American reality television star Kim Kardashian in a Balenciaga outfit.
American reality television star Kim Kardashian in a Balenciaga outfit.

Reliance Brands signs franchise agreement with Balenciaga to introduce the brand in India

Mumbai, August 4, 2022

Reliance Brands Limited (RBL), a part of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), today said it had signed a strategic deal with global luxury brand Balenciaga to bring the best of global couture to the Indian market.

With this long-term franchise agreement, RBL will be Balenciaga’s sole India partner to launch the brand in the country and this partnership will be RBL’s second with the parent group Kering, that houses Balenciaga, a press release from the company said.

Founded by Spanish-born Cristóbal Balenciaga in 1917 and established in Paris in 1937, the original house of Balenciaga defined modern couture with its many innovations to form and technique. Since his appointment as artistic director in 2015, Demna continues to uphold the vision of Balenciaga through boundary pushing collections, which have expanded to include women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, accessories, and objets d’art.

“Few brands have actually embraced the opportunity for creative reinterpretation and reinvention quite like Balenciaga. Their avant-garde and ingenious creations, bold use of the logo, and a consequent cult in the fashion industry has already created a strong footing throughout the world. It’s the most opportune time to introduce the brand to the country as the Indian luxury customer has matured and using fashion as a form of creative expression of their individuality,” said Darshan Mehta, MD of Reliance Brands Limited.

Balenciaga’s unprecedented interactions with the expanding digital realm, material developments, and today’s social responsibilities keep it at the forefront of modernity, the release said.

RBL is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd and began operations in 2007 with a mandate to launch and build global brands in luxury to premium segments across fashion and lifestyle. In the past five years, RBL has also invested in building and operating homegrown Indian designer brands.

Its current portfolio of brand partnerships comprises Armani Exchange, Bally, Bottega Veneta, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Canali, Clarks, Coach, Diesel, Dune, EA7, Emporio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, G-Star Raw, Gas, Giorgio Armani, Hamleys, Hugo Boss, Hunkemoller, Iconix, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade New York, Lenscrafters, Manish Malhotra, Michael Kors, Mothercare, Muji, Paul & Shark, Paul Smith, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Raghavendra Rathore, Replay, Salvatore Ferragamo, Satya Paul, Steve Madden, Superdry, Sunglass Hut, Scotch & Soda, Tiffany & Co., Tod’s, Tory Burch, Tumi, Versace, Villeroy & Boch, Vision Express, and West Elm.

RBL today operates 2,084 doors split into 821 stores and 1,263 shop-in-shops in India. In 2019, RBL marked its first international foray by acquiring the British toy retailer, Hamleys. Globally, Hamleys has 211 doors across 14 countries.

RBL also has equity investments in Indian couture brands Manish Malhotra and Raghavendra Rathore.

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