manish malhotra: Reliance co buys 40% in Manish Malhotra brand
The move, aimed at bolstering Reliance’s portfolio of home-grown designer labels, follows the likes of rival Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail (ABFRL) that has acquired significant stakes in ethnic wear brands such as Tarun Tahiliani, Sabyasachi and Jaypore.
Apart from expansion of physical retail, the partnership between Reliance and MM Styles, parent of the Manish Malhotra brand, may lead to offerings in different price brackets — an effort to democratise the appeal of the label known for its elaborate and expensive wedding wear. However, the deal size wasn’t disclosed.
With the domestic fashion industry reeling from the onslaught of the pandemic, even ABFRL has adopted a similar strategy with its deal with fashion designer Tahiliani, as it will own 80% stake in a new entity that will develop and launch affordable premium ethnic wear and accessories.
“This is the perfect time for these powerhouses to go shopping for Indian designer wear labels, as their sales have been poor compared to international luxury brands. They need the capital to stay afloat,” said an industry veteran who did not wish to be named.
After Reliance’s investment, Manish Malhotra, the designer behind the 16-yearold brand, will continue at the helm as managing and creative director. Reliance owns stakes in two other indigenous labels, Satya Paul and Raghavendra Rathore.