Reliance Brands, the brand licensing arm of Reliance Industries, has entered into a joint venture with designer Rahul Mishra to launch a new brand.
“Reliance Brands together with Rahul Mishra, will embark on a collaborative journey to create and own a new brand that would encompass Rahul Mishra’s ready to wear business through a 60:40 joint venture (either by itself and/or through its affiliates),” the company said in a statement on January 31.
This is the second such partnership that the company has forged in about a month. Earlier in December, Reliance Brands had announced a similar partnership with fashion designer Anamika Khanna, under which it plans to develop fashion brand 'AK-OK’.
The new brand to be developed with Rahul Mishra, besides the ready-to-wear apparel segment, will gradually expand to other fashion categories such as accessories, footwear, home, beauty, and jewellery.
“Rahul Mishra’s flawless contemporary design sense and stunningly intricate pieces have spotlighted Indian expertise in crafts globally. Accompanied by his expertise in leveraging international fashion forums to accelerate brand building and creating a global customer base, it’s the perfect secret sauce to co-create a global brand.
It’s a strategic part of our ongoing commitment to nurture Indian art and culture,” said Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Retail Ventures (holding company of all retail companies in Reliance Industries Limited group).
Reliance Retail Ventures is the holding company of all retail companies under oil-to-telecom behemoth Reliance Industries.
Rahul Mishra will lead the creative direction of the new brand as Creative Director. Mishra, who is known for championing traditional India craft, is the first Indian designer to showcase at Paris Haute Couture week and had Woolmark Prize at Milan Fashion Week in 2014. His eponymous couture label has two flagship stores in India and a national and international distribution channel.
“We are excited to have the wonderful opportunity via this JV to partner with the market leader Reliance Brands that brings with it a strong know-how in the management of the luxury and retail landscape,” said Rahul Mishra.
Several retail companies, of late, have been tying up with designer labels as they try to build a play in the ethnic wear segment. Reliance Retail Ventures, in particular, has either acquired or forged partnerships with several designers.
Last October, Reliance Retail Venture had acquired a 52 percent stake in Ritika Pvt Ltd, which owns Ritu Kumar, Label Ritu Kumar, RI Ritu Kumar, aarké, and Ritu Kumar Home and Living, while Reliance Brands had signed a definitive agreement with Manish Malhotra for a 40 percent minority stake in his eponymous brand.
Reliance Brands had also invested in Satya Paul and menswear ethnic label Raghavendra Rathore in the past.
Read: Why designer labels have caught the fancy of retail majors
ABFRL too has been making similar bets. In January last year, it took a 51 percent stake in bridal couture brand Sabyasachi, established by Kolkata-based designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, and later in February partnered with Tarun Tahiliani, taking a 33 percent holding in his men’s ethnic wear label house. The retail major had also acquired Shantanu & Nikhil's apparel brand Finesse in 2019.