Reliance Industries’ retail division has been making waves in recent times. The Mukesh Ambani-owned chain has been investing steadily in overseas fashion brands and launching them in India’s vastly untapped retail market. Perhaps one of the great retail stories of this time is Reliance’s collaboration with British giant Marks & Spencer. Now, the retail arm of India’s largest sector enterprise has signed a long-term franchise agreement with American fashion house BCBG Max Azria, famous for dressing up scores of Hollywood A-listers like Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry. The high-end brand will be the first women-only brand that the retail chain will sell. The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance will open standalone stores of BCBG Max Azria, the flagship label of the billion dollar group, and BCBGeneration, the lower priced, younger brand from the stable here in India by next year. These premium pieces of clothing will range from Rupees 6,000 and Rupees 20,000 while that for Generation will be between Rupees 4,000-12,000.
BCBG Max Azria:
BCBG Max Azria was founded by the Tunisian-born French designer Max Azria. The chain was started by the designer early in his career in the late 80’s when fashion was beginning to really come into the limelight, especially in New York & Los Angeles. Perhaps Azria’s biggest credit is that he started offering boutique designs at affordable prices much before brands like Zara and H&M democratised fashion. BCBG stands for ‘bon chic, bon genre,’ a Parisian slang which means ‘good style, good attitude.’
According to Darshan Mehta, Reliance Brands’ President & CEO, the first two stores of BCBG Max Azria will open in India’s two biggest cities – Mumbai & Bangalore. ” BCBG is a brand which will be aspirational for most Indian women, who want to graduate from consuming only fast fashion, but accessible due to its affordable pricing,” he said
Sophie Rietdyk, president of licensing and international at BCBG Max Azria group said, “In collaboration with Reliance we will become an influential force in the India fashion and lifestyle arena.” The fashion house has been faced with financial woes over the past few years with talks of Max Azria losing control of his eponymous label to Guggenheim Partners which holds a big chunk of the company’s debt. The LA-based group also runs Max Azria Atelier and a luxury line Herve Leger by Max Azria. It has presence across 700 standalone and shop-in-shop stores globally.