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Luxury brand Kenzo to make India debut

March 29, 2007 12:23 IST
Genesis Colours, popular for its high-end fashion label Satya Paul, is in advanced negotiations with Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton for bringing luxury apparel and perfume brand Kenzo to India.

Genesis Colours sources confirmed the talks with LVMH. "Real estate is the main stumbling block right now. We want to begin rolling out large format stores out of Mumbai and New Delhi, but it is turning out to be too expensive," he said.

A spokesperson for LVMH in Singapore said, "Discussions for Kenzo are on with prospective parties. Currently, we will not be able to divulge any details." However, she ruled out Kenzo entering India through the foreign direct investment route. The fashion label would be making its foray into India under a franchising arrangement.

The spokesperson added that bringing Kenzo to India "would be a project that will see a lot of investment".

Norms permit only 51 per cent FDI in single-brand retail. Louis Vuitton and Fendi are two LVMH brands that had approached the
Foreign Investment Promotion Board last year seeking its approval to pick up stake in Indian companies.

Earlier, LVMH (India) group director Ravi Thakran said Kenzo and Thomas Pink were the two LVMH brands that were committed to entering India shortly. He said LVMH was looking at expanding India's luxury retail environment, which is currently restricted to only five-star hotels.

"We are very serious about enlarging this environment to luxury malls. DFS is our international retail concept under which we take entire malls and have done so in Hong Kong and Singapore. The sizes of these malls range from 1-2.5 lakh square feet and have 30-50 boutiques and separate floors for perfume, jewellery and watches," Thakran said.

A senior executive with Genesis Colours said it was also waiting to see how the DFS plan shapes out in the near future. Sources added DLF, Reliance Retail, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and the Future group were in talks with LVMH for partnering it in the DFS concept.
Nayantara Rai in New Delhi