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Reebok Gains Big-Name Partner in India

Reebok has a new partner in a fast-growing consumer market.

On Tuesday, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. (ABFRL) announced a long-term licensing agreement with Authentic Brands Group to sell Reebok apparel and footwear in branded retail stores and e-commerce sites serving India, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Mumbai, India-based company said Reebok will fill “an important white space” in its portfolio. Sport and activewear is a fast-growing category among increasingly health conscious young Indian consumers with rising incomes. The segment is expected to grow to $13 billion by 2024, with an annual growth rate of 14 percent, ABFRL estimated.

“As Indians get more active, athletic and health focused, their consumption of apparel and accessories is expected to increasingly change in line with these trends, providing an opportunity to build iconic brands of global repute,” ABFRL managing director Ashish Dikshit said, noting that Reebok has already built a strong presence in the Indian market over the past two decades.

The partnership furthers ABG’s plan to build a network of core operating partners across markets to drive Reebok’s growth. ABFRL will work closely with the Boston-based Reebok Design Group on innovative technology, product design and development, to shape the brand’s creative direction.

“ABFRL is a champion of the fashion industry in India with proven expertise inbuilding and operating large-scale lifestyle brands across the region,” Corey Salter, chief operating officer for ABG, added.

Earlier this year, ABFRL purchased a majority share in Indian wedding apparel brand Sabyasachi. The company owns the rights to distribute labels like Louis Philippe, Allen Solly, Simon Carter, American Eagle, and ABG-owned Forever 21 and Van Heusen in the Indian market.

Upcycle designer Justin Mesinger remixed pieces owned members of the Reebok Collective into six unique patchwork hoodies to be auctioned off on Charitybuzz in support of mental health.

“Pieces of Us”

ABG also recently acquired PVH’s Heritage Brands, which include Izod, Van Heusen, Arrow and Geoffrey Beene.

SPARC, ABG’s joint venture with Simon Property Group, will take the lead in managing U.S. operations and growth for Reebok en route to growing the brand’s store count to 1,600 doors and its e-commerce business to more than $1 billion.

Reebok continues to roll out collaborations and capsule collections with pop-culture figures and brands alike. Earlier this month, the company teased an upcoming capsule in partnership with the Netflix series “La Casa de Papel,” known in the U.S. as “Money Heist.” The show released new episodes on Dec.  3, and has teamed up with Reebok to create a footwear and apparel collection inspired by the show’s characters that is slated to drop in 2022.

On Wednesday, Reebok announced a new partnership that taps into the upcycling trend. Justin Mensinger, winner of the HBO Max streetwear design reality competition series “The Hype,” leveraged his signature upcycling expertise to reimagine items from the Reebok Collective’s closets into six unique sweatshirts whose proceeds from an upcoming January Charitybuzz auction will benefit Boks, a program promoting physical activity and mental well-being in children.

The collective, a Reebok-organized group fostering “acceptance and belonging,” saw members including model and actor Broderick Hunter, influencer chef Lazarus Lynch, non-binary activist Richie Shazam, dating show host Amrit Sidhu, Harlem Globetrotters star Maxwell Pearce, and Los Angeles dancer Kendra Oyesana, contribute garments that Mensinger reworked into colorful patchwork styles. Sweatshirts in the limited-edition “Pieces of Us” collection bears positive messages including “Listen to your body” and “Nothing is final.”

Upcycle designer Justin Mesinger remixed pieces owned members of the Reebok Collective into six unique patchwork hoodies to be auctioned off on Charitybuzz in support of mental health.

The Reebok Collective wearing “Pieces of Us”

Nicole Adriance, director of  U.S. brand activation for Reebok, said the collective “celebrate[s] the stories of individuals who champion and advocate for various causes and platforms.”

“One common denominator that unites this group is our belief in the importance of individuality and mental health,” she added. “We’re so proud to bring this group and Justin Mensinger together to create an incredibly unique collection that advocates for a topic we all feel passionate about.”

Mensinger said he “wanted the pieces in this collection to tie together cohesively but also have their own unique look and feel.”

“Each piece of clothing that previously held someone’s energy and style came together to create a new story and new garment that someone else can enjoy,” the Chicago-based designer added. “With the inspirational quotes gathered from our Reebok Collective members I was able to add messages that are universal reminders to each of us. I can’t wait for the world to see this collection.”

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