Manish Arora goes into liquidation
“We expanded and hoped to reach the world with our unique sensibility and we tried. Sincerely,” Arora, one of India’s most famous fashion designers, told The New York Times in October. “Unfortunately things went wrong. The markets shrunk. Expenses mounted and we soldiered on to the best of our capabilities.”
The designer has refused to pass further comment on his label’s downfall, because, as he explained, the business is “in liquidation and also the matter is in court.”
Arora founded his namesake brand with friend and business partner Deepak Bhagwani in 2001, making his international debut in London in 2005. Starting in 2011, he served as creative director of Paco Rabanne for two seasons, before deciding to turn his attention back to focus on his own label.
A resident of Paris since 2012, Arora consistently showed his collections in the City of Lights, gaining a reputation for brightly colored, maximalist fashion combining Indian culture with Western references.
His label has signed off on collaborations with brands including Reebok, Swatch and Swarovski, and has been stocked by the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Selfridges, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
But cracks apparently began to show in the business in 2017, when the brand’s Indian by Manish Arora line was discontinued. Disruptions caused by the Covid-19 may ultimately have been the last nail in the coffin, but the Manish Arora brand has reportedly been struggling for some time, with expensive runway shows, mounting debts and persistent discounting by retail partners all contributing to the company’s travails.
And as partnerships with important retailers have become increasingly scarce, employees, vendors and partners of the company have reportedly started to be paid later and later, if at all.
Earlier this year, Bhagwani also left the business. Finally, on October 10, 2020, the brand’s former employees in India were informed that the company was in liquidation.
With the Manish Arora store in Paris now closed, and the brand’s website shut for maintenance, the designer has said that he is “reassessing the way forward.” Quite what this and liquidation proceedings mean for the future of his brand and its employees remains to be seen.
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