India's Reliance Brands Names Creative Director

NEW DELHI — Rajesh Pratap Singh, a well-known designer in India famous for his attention to detail and fine tailoring, seems unlikely choice to be appointed creative director for Satya Paul, the only ethnic wear label in the 43-brand portfolio of Reliance Brands Ltd.

Reliance Brands is part of Reliance Industries Ltd., a $143 billion market-cap conglomerate. The other brands in its portfolio are all licensed high-end brands including Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss and Burberry, with a total footprint of more than 795 doors across India.

On Monday, Singh began his new assignment, launching not only a new collection of sarees catering to what he describes as the fast-changing market, but also the first men’s line for Satya Paul, with a lineup of 17 shirts.

Satya Paul is known for its bold colors and fine drape sarees. The brand has been around since 1985, and is named after the designer who launched it; the company was bought by Reliance Brands last year.

Both Singh and Satya Paul are positioned in the premium to luxury segment.

The designer will continue with his own brands — Rajesh Pratap Singh, which retails in global markets, primarily in Europe, Japan and the U.S., and Pratap which is in more than 30 doors in India.

Speaking about the new venture, Singh was brimming with enthusiasm. He told WWD that he was looking at making Satya Paul “more modern, more interesting and keeping it bold and colorful.”

“We will do a lot with new Indian textiles and taking the idea of prints further. My job is to give it new direction, to remove few layers and cobwebs, and make it more relevant to the new consumer,” he said.

Although Satya Paul lost some of its shine in the market over the past years, Singh is not fazed. “Brands go through ups and downs when the founding director has left, you need to keep renewing that energy,” he said.

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