India seems to have become a magnet for international luxury brands. After the October opening of Paris-headquartered Balenciaga's first India store in Mumbai, SMCP, the parent company of Parisian brands Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot and Fursac, has announced its entrance in the Indian market in partnership with Reliance Brands Limited (RBL).
With this collaboration, RBL, a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd that has a current portfolio of brand partnerships, including Armani Exchange, Giorgio Armani and Salvatore Ferragamo, becomes the exclusive distributor for Sandro and Maje in the country. Evelyne Chetrite and Judith Milgrom founded Sandro and Maje in Paris, in 1984 and 1998, respectively.
“This partnership illustrates the pursuit of SMCP expansion, currently in 47 countries, in key markets with high potential of growth,” states the company's press release. The SMCP group has over 1,600 stores across the world. Sandro and Maje will open their first stores in India next year.
Over the past year, Reliance Brands Limited has signed several franchise deals with high-end international brands, including Balenciaga, Valentino and Gap, and British coffee and sandwich chain Pret-A-Manager.
In 2022, RBL was on a shopping spree of homegrown fashion labels. After setting up a joint venture with designer Rahul Mishra earlier in 2022, the company signed a definitive agreement to invest in the country’s foremost couturiers Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla (AJSK) for a 51% majority stake. It has also acquired Ritu Kumar, and has stakes in Manish Malhotra, Bollywood's go-to designer, as well as the label Abraham and Thakore.