By Shabana Islam Laskar
Imphal, November 14: Manipur’s Fashion Designer Naorem Robert’s collection has been displayed in the India Fashion Week at Olympia in London.
Robert’s collection was inspired by Meetei, Kuki, Tangkhul and Kabui tribes of Manipur. Robert was also honored by a Special Award of Appreciation in the India Fashion Week for his creativity and innovativeness in blending traditional Manipur designs with modern texture.
During the event, Robert said that he hopes that his creation reaches to the people of Manipur and that the unique harmony between all the communities and tribes in Manipur has inspired him in his work.
Robert, son of Th Dijamani and Th Rekha Devi hails from Singjamei Mathak Thokchom Leikai in Imphal. Since childhood Robert was interested in homemaking, decorating and cleansing home. Many made fun of Robert for having interest in things which are considered feminine in the society like stitching, classical dance, making garlands etc. Robert even attempted suicide due to the psychological pressure and uncertainties in his life. Robert’s father also took him to Psychiatrist to confirm if he has any psychological problem.
During his graduation, Robert used to save money by not taking any conveyance and walking to his college and when he saved enough money to buy cosmetics, he participated in the College fashion and had won the title of best make-up artist. That was Robert’s first achievement in fashion.
Later, he shifted to Bangalore and with little money, he started doing makeup in his rented apartment. Within a short span of time, Robert got famous in the locality and few transgenders joined him in his salon. Subsequently, he won many fashion awards like Manipur Fashion Extravaganza at Imphal, Manipuri Eyong Gi Sayol-Incarnation of Manipuri Handloom Fabrics at Bangalore, Project Bhutan Season 2 – Manipuri Eyong at Bhutan, Manipur Fashion Extravaganza at Imphal and much more.
Presently, Robert owns a fashion institute with the name Robert Academy, he is also doing Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and is a guest lecturer in National Institute of Fashion Technology.