By  on March 26, 2012

MUMBAI — Roberto Cavalli will open its first store in India at the DLF Emporio mall in New Delhi this summer in collaboration with the Infinite Luxury group.

The 4,000-square-foot store will house the women’s and men’s collections as well as accessories, eyewear and kids’ wear. There will also be a Cavalli Café.

Gianluca Brozzetti, chief executive officer of Roberto Cavalli Group, said that the brand would open its first store in China next month, followed by India. “I think the economic growth of Asia-Pacific is one of the engines for the products of the luxury and fashion industry,” he observed. “The income stream is increasing; there is a larger group of people who are satisfied with the necessities and can now go to the intangible. The luxury and fashion brings those intangible rewards with it. It is an enormous opportunity for a brand like Roberto Cavalli to be part of that game plan.”

The Infinite Luxury group is a relatively new entrant on the luxury scene, founded by Indian designer Manav Gangwani, entrepreneur Sahiba Narang and finance expert Rahul Kapoor. “Unlike many of the other brands, the Cavalli stores will offer 80 percent ready-to-wear and 20 percent accessories,” said Gangwani.

Roberto Cavalli is the first retail venture for the group in India, although future plans include sites for a portfolio of luxury labels across the fashion and hospitality segments.

Brozzetti said India has long been an inspiration for Cavalli. “Seventy percent of the looks of the last fashion week in Milan had a piece of embroidery attached that was coming from India. Of course the pieces are made in Italy, fabric printed was made in Italy, but this decoration element was quite unique and should make India proud,” he said.

Just Cavalli was launched in India a few years ago but then was withdrawn, leading analysts to question whether the Indian market was ready for the brand. Brozzetti said the earlier withdrawal had nothing to do with the Indian market or local licensee, but rather a problem with the company licensed to distribute the brand internationally, Ittierre. Now with a new partnership with Renzo Rosso’s Staff International, he said Just Cavalli would be relaunched in India.

“We will go step-by-step,” he remarked. “So first we put the flag of the first line of Roberto Cavalli with the two shops, one in Delhi and one in Mumbai, and we will follow with the entire portfolio of our products — Just Cavalli, with our watches, the fragrance, the home collection, but the first thing first is to have the flagship store.”

He said that Cavalli had three main focus areas in 2012, and one is a geographical brand expansion with Asia-Pacific as a priority. The second is growth in products and categories including leather goods and men’s products, and the third is to grow the lifestyle aspect of the brand with hospitality projects like the cafe as well as the home collection, which is to be launched in April.

Roberto Cavalli is expected to be in India for the launch.

The Roberto Cavalli Group, which had revenues of $240 million in 2011, has more than 130 stores worldwide. These include 77 Roberto Cavalli boutiques, 29 Just Cavalli boutiques, 20 Class Roberto Cavalli boutiques and four Roberto Cavalli Junior stores.

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