NEW DELHI — Kenneth Cole is preparing to launch in the major cities in India with plans to open five stores over the next three years and an additional 20 in the following five years.

This story first appeared in the November 7, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Cole has signed an agreement with Reliance Brands Limited and is one more addition to the brand portfolio of the Indian company, which already includes Ermenegildo Zegna, Diesel, Paul & Shark, Timberland, Quiksilver, Roxy and Steve Madden.

Reliance Brands is part of Reliance Industries Ltd., one of India’s largest private sector companies, with turnover of $58 billion as of March 31.

“India is fast becoming a fashion capital of the world, and the synergy of its metropolitan lifestyle coupled with the modern sensibilities of the brand’s heritage is the perfect addition to the growing global portfolio for Kenneth Cole Productions,” said Darshan Mehta, president and chief executive of Reliance Brands.

The stores will carry women’s and men’s apparel, footwear and accessories under the Kenneth Cole New York and the Kenneth Cole Reaction labels.

“India promises substantial growth potential for our brand,” stated Paul Blum, chief executive officer of Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. “The country’s economy is growing quickly and development is strong, which is why Kenneth and I want to create a presence in India now.”

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