Why Manish Arora & Paco Rabanne Parted Ways

Zina Tasreen
Manish Arora taking his bow after Paco Rabanne's A/W'12 show, his final collection for the fashion house

I was right miffed with the PUIG Group when they let go of Manish Arora only after a couple of seasons as the design helmsman of Paco Rabanne, about a month ago. It seemed a bizarre decision then, but now, with the appointment of his successor yesterday, a somewhat clearer picture has emerged of why he was dismissed. Wanna know, wanna know?

Lydia Maurer, Paco Rabanne's new creative director

Lydia Maurer, a 29-year old German-born designer! Having previously worked at Givenchy, Martine Sitbon and Yves Saint Laurent after graduating from the prestigious Studio Berçot design school in Paris, she joined Paco Rabanne in November as the studio design director of the house.

Just some of the wacky creations of Manish Arora for Paco Rabanne's S/S'12 catalogue

Basically, rumour has it in the fashion circles that Manish Arora’s totally unwearable extremely futuristic Spring/Summer 2012 catalogue was a glorious failure with the retailers. THIS, got him on the wrong side of the weighty folks at PUIG Group who having instructed a wearable line, were expecting one.

Just some of the lust-worthy numbers from Paco Rabanne's A/W'12 collection

SO, word on the street is that they roped in Ms. Maurer in November to oversee the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, which, actually, turned out to be rather sleek all the while playing with the house’s signature chain-mail. It’s an utterly wearable and thoroughly covetable (we saw Freida Pinto rock a couple during the Cannes Film Festival) collection, which raked in many new retailers for the brand, including the storied Le Bon Marche.

My Twi-action right after seeing Paco Rabanne's A/W'12 show...

Back in March when the collection was showcased, I was super impressed and pleasantly surprised by how Manish was finally able to curb his avant garde leanings and channel his talents in the right directions.

Lydia Maurer, Paco Rabanne's new leading lady... (Photo courtesy | Wataru Bob Shimosato)
Lydia Maurer, Paco Rabanne's new leading lady... (Photo courtesy | Wataru Bob Shimosato)

But it looks like someone else was pulling the strings, who felt the Paco Rabanne look should be “more feminine, fluid and warm” and also “appeal to women who don’t necessarily want to be living sculptures.”

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