It’s relatively easy to spot a Manish Arora design. Psychedelic colours, crazy patterns and prints jostling each other for space, and hearts. Lots and lots of hearts. After collaborations with Reebok for a line of sneakers and MAC for make-up, Arora’s teamed up with Swatch for a line of men and women’s watches. Edited excerpts:
1) How did the designs for the watches come about and what elements did you want in them?
I knew I wanted the watches to be an extension of my work. Swatch is a very pop brand, so I wanted that same pop flavour that is in my garments, as well as that feel of New India. One watch has colourful images of dancing hands, while most of the others have hearts, which has now become the logo of our brand. I created the watches in six different categories, so I took existing forms of the Swatch watches and twisted them to fit my design sensibility.
I wanted the watches to give a flavour of India, so I had to have some Indian pink.
2) Do you remember your first watch?
No I don’t, actually. I am not a watch person or a watch freak and I don’t wear watches regularly. But since the collection has launched, I’ve been wearing the gold watch, which is the most bling one of the lot.
3) If you had to design a watch for a lover, what would you ensure it had?
I would ensure it was pink and had hearts.
4) Did you have any problems while designing?
Well, a watch is much smaller than the garments which I usually design, so that makes it more complicated. I could not just add on as many motifs and design elements as I wanted, it had to be simpler. But I learnt so much about the technical aspects of watch-making during this process. It took us a year and a half to create the line, and I travelled to Swatch’s design office in Milan and worked very closely with them.
5) After sneakers, make-up and watches, what next?
I have created some new packaging for Nivea cream. There will be 5.5 million boxes of Nivea sold across the world with my name on it, so that is quite exciting. And my line of T-shirts for Swarovski, with motifs of Indian gods done in crystals, will be out in June.
6) Will you ever give up pink or hearts?
No hearts and pink are part of our brand now. You’ll have to live with it forever.
The Manish Arora Collection is available at Swatch stores. Priced between Rs4,450 and Rs16,200.