Reliance Brands is in talks to pick up a stake in American luxury fashion retailer Prabal Gurung‘s premium lifestyle label and set up exclusive luxury flagship stores at its Jio World malls, said executives aware of the development.
A Nepalese-American fashion designer, Gurung is known for dressing up celebs such as Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker and Anne Hathaway. He had launched his line in 2009 at the New York Fashion Week.
“Reliance Brands is adopting a flanking strategy, by partnering with fashion labels across ethnic wear, western wear and wedding lines. The labels will straddle its physical stores and e-commerce platforms,” said one of the executives, who did not wish to be identified.
Reliance Brands has a 40% stake in designer Manish Malhotra’s label, in addition to majority stake in couture brand Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla. It also has strategic partnerships with other Indian designers. The move to partner couture designers is part of the larger plan to stay ahead of rivals in the luxury segment and tap into global markets.
“In keeping with the company’s policy, we will refrain from commenting on speculative news,” a spokesperson for Reliance Brands said in response to an email query. An email seeking comment from Gurung’s office remained unanswered till press time.
The company is competing with Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail, which has also been buying stakes in fashion labels.
“These partnerships are being built to also feed aspirational demand from affluent tier-2 markets,” said the executive cited earlier.