Reliance Brands Limited (RBL) has announced a strategic partnership aimed at accelerating designer Manish Malhotra’s 16-year-old luxury label’s growth plans in India and across the globe. RBL has signed a definitive agreement to invest in founder and creative director Manish Malhotra’s eponymous brand for a 40 per cent minority stake. This is the first external investment for the brand, which had so far been privately held by the designer.
Launched in 2005, the Manish Malhotra luxury-retail footprint extends across four flagship stores in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Hyderabad, besides an elaborate virtual store and over 12 million social followers across various channels. While Manish Malhotra’s signature glamour has its genesis in the founder’s career as costume stylist for 31 years, the brand’s design language is brought to life by a team of 700 artisans and professionals, led by Malhotra himself.
RBL, in its next wave of value creation, is setting sight towards home-grown talent rooted in Indian design sensibilities. “Our strategic partnership with Manish Malhotra is anchored on our immense respect for his craft and our deep commitment to Indian art and culture. Being an entrepreneur, Manish, the man behind the brand, has always been nimble and ahead of his times. Recognition and appreciation for Indian couture is at an inflexion point globally and we are excited to partner in this journey with Manish.” said Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (holding company of all retail companies in Reliance Industries Limited group).
The coming together of the country’s leading couture house and foremost luxury conglomerate aims to develop a corporate framework that sustains Manish Malhotra’s legacy for generations to come. The brand Manish Malhotra stands unique at the intersection of fashion and movie entertainment. Thus, expanding the brand into a larger lifestyle consumption portfolio would be a natural next step. The brand also has a significant cache of current and potential consumers across global fashion capitals and onward plans include expansion both in India and international markets. Besides physical retail expansion, the partnership will work on creating a strong technology backbone for the business, developing phygital and experiential e-commerce opportunities.
Speaking about the development, Manish Malhotra said: “From the largest luxury couture stores in Delhi and Hyderabad; the launch of India’s first couture virtual store; and redefining glamour at Indian weddings, I have always aimed to set benchmarks across the life of the brand. The collaboration with Reliance Brands Ltd was a natural decision for me, as it represents both Reliance’s astute vision and the family’s deep affinity for crafts and culture. As the brand aims for international expansion, business diversification, and renewed creative growth, there could have been no better strategic partner to accompany us on this journey.”
Designer Manish Malhotra (R) with Darshan Mehta, MD & CEO – Reliance Brands Limited. (Photo: Prasad Naik)
Completing the costume to couture to institution evolution cycle, the brand will continue to be led by Manish Malhotra, Managing and Creative Director of the brand.
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