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An Indian design for Versace jewellery

Versace Precious Times, the Versace branch for watches and jewellery, has commissioned Rose Group of Companies to design a collection of precious jewellery that will be manufactured under the Versace brand.

"Rose is a result of an obsession with the art of jewellery making," says Biren Vaidya, MD, Rose Group of Companies The small family-run manufacturing unit that started in the early 1980s is today a recognised brand of jewellery that has a strong base in the US, Europe and Middle East, besides India.

"We felt the brand needed a medium to sell luxury that redefined aspiration," says Vaidya. That resulted in the Rose salon, a ritzy and restrictive boutique in Mumbai's upmarket Breach Candy, that started its operations in 2003.

As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, Paulo Marai, MD, Versace, popped the bubbly with Vaidya and released a special edition of 25 Versace for Rose watches designed as a special gesture to commemorate Rose's achievements.

Though it's a very small collection, it may just mark a new beginning for Rose. "We will gauge the results and then think of collaborations with Versace," admits Vaidya. What if Rose fails to live up to the hype created around it? "We will go back to the drawing board and get it right," he promises.

For now the company is more than content getting exclusive distributorship for Versace accessories. In April 2006, the group will also start India's first-ever Versace lounge in Mumbai.

It plans to retail Versace watches ranging from Rs 40,000-1,00,000 in luxury malls in Mumbai and Delhi. What's more, Rose also has under its fashion business segment Egana India, over 25 leading watches and jewellery brands for distribution and retail.

The group has aggressive expansion plans, and tie-ups with Versace will only consolidate Rose's position further. "We hope to be the preferred choice for international brands who want to enter the Indian market," says Vaidya.

Though he is tight-lipped about figures, Vaidya says, "revenue growth has been substantial in the last two years; almost 40 per cent year-on-year."

By 2006-08, Rose salons will be launched in Dubai, London and Hong Kong and cater to established foreign and NRI clientele. Surprisingly, the group does not have any expansion plans within India.

"Our research has shown that a majority of the 2,500-odd Indian families that buy from us, come directly to Mumbai for products," he explains. He's hopeful that the group's association Versace will go a long way. "Rose jewellery, like Versace, is a distinguished brand," says Vaidya.

It may sound premature, but considering Rose is the only jewellery brand that Versace has ever outsourced its closely guarded design activity to, we might as well agree for now.


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