Showstoppers on the ramp a marketing gimmick: Manish Malhotra

September 29th, 2008 - 12:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Ram Gopal VarmaNew Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) Tinsel town’s favourite designer Manish Malhotra may have been the one man who started the trend of bringing a celebrity to walk the ramp for a fashion show but has now discontinued this as he feels it has become a marketing gimmick.”Today, to have a showstopper at a fashion show has become a marketing gimmick. It’s simply done to attract curiosity and attention from the media,” Malhotra told IANS in an interview.

“My friends like Karisma, Kajol and Kareena have sashayed down the ramp just for me and I share a wonderful rapport with them. First they are my friends and after that showstoppers,” Malhotra added.

Interestingly, Malhotra was the first designer who started the showstopper trend on the runway when, in 1999, he got Bollywood actor Urmila Matondkar to walk the ramp for him.

Malhotra forayed into Bollywood by designing for actress Juhi Chawla for the movie “Swarg” (1990), but he redefined the definition of Bollywood costumes in Ram Gopal Varma’s “Rangeela” (1995) that got him immense popularity and helped him quickly climb up the ladder of success.

Since then, most of the Bollywood actresses have sizzled the fashion runway for the designer including his friends Karishma and Kareena Kapoor and Preity Zinta.

“They believe in me, my work and my brand. That’s why they look so comfortable whenever they walk for my shows,” the designer said.

Malhotra was among the 11 designers who showcased at the HDIL India Couture Week at Mumbai. The media bombarded him with only one question: Why did his show lack the star quotient.

“I don’t understand why everyone from the media wanted to know why none of the Bollywood stars were walking for my show. I was doing a fashion show and the worst thing is that media is not interested in my collection but in the star quotient it has,” Malhotra lamented.

“I have stopped having showstoppers in my fashion shows as I feel there is no exclusivity in this concept now. I have been there and done it all,” he added.

Nowadays, whenever a star walks the ramp for any designer, the focus of the show automatically shifts from the designer to the star, marring the importance of the event.

“Blame it on the media and not on the designers. If the media runs after stars and forgets about the whole event, then who is to be blamed?” Malhotra asked.

This was quite evident in the couture week opener when the focus was totally on Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra and not at all on the designer - Ritu Kumar.

Malhotra has also revolutionized the fashion scene in Bollywood by envisioning a “look” for a movie’s character. The designer has worked in movies like “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge”, “Khamoshi”, “Hero No.1″, “Judaai”, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, “Dil To Pagal Hai”, “Hum Saath Saath Hain”, “Kaho Na Pyar Hai”, “Mast”, “Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani”, “Satya”, “Dhadkan” and “Mohabbatein”.

Malhotra branched into mainstream designing in 1998 with his high-profile couture store Reverie - Manish Malhotra. His popularity also soared when he designed clothes for American pop star Michael Jackson for his appearance during the Bollywood Awards in New York in 2007.

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