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Ringspun founder brings UK brands to India

David Mallon, founder of young fashion brands Ringspun and Elvis Jesus, will launch a transactional website for UK brands to sell in India this September, following the early success of his British Union project.

Mallon launched British Union, a platform for bringing UK fashion brands to the “thriving” Indian market, at one of the country’s biggest annual trade shows, the India Fashion Forum, in Mumbai on March 18-20.

It introduced 10 UK brands, including Boohoo.com, Religion, Luke and Firetrap, to Indian buyers and franchise partners. Several of the brands are now in discussions with potential partners about licensing agreements and franchise stores.

Mallon wants to bring up to 36 brands to the trade show next year. In the meantime, he will launch the transactional website and a virtual showroom for Indian buyers this autumn.

“It’s about showcasing the brands and getting their names out there,” he explained. “The retail landscape in India is changing dramatically and at a rapid pace. Big online players have exploded there over the last two years and the appetite for fast fashion UK labels is immense.

“At British Union we are trying to leverage that opportunity for small and medium-size brands. It’s a huge investment to step into that marketplace, but our concept means we share the cost across the brands.”

Mallon said he drew on his experiences of selling Ringspun in India when launching British Union. He added: “The opportunities going forward are huge. At the moment we are making $400,000 (£269,000) online out there and we expect to reach $1m (£672,600) within the year.”

Half of the Indian population is under the age of 30 and the middle class is expected to grow by 150 million people to 450 million over the next 10 years. Marks & Spencer is in talks with Indian etailer Myntra.com about launching online in the country for the first time.

@jillgeoghegan

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