DUBAI — Designer Manish Arora has launched a diffusion collection with the Kuwaiti high-street retailer Riva that includes embroidered jackets and long dresses, jewel embellished military jackets and T-shirts, and some children’s wear. It will be available in Riva stores throughout the Middle East and online.
“This is the first time I’ve specifically done a collaboration for the region,” Arora said. “Everything was about timing. This was the right time to make some noise in the Gulf.”
With prices ranging from $55 for a T-shirt to $300 for a long embellished cape dress, the collection brings the designer’s work to a new audience. “You cannot reach everyone, that’s when you need to collaborate with brands like Riva because they have a larger customer base and price accessibility. It’s a great platform to reach people,” he said.
Arora’s collection has a uniquely Middle Eastern touch, with certain pieces resembling caftans and abayas. Arora said he spent time working with the Riva design team to understand their aesthetic. “We always try to understand the brand and what their strengths are. The end result is a perfect combination of both worlds. From their end it may be the silhouettes or shapes or fabrics, from my world the strong point is embroideries and embellishment and color.”
Riva is part of the Armada group, a family-owned clothing and accessories company founded in Kuwait in 1973 by the Al Tahan family. Armada has grown from a single fast-fashion store to a retailer with 32 points of sale that stretch from Kuwait to the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
This is the first such collaboration for the company.
“We are very excited to create the next generation of success with the Manish Arora collaboration,” said Ammar Al Tahan, chief executive officer of Armada Retail Concepts. “This brings together Riva and its distinctive Middle Eastern design aesthetic with Manish’s astute craftsmanship and color play.”
Al Tahan said Kuwaitis in particular are familiar with Manish Arora’s designs. The brand opened a concession at Villa Moda more than 10 years ago, and although Villa Moda has since closed, the demand for Arora’s designs is strong.
“The colors, the mood, the freshness of his clothes, our clients like this kind of liveliness. People will really appreciate that Manish is more accessible to them,” Al Tahan said.