Brand Allen Solly, part of William Hollins & Co. Ltd, was born in 1744. More than 200 years later, in the last decade of the 20th century, Allen Solly was taken over by Madura Garments (now Madura Fashion & Lifestyle), the young fledgling division of Madura Coats, a market leader in threads and garment and trims. But this was just the beginning. The company realised that there was a burgeoning market in catering to professionals that they had not yet explored. These were the professionals unhappy with the status quo and looking for something that was quite out of the ordinary. Allen Solly was reborn as an answer to their quest.
The idea of spearheading a brand that broke all conventions still needed a solid foundation. And Friday Dressing came in. The concept was very popular internationally, but dressing down to work had never been popular, never been experimented with, in India. So when Brand Allen Solly was re-launched in 1993, Friday Dressing was introduced to the Indian corporate wardrobe. It flashed a message, startling in its clarity. There were no uniforms, just relaxed formal wear. And the visual that accompanied that image said it all – coloured shirts and khakis were okay at work.
The message worked, and how! Overnight, Allen Solly became famous for Friday Dressing, and the brand models became role models. The brand’s colours, style, cuts – all reflected a freedom that professionals hadn’t experienced until then.
Then came a new page in the brand’s history. Madura Fashion & Lifestyle was taken over by the Aditya Birla Group, one of India’s leading industrial houses in 2000. In 2001, at the beginning of the new millennium, the Aditya Birla Group obtained world rights to the brand name, and since then, there’s been no looking back.