RRVL acquires 52% of the capital of the luxury design house Ritu Kumar

By Tanya Banon

New Delhi, October 19 (IANSlife): Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) and Indian Fashion Pioneer Designer Ritu Kumar Announce New Pathway Collaboration with RRVL’s majority acquisition of Ritika Pvt Ltd, fully acquiring 35% stake in Everstones in society.

The gathering aims to explore new interpretations of Indian crafts and textiles that carry the history of the country’s artisan culture beyond existing ideas in tailoring and fashion. The Ritu Kumar business consists of four portfolios of fashion brands that retail through 151 outlets around the world. While the brands retain the Ritu Kumar design DNA of embroidery, crafts, and prints, each has a distinct brand definition.

The partnership aims to highlight India’s re-emerging role in the international tailoring industry, through parallel pathways of livelihood and innovation. The goal is to reinterpret centuries-old designs, patterns and motifs that nestle under the vast craft repository for modern accessories, sleek, textile-rich clothing, and distinct Indian tailoring.

“This very optimistic collaboration will advance the work I started researching and reviving the history and richness of India’s textiles while also highlighting our design capacity. It’s a story that needs to be. Told again. Once upon a time, India had 57% of the world’s GDP dependent solely on its textiles, ”said Ritu Kumar, founder of India’s oldest fashion house.

Isha Ambani, Director of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, said: “Very few countries can match the sophistication, style and originality of design, especially in the printing and painting of textiles and weaves, than the found in India. We are excited to partner with Ritu Kumar, who has strong brand recognition, potential for scale and innovation in fashion and retail – all key ingredients to building a complete lifestyle brand. across the world – so that our crafts receive the honor and recognition they deserve in international couture. “

IANSlife sat down with Amrish Kumar, CEO of Ritika Private Limited, and Darshan Mehta, Managing Director and CEO of RBL, to get all the details.

Read excerpts:

Q: Did this acquisition take a long time to come and when did it happen?

Darshan Mehta: We’re both in the business and the Ritu Kumar brand doesn’t need to be introduced, but it took us six months to see us come together.

Q: Ritu Kumar’s brand portfolio includes many brands, from ready-to-wear to couture to home, what does RRVL bring to the table for a house that already has a legacy and is firmly established?

Darshan Mehta: There is a lot of value we can add to a partnership without overwhelming or changing the course of what Ritu Kumar stands for. Real estate, technology, supply chain, talent pool, I can go on and on … that doesn’t mean the current organization doesn’t already have it, it does, but I think the partnerships are about creating respectful additions.

We have come this way with other brands and we have demonstrated how, without changing the course of this brand in many ways, we have accelerated it, sometimes keeping two steps back and sometimes two steps forward but being good partners. Beyond finances, there is a lot that we can contribute, and given that we have such a large and beautiful portfolio, there are a lot of synergies that accumulate.

Q: Amrish, from your perspective, what do you think of the partnership?

Amrish Kumar: From our perspective, a partnership like this allows us to dream big, it allows us to access more than just resources, but to access the thinking of people in the industry that we don’t. could not have done otherwise, like Darshan and his teams, it opens the field, and our way of thinking in a significant way. Of course, we have our own ambitions that we have nurtured over decades and in this case two generations, but we are at an interesting moment in our lives where the brand has enormous potential to unleash and we had to find the right partner who can help us do that … and often the lateral thinking comes from having other people on the table, to add to whatever Darshan has said, I think that’s a key point.

Q: Brick and mortar are now back in the spotlight with less e-commerce. With that in mind, can we expect expansion in the field through labels?

Darshan Mehta: There is no less e-commerce, whatever has happened in the digital space, it can be seen in terms of the rate of growth. It may have slowed down a bit in terms of percentage, but it’s only growing. I believe there is a lot of room for growth in this space because in India the people with both purchasing power and aspirations are vast as they are spread across the country. Therefore, digital commerce provides access and reach to new customers and by necessity they are accustomed to e-commerce. We also launched distance selling, which is doing very well, via zoom and video chats. Of course, nothing will replace the theater and drama and all the experience and storytelling that goes on in the brick and mortar shops, especially at our end of the market where Ritu Kumar is, the luxury end of the Marlet.

What I think you are seeing is that if you take away the element of human suffering and misery that has happened because of the pandemic, if I put that aside, I think Covid-19 has had a positive impact as it has over-indexed a lot of the digital commerce space, all numbers predicted for 2023-24 that we now see happening in 2021, so it brought it forward by several years without taking away what is happening in shopping centers, etc.

Q: When it comes to brand expansion?

Darshan Mehta: Of course, without overloading the system, these are the young days of partnership and our program for the next six months is to get the cadence of this partnership. Also allow teams of people to interact with each other and as we settle into this partnership we will start to think. Home as a category, marketing and their other categories, there will be a lot to think about without overwhelming the partnership.

Q: Your take on this holiday season …

Darshan Mehta: Everything came back big, we just saw a fabulous quarter, it was very promising compared to 2019, not to mention 2020. The holiday season that we just started two weeks ago is looking amazing. good. The aim of the partnership is to enable all Ritu Kumar brands to realize their full potential.

Q: Sustainability has always been at the heart of Ritu Kumar’s portfolio, are there any new initiatives you would like to talk about?

Amrish Kumar: Since our inception, we have always used “sustainable” processes and products. Sustainable is a big word, there are a lot of things that go into it, but from the beginning whether it is in relation to sustainability and support of artisans, the fibers used in our products are biodegradable, sponsorship of slow fashion, we don’t make clothes throw away, in the mind of a consumer we are a brand that stays in your wardrobe for generations, that in itself is sustainability. This idea of ​​long-term growth from an environmental, ecological and moral point of view is therefore written in our DNA, in our construction. We have to be extremely attentive to new developments, for example recycled fibers, new technologies, we have launched sarees made of banana and soybean fabric, so it is up to us to constantly discover sustainable inventions and to be attentive.

The five brands under the banner are Ritu Kumar, Label Ritu Kumar, RI RItu Kumar, Ritu Kumar Home & Living and aarke. Since the 1970s, the Ritu Kumar brand has symbolized the way the contemporary Indian woman dresses, becoming the brand inherited from Indian fashion history rooted in the rich Indian heritage of textile aesthetics. The Ritu Kumar label, launched in 2002, is aimed at a young global consumer of Western ready-to-wear. RI Ritu Kumar is a luxury couture and second-hand clothing line. Its products are considered heirlooms and are made by the best artisans and craftsmen. aarké is the newest addition to the brand portfolio. It is an affordable product line that combines home aesthetics with easy dressing aimed at reaching a larger consumer base. Ritu Kumar Home & Living is a category extension under Ritu Kumar that defines comfortable luxury for homes that love to tell their own story. The collection is an amalgamation of modern pieces inspired by Indian textiles and crafts.

Continuing RRVL’s refocused focus on value creation by developing and supporting local talent rooted in Indian design sensibilities, this partnership with Indian fashion matriarch Ritu Kumar will set a benchmark in this journey.

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