Reliance Brands reached out to Raghavendra Rathore, Rajesh Pratap Singh among other designers to explore the possibility of investing in their businesses, said sources familiar with the developments.
Darshan Mehta, CEO of Reliance Brands, did not respond to calls seeking comments. He also did not revert to an ET questionnaire till the time of going to press.
“There has been some mutual exchange of ideas with a few parties that we could align with -- as you may appreciate, this is an ongoing process and if we align our thoughts with a common vision, and if all stakeholders see the value in that, only then, can one proceed to discussing such possibilities,” said Rathore.
He said his business has a lot of potential for both bespoke wear and retail in the menswear arena because of the DNA of the brand, which permits it to be independent from the dictates of fashion cycles.
“Yes, we would be open to seeking external investment just as we have done for the Gurukul School of Design, that we have set up in Jaipur,” Rathore said.
A spokesperson for Rajesh Pratap Singh confirmed being approached by Reliance Brands, but said it was a long time ago. “At this juncture, it would be important for us to look at not just a partner for investment in the business but also someone who would be a strategic fit for our growth, and more importantly, someone who understands our brand philosophy,” the spokesperson said.
ET could not independently verify the other designers that were reached out to. In a response to ET’s queries, designer Rohit Bal denied being approached by Reliance Brands.
Management consulting firm Technopak estimated that the fashion retail market, worth $46 billion in 2017, will grow at a promising CAGR of 9.7% to reach $115 billion by 2026.
Reliance Brands has been eyeing a bigger share of the luxury market. In September last year, it bought L Catterton Asia’s 40% stake in Genesis Luxury, its direct competitor in luxury retail. It had also inked a deal in June last year with Italian brand Valentino to bring the brand to India.
The other brands in Reliance Brands’ portfolio include Amsterdam-based fashion brand Scotch & Soda and Kate Spade New York.
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