In a remarkable culmination of a visionary collaboration announced last year, RELIANCE BRANDS LIMITED (RBL) and the renowned Indian designer Rahul Mishra introduced their new global luxury label, AFEW Rahul Mishra. The inaugural easy-to-wear collection was presented on Wednesday, 27 September 2023 at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris among global retailers, fashion press and celebrities.
AFEW Rahul Mishra is an acronym representing Air, Fire, Earth, Water, and was jointly envisioned with Michael Nash, a London based design powerhouse. The label embodies Rahul Mishra’s vision of effortless, easy-to-wear luxury tailored to the modern woman’s wardrobe. The label’s logo was established through a yearlong interactive design process with Anthony & Stephanie Nash.
Rooted in the language of the award-winning couturier, the brand harmonizes Rahul Mishra’s Indian heritage with a global perspective, focusing their process on the intention to utilise natural elements. Rahul’s creative inclinations towards nature, landscape, art, and culture are emphasized as AFEW Rahul Mishra articulates fashion that is contemporary yet timeless. The collection’s visuals explore painterly renditions of Himalayan landscapes imagined under a vibrant sky with simplified print motifs. Effortlessly woven together in a single story through youthful silhouettes, the collection transitions seamlessly from brunch to elegant evening wear.
Curated by renowned stylist Jenke Tailly, this collection features an exquisite lineup of women’s clothing, complemented by a selection of jewellery, bags, and shoes. The jewellery is crafted from sterling silver and recycled brass, while the bags are handcrafted in Manipur with ‘kauna grass’ weaves and embellished with hand-embroidered motifs. The shoes also feature embroidered motifs developed at the AFEW Rahul Mishra atelier.
With the brand’s Paris launch, a dedicated sales showroom will exclusively serve global retailers from September 28 to October 3, 2023. In the coming months, AFEW Rahul Mishra will be available on AFEW.RahulMishra.in and at Rahul Mishra flagship stores, followed by exclusive AFEW Rahul Mishra stores in key fashion cities.
“As consumption power steadily shifts from west to east, fashion and design sensibilities are following suit. This exhilarating journey with Rahul transcends borders, leveraging the best of Indian design and craftsmanship for the global consumer. AFEW gives voice to Rahul Mishra’s genius of nature-inspired creativity and his desire to be more present in the lives of his customers. The launch during Paris Fashion Week propels the brand onto a global stage, reaching the most discerning global audience looking for functional everyday pieces elevated by a couturier’s touch,” said Darshan Mehta, MD of Reliance Brands Limited.
The winner of International Woolmark Prize in 2014 and the first Indian to be invited to showcase at Haute Couture Week in 2020, AFEW Rahul Mishra returns the designer to his love of prêt-à-porter. Building upon this legacy of easy-to-wear fashion showcased during Paris Fashion Week from 2014 to 2020, before his foray into haute couture, AFEW’s versatile separates offer customers more opportunities to experience his designs. The pieces exude a strong sense of individuality through their use of unique, narrative-driven design elements that maintain the aesthetic relevance of the product over the years. Crafted with the intention of sparking conversations around creativity, craftsmanship, and community, AFEW bridges the gap between the physical form and function of garments.
“With AFEW Rahul Mishra, I am glad to return to creating ‘easy to wear’ fashion after a temporary hiatus from it in my namesake brand in 2020. Our prêt-à-porter line, which was once an anchor for my identity as a designer, led us to the platform of Haute Couture. In AFEW Rahul Mishra, we are thrilled to institute a new global brand from India that is fiercely modern and yet, carries the delicateness of human touch in a way that it is more accessible to the consumer,” said Rahul Mishra.
AFEW Rahul Mishra also intends to continue Rahul Mishra and RBL’s shared philosophy of inclusivity by approaching each design through the lens of employment and encouraging growth for communities of workers and artisans across India.
ABOUT RELIANCE BRANDS LIMITED
RBL is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd and began operations in 2007 with a mandate to launch and build global brands in luxury to premium segments across fashion and lifestyle.
Its current portfolio of brand partnerships comprises 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, La Martina, Lenscrafters, Manish Malhotra, Michael Kors, Mothercare, Muji, Paul & Shark, Paul Smith, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pret A Manger, Raghavendra Rathore, Replay, Salvatore Ferragamo, Satya Paul, Steve Madden, Superdry, Scotch & Soda, Tiffany & Co., Tod’s, Tory Burch, Tumi, Valentino, Versace, Villeroy & Boch, and West Elm. RBL today operates 2,169 doors split into 905 stores and 1,264 shop-in-shops in India.
In the past five years, RBL has also invested in building and operating homegrown designer brands besides acquiring the iconic British toy retailer Hamleys. Globally Hamleys has 192 doors across 16 countries.