Reliance Industries Limited’s subsidy, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), recently announced its decision to invest in Abraham & Thakore Exports Pvt Ltd for a majority stake. The company said that it “seeks to leverage its subsidiary Reliance Brands Limited’s (RBL) deep understanding of the affluent Indian customer and their heft across digital, retail operations, marketing, and supply chain platforms, to build brand Abraham & Thakore’s global appeal in the fashion and lifestyle category”.
Launched in 1992 by David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore, they were soon joined by Kevin Nigli who famously became the “&” in Abraham & Thakore (A&T). A&T unlocked the potential and power of Indian handlooms by approaching them with modernity and meaning through weaving and design intervention in unconventional, even non-conformist ways.
A&T’s interpretation of Indian textiles started with loungewear and home collections that were first sold at The Conran Shop in London and later in global stores of repute such as Liberty, Browns, Harrods, and Selfridges. For almost 15 years, the brand mostly retailed predominantly in international stores before coming to India with their first fashion show presentation.
The brand is strongly rooted in the philosophy of understanding the cultural construct of fashion. Not only is an Abraham & Thakore Ikat sari a part of the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, but in 2015 the brand’s creations were chosen for Fabric of India, V&A’s first major exhibition that explored the rich, multi-faceted and dynamic world of Indian handmade fabrics. Each collection continues the exploration of developing a quiet and modern design voice while simultaneously drawing on the rich traditional vocabulary of Indian design and craft. Its strong cultural language gives it a unique resonance in different mindsets and markets.
“Abraham & Thakore’s interesting use of material and fresh take on traditional textile techniques have crafted a highly distinctive design signature for the brand. With Indian luxury customers undergoing a generational consumption shift, there is heightened appreciation of Abraham & Thakore’s timeless design, and we are excited to partner with the brand to bring its unique expression of Indian craftmanship to consumers globally,” said Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited.
“Abraham & Thakore is excited to partner with RRVL, the company responsible for redefining India’s luxury landscape. Through this partnership we will be extending the presence of the brand and bring together both fashion and lifestyle collections which will include home furnishings and lounge wear,” said David Abraham.
The design trio, David Abraham, Rakesh Thakore and Kevin Nigli will continue to lead the creative direction of the brand.
RRVL has been the largest and the most profitable retailer in India with the widest reach. It was listed among the fastest growing retailers in the world in the Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2021 index. It is ranked 53rd in the list of Top Global Retailers and is the only Indian Retailer to feature in the Top 100.
RBL began operations in 2007 with a mandate to launch and build global brands in luxury to premium segment across fashion and lifestyle. Its current portfolio of brand partnerships comprises AK-OK, Armani Exchange, Bally, Bottega Veneta, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Canali, Coach, Diesel, Dune, EA7, Emporio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, G-Star Raw, Gas, Giorgio Armani, Hamleys, Hugo Boss, Hunkemoller, Iconix, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Mothercare, Muji, Paul & Shark, Paul Smith, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Replay, Ritu Kumar, Salvatore Ferragamo, Satya Paul, Steve Madden, Superdry, Scotch & Soda, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Tumi, Valentino, Versace, Villeroy & Boch and West Elm. RBL today operates 1,596 doors split into 680 stores and 916 shop-in-shops in India.
In May 2019, RBL marked its first international foray by acquiring the British toy retailer, Hamleys. Globally Hamleys has 215 doors across 17 countries.
RBL also has equity investments in Indian couture brands Manish Malhotra and Raghavendra Rathore.