ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways has teamed up with renowned Indian fashion designer Manish Malhotra to showcase the artist’s latest collection at the forthcoming Lakmé Fashion Week in Mumbai.
The award-winning airline will join the highly acclaimed designer at India’s leading fashion event for the unveiling of his winter collection, taking place in the country’s commercial capital from August 24 – 28.
Known for designing lavish costumes for Bollywood film stars and Indian cinema for more than two decades, Manish Malhotra has captured the imagination of fashionistas around the world.
His opening night show on August 24, ‘Etihad Airways Presents Manish Malhotra’, will be shot in virtual reality allowing viewers to feel the excitement of being present at the show, whether backstage, front row or at the post-show party. It comes just months after Etihad Airways used the pioneering technology to give viewers unprecedented access to the airline’s award-winning Airbus A380 by immersing them in the aircraft cabins in a virtual reality film ‘Reimagine’ featuring Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman.
The collaboration with Manish Malhotra is the latest initiative by the Abu Dhabi-based airline following its recently-announced sponsorship efforts to become the fashion industry’s preferred airline. This will help further elevate the airline’s premium brand positioning alongside the world’s most revered luxury brands.
Earlier this year, Etihad Airways struck a comprehensive global agreement with WME | IMG as a long-term partner of the fashion industry, connecting the airline with the fashion capitals of the world. The agreement is the first multinational, multi-year airline sponsorship supporting the fashion industry.
Mumbai is the latest stop in Etihad Airways’ global fashion sponsorship, supporting 17 fashion week events in London, Milan, Sydney, New York and Mumbai, worldwide every year. It follows on from the airline’s recent participation at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.
The tie-up with Manish Malhotra, announced at a Press Conference in Mumbai yesterday featuring an exclusive preview of his new collection, is the second designer collaboration for Etihad Airways after the successful partnership with the Oscar de la Renta fashion house in Australia earlier this summer.
Patrick Pierce, Vice President Sponsorship at Etihad Airways, said: “The fashion industry and Etihad Airways represent an ideal brand fit, sharing attributes of being ambitious, innovative and creative – key characteristics that are reflected in our renowned inflight service and hospitality.
“We are therefore delighted to collaborate with Manish Malhotra, one of India’s most celebrated fashion designers, for his opening night event at Lakmé Fashion Week. It promises to be a remarkable show featuring the same VR technology that we premiered with our recent A380 film Reimagine.”
Addressing the Press Conference, Manish Malhotra commented: “I am delighted to be partnering with Etihad Airways as two future forward brands come together. This will be the very first fashion show that will give viewers an experience beyond frontiers, space and time.”
Neerja Bhatia, Etihad Airways Vice President Indian Subcontinent, added: “Etihad Airways is a proud partner of India with the largest international network of flights connecting India and the world, with our strategic partner Jet Airways. Together with our award-winning A380 recently introduced on the Mumbai – Abu Dhabi route featuring The Residence, a stylish and iconic three-room suite in the air, this is a perfect fit for high flyers from the fashion industry.
“Etihad Airways truly encompasses all areas of design, innovation and style to become the ultimate premium lifestyle airline. Our A380 service from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi and onwards to New York provides a seamless service to and from these leading fashion cities onboard our luxurious aircraft.”
Lakmé Fashion Week is Etihad Airways’ second major partnership in India following on from its sponsorship of the Mumbai Indians, one of the most successful cricket franchise teams in the Indian Premier League.