Manish Arora has become the first Indian fashion designer to receive the highest honour in France. French Ambassador Francois Richier conferred the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, the country’s highest honor, on veteran designer Manish Arora on February 16 in recognition of his renowned and critically-acclaimed contribution to the fashion world.
“I’m thrilled and honored by the recognition I have received from the country that I love with all my heart. France has been an inspiration always. I now live between Paris and Delhi, and for me France is literally my own country. I hope to keep getting inspired by France, the beauty and the elegance of the French people,” said Arora at the investiture ceremony at the French embassy here. “It is the first time in the world of fashion in India to be awarded this honor. Only the French can do it. They can spot you, pick you up and say you deserve it.”
“Manish has a long-standing connection with France, which is like a second home for him,” Francois Richier said. “He is a pioneer in bringing the fashion culture of both countries together with his exuberant imagination. I am delighted to confer this high honor on him. Beyond what you have created, you are also representing the best of India. An India that creates, that is successful – an image of India that everybody loves and recognises across the world.”
The event witnessed the attendance of socialites including Priya Paul, Ambika Pillai, Kalyani Saha, Rahul Mishra and Subodh Gupta. The Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur is France’s premier award to recognize eminent accomplishments of service to France. It is bestowed on both citizens of France as well as foreigners.
Pinning the insignia on the celebrated designer, Richier said: “Manish has a long-standing connection with France, which is like a second home for him. He is a pioneer in bringing the fashion culture of both countries together with his exuberant imagination. I am delighted to confer this high honor on him.”
Arora, who is best known for his obsession with gold and pink, launched his fashion label back in 1997, and went on to debut in London Fashion Week in 2005. The designer has regularly shown the fashion world his vibrant and exciting designs at Paris Fashion Week since 2008.\ He was appointed as the creative director at Paco Rabanne in 2011, and opened his flagship store in Paris in 2014.
With a long list of celebrity clientele that includes the likes of Aishwarya Rai, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, the designer has established a reputable status in the industry. In the past, eminent personalities such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Amitabh Bachchan and J.R.D Tata have been honored with the prestigious award.