians when they come to you? How do you introduce your own touch to the usual Bandh Gala`s, Nehru jacket, Kurta Pajama look that politicians like to carry?
Politicians are the representatives of our society. So, they have to look good and presentable. Even if it is something as common as a Nehru Jacket, it has to fit well.We craft special patterns considering the personality of an individual politician. Suggesting them the right fabric and colours is also important.
Here in India, people often think that designing is only about what you can see superficially on garments, but there is so much more to it.
Is there a special fashion trend that a big figure like Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal or Rahul Gandhi is generating around the elections?
Yes, you will notice how these big power figures use a complete package factor to present themselves. The colourful vibrant kurtas and half jackets that Narendra Modi wears are certainly to attract the youth. Whereas, Rahul Gandhi tries to portray his simplicity, as that is what he is marketing his image as the man of the people.
Kejriwal on the other hand has a bizarre dressing sense. He is trying to get hold of the nerves of the lower middle class and the poor. So, he is deliberately wearing clothes which make him look like one of the crowd.
What about Bollywood? How is styling for Bollywood different from styling and designing for individuals?
Designing for Bollywood is real fun. What I do in the movies is actually inspired from real life individuals. Styling in Bollywood involves the brief from the director and the team needs to design and style to bring out the characters while styling for an individual we have to enhance the personality of the individual through our designs.
Recently I completed `Dirty Politics` directed by KC Bokadia. It revolves around politicians, so it was fun styling the artists.
Who is your favourite Bollywood star who you have worked with?
I was always high on Bollywood since childhood. (Laughs)
Can`t really point out a favourite, but yes, I love working in the industry; more than anything, my passion drives me to be here.
I have worked with Mallika Sherawat, Jackie Shroff, Ashutosh Rana, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Rajpal Yadav, Sushant Singh, Atul Kulkarni, and Ranvir Shorey. I loved working with each and every one of them.
What kind of challenges do you face while working for a movie?
Every new task involves challenges. The biggest challenge is to achieve exactly what the director and his team are looking for and to bring out the character exactly described by them.
Designers often get carried away. But, the real challenge is to stick to the character description and do justice to the look which has been asked for.
Who is your dream client in Bollywood/Hollywood/the world of Politics?
My dream clients in Bollywood are indisputably Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.
I wish in politics I will be able to fulfill my dream by designing for the nation`s most popular leader Shri Narendra Modi ji.
What are your upcoming projects?
`Naveli` is my next ambitious women`s wear project which focuses on rejuvenating the Indian tradition where we will be directly working with craftsmen and provide them direct benefits. Along with the commercial aspects involved in this project, our aim is to help the dying crafts and bring them back to main stream.
This brand will be only for the niche market and will create exclusive and unique creations for individuals on request, specifically for women.
Tell us about your future plans?
Future holds a lot more. I have roughly drafted the blue print for `Naveli`. I`m hoping for everything to fall into place. I am looking to expand to other cities and countries too, hopefully within 2015.
So far in the Indian fashion market, it has been seen that wedding couture works the best, there are not many takers of High Fashion. Do you think celebs like Sonam Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra, Mallika Sherawat, are changing that outlook?
The new stars on the block are making designer wear an everyday thing. They are making people realise that Indian designers are not just about lehengas and we have a lot more to offer. This has also seen a rising trend among the youth to try out new Indian designers instead of foreign pret brands only.
— Mallika Sherawat (@MallikaLA) May 12, 2014