Sunday, June 23, 2024

Reliance Brand acquires another celebrity designer under its retail portfolio

After bringing many coveted international labels such as Steve Madden, Armani, and Jimmy Choo to India under its banner, RIL’s retail arm, Reliance Brand Ltd (RBL), is on a shopping spree for homegrown labels.

Recently, RBL has announced buying a 51 percent stake in India’s foremost Couturiers Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla. The RIL subsidiary has entered into a definitive agreement for a strategic partnership for the growth of the fashion house.

“Reliance Brands Ltd (RBL) has signed a definitive agreement to invest (either by itself and/or through its affiliates) in India’s foremost Couturiers Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla (AJSK) for a 51% majority stake. The strategic partnership is aimed at accelerating the 35-year-old couture house’s growth plans in India and across the globe.” the statement read.

The label is famous for its elegant couture weaved in the finest fabrics combined with distinguished embroidery designs,  mirror work, and Chikankari. The designers have also worked with big Hollywood celebrities such as Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

Apart from its main label being distinguished for its embroideries, the fashion house runs other three labels under its name- ASAL, GULABO, and MARD.

“Teaming up with India’s foremost couturiers, who hold an unparalleled position in Indian fashion for their fine craftsmanship and impeccable attention to detail, techniques, and embroideries, is thrilling, as it allows us to build a stronger platform for their zealous commitment to reinvention of Indian craft. Inspiration from the old to create with a brand new approach is their gift. Abu Sandeep has been extraordinarily successful for over three decades, and it is time that their endeavor to present their unabashed vision of luxury reached every nook and corner of the world, carving a unique space for the brand globally, making them true Ambassadors of Indian Style”, said Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd.

Reliance Retail Ventures is a holding company of all retail companies in RIL and is looked after by the Ambani heiress, Isha Ambani. Established in 2007, the company aims to build global brands in luxury to premium segments across fashion and lifestyle.

This is the third acquisition of 2022 by RBL; the company has brought many renowned celebrity-designer brands as well as apparel startups under its name.

CorpIndiaNews brings details on RBL’s recent shopping



While Clovia is a full-stack, bridge-to-premium D2C lingerie brand, the startup had a market share of Rs 32,164 Cr in 2020. In order to expand its portfolio in the innerwear segment, Reliance Retail Ventures acquired Purple Panda Fashions Pvt Ltd by buying an 89 percent stake at Rs 950 Cr in March.


Abraham & Thakore

In the same month, RRVL bought a majority stake in a 30-year-old designer brand, Abraham & Thakore. The designers started their loungewear and home collection and retailed predominantly in international stores before entering the Indian fashion industry.

Rahul Mishra 

In January, Reliance Brands, a 60:40 joint venture with the Indian designer Rahul Mishra. RBL looked forward to creating a new brand that would have Rahul Mishra as the creative director of the readymade clothing line.



RBL began expanding its innerwear portfolio by acquiring Sri Lanka-based lingerie brand ‘Amante’. The company bought a 100 percent stake in the lingerie brand from MAS.


Zivame, an online lingerie retailer founded by Richa Kar, was RBL’s first acquisition in the innerwear segment. Reliance acquired a 15 percent stake in the brand, intending to own a 100 percent stake in it.


In 2021, Reliance’s retail arm acquired a 60 percent stake in couturier Anamika Khanna’s brand AK-OK. The designer intended to evoke a positive statement through this clothing line and hence named it ‘AK-OK.’. With this acquisition, Reliance intended to extend its portfolio to luxury brands.

Ritu Kumar

Reliance acquired a 52 percent stake in Ritu Kumar in 2021.

Ritu Kumar is one of India’s oldest and most revered fashion designers. RRVL collaborated with Ritika Pvt Ltd, which owns Ritu Kumar, Label Ritu Kumar, RI Ritu Kumar, Aarke, and Ritu Kumar Home and Living.


Manish Malhotra

The famous Manish Malhotra launched his label in 2005 that offers bridal, couture, diffusion, and men’s wear in India. In 2021, RBL bought a 40 percent stake in Manish Malhotra’s luxury fashion label. The partnership aimed at expanding the label’s retail stores and offerings clothes at different price brackets to democratize its appeal in different sections.

Apart from the above-listed brands, the company bought John Players from ITC in 2019, before the covid outbreak. RBL had first acquired Satya Paul’s parent company by acquiring a 16.3 percent stake at Rs 35.8 Crore and Raghavendra Rathore’s label with a 12.5 percent stake in 2018.

Why is Reliance Acquiring fashion labels? 

Buzz about Reliance Retail being on a shopping spree has been doing rounds since last year. While many consider it to be a move to expand its portfolio under its retail section, many believe that the retail giant intends to increase its market share through these brands.

Market share:

Neha Khanna, director at management consultancy firm ValPro, said “Reliance is utilising its current infrastructure and team under Reliance Retail to increase wallet share from customers by acquiring brands, which are well established. Their core business isn’t centered around launching their own labels but managing retail (offline and online) for brands that they partner with.”

The company understands the demand for such big labels among middle- and upper-middle-class sections and wants to offer these brands through its retail outlets.

According to Statista, revenue in the Indian luxury goods market will amount to $6.6 billion in 2022. Despite the ongoing pandemic and increased inflation, a trend of young consumers experimenting with high-end luxury products was observed. This pattern has encouraged retail giants to tap into the high-end luxury segment and bring it under its eCommerce as well as offline stores.


Reliance Retail’s rival Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd has been on a similar trail to bring heavy-weight luxury designer brands such as Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahiliani, Shantanu, and Nikhil under its name.

Hence, in the race to acquire big labels to increase its market share,  Reliance Retail has actively collaborated with these brands in exchange for marketing, operational, and other logistics.

As a result, the labels are willing to explore, innovate and expand globally through capital induction and added bandwidth of Reliance.

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