Italian fashion brand Diesel is to make inroads into India after agreeing a joint venture with Reliance Brands.

Diesel will hold the majority 51% stake in the venture, with Reliance Brands, a unit of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, holding the remaining 49% share.

Renzo Rosso, Diesel's president and founder, said: "In Reliance Brands we have found an ideal partner in size and management skills."

While Darshan Mehta, president and CEO of Reliance Brands, described the deal as "one of the most important milestones for the company."

New stores are due to open for spring/summer 2009 in Mumbai and Delhi, selling denims, apparel, shoes, bags, intimates, eyewear and fragrances.

Upcoming markets like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chandigarh are slated for the wider brand rollout.

The joint venture replaces a similar agreement inked earlier this year with Arvind Brands, which ended in June - less than two months after it was set up.

Arvind said at the time that both companies thought the joint venture "would restrict their future expansion plans in India."