Manish Malhotra and Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Brands Limited announced their partnership to build brand ‘Manish Malhotra’ into a global couture powerhouse. RBL signed a definitive agreement to acquire 40% stake in MM Styles Private Limited that owns Manish Malhotra’s eponymous brand. Though this is one of the larger acquisitions by RBL in the Indian luxury fashion industry, the company did not disclose the size of the deal. According to ANI, the brand will continue to be led by Malhotra as the managing and creative director. The self-taught designer’s brand has so far been held privately by Malhotra.
Shifting from Western luxury brands to Indian couture wear, this move marks a shift in Reliance Brands’ strategy. After 14 years of bringing global premium and luxury Western brands to India, the company will now focus on homegrown designer labels. Reliance Brands has more than 40 international partner brands under its wing. The portfolio largely consists of foreign luxury brands such as Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Bally, Hamleys, Hugo Boss, Hunkemöller, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Steve Madden, Superdry, Scotch & Soda, Tiffany & Co., and Tory Burch. Indian wear brand Satya Paul, as is menswear designer Raghavendra Rathore’s eponymous label are also a part of its investment portfolio.
According to Livemint.com, Malhotra said the brand will come up with more diversified looks and collections in multiple brackets. “We are not going prêt, of course, but keeping the essence of high luxury,” he said. Besides physical retail expansion, the partnership will create strong technology infrastructure for the business while developing omni-channel and experiential e-commerce opportunities.
The Manish Malhotra brand was established in the year 2005, though Malhotra has had a three-decade long career designing for the who’s who in Bollywood, both on- and off-screen. Currently, Malhotra has four stores in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and retails at multi-brand luxury stores Aza Fashions, Ensemble and Aashni & Co. Malhotra has also diversified into luxe jewellery, beauty and home décor collections. Recently, the designer partnered with MyGlamm, to launch a full-fledged range of artisanal skincare products.
Corporates backing luxury fashion labels has grown in 2021. RBL’s competitor, Aditya Birla Fashion acquired a 51 per cent stake in bridal couture label Sabyasachi. Even Tarun Tahiliani sold a 33 per cent stake of his eponymous brand to Aditya Birla Fashion in February ‘21.