Straight out of a movie

Manish Malhotra’s success has been due to three things: sensuous garments that are designed to make people look younger and slimmer; his association with blockbuster films as a stylist; and the fact that he can play wardrobe mentor of the stars without “prying into other people’s affairs".

We are at the The Leela Palace hotel in Delhi’s Chanakyapuri and Malhotra orders a plain idli with sweet lime juice. He is watching his diet, he says; he has already lost eight of the 15kg he put on recently. Just two days back he opened a 5,000 sq. ft store in Bandra-Khar in Mumbai (his second) and next week he is set to launch a 7,000 sq. ft store in Delhi in a repurposed haveli (mansion) in Mehrauli.

For someone whose talent is barely acknowledged outside Bollywood’s chiffon set (he’s known more for his starry friends than the creativity of his eight-year-old label), he is a deeply assured person. Malhotra says he isn’t waiting for anyone to declare him a great artist because even he doesn’t think he is great. Here, he tells us which city his newer clients come from and why he doesn’t disclose his turnover. Edited excerpts:

Kareena Kapoor in a Manish Malhotra outfit
Kareena Kapoor in a Manish Malhotra outfit