Short term laurels
What’s stopping Indians being in high places for long? I mean, while walking into a Dior Couture show with Paris Fashion Week’s boss Didier Grumbach, he told me that Manish Arora has been appointed Paco Rabanne’s new creative director. And I was very happy. First, Manish had by then several laurels to his credit with many international brands and this was the first time he was going to head a fashion house. Second, he is from India and third, he is a friend from the industry whose work I have followed for many years.
After Didier told me about this, I called Manish and he told me it was true and that the brand will make an official announcement to this effect soon.
With India and what it has to offer in terms of inspiration etc making its rounds globally, I thought it was a nice thing to happen. Besides, Manish had by then proved his mettle on the runways of London and Paris and had become the only name asked about by the European fashion crowd.
Now with the news of him exiting Paco Rabanne, he becomes the second Indian designer to quit an European brand after Ritu Beri who relinquished her post as Jean-Louis Scherrer’s creative director after two seasons.
I wonder what can possibly go wrong at such positions at short time. Brands don’t appoint at just the drop of a hat. They do so after looking at the pros and cons. And I am sure there are contracts also signed stipulating their terms and conditions for a minimum period of stay. After all, in just a couple of seasons no one can turn around a brand, especially the ones like Paco Rabanne which stayed away from fashion runways for many seasons before Manish stepped in. A designer need to settle in and then work on the collections and it surely take more than two seasons and on this count, Manish’s exit comes as a surprise.
However, with all these happening, one form of respite for Indians gasping for news on Indians who are doing well in Europe is that of my country cousin, Ramesh Nair. He worked with Martin Margiela and Jean Paul Gaultier at Hermes and when Gaultier left the brand after many years of being there, Ramesh also said good bye to Hermes. Now I hear he’s doing well at LVMH working closely with its bossman… That’s a welcome respite for sure.