brand case study

Rebranding a leading fashion brand

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Rebranding a leading fashion retailer


Riva is one of the Middle East’s major fashion retail brands, offering well priced clothing, footwear and accessories for women and kids, with stores throughout the region.

Owned by Armada Group, which was founded in 1973 by the Al Tahan family, the brand required a refresh to reflect the opening of a new European design studio and the changing fast fashion landscape. An expanded brand architecture was also required to span product packaging, retail environments, sale promotions and digital.


First, we assessed the Middle Eastern fashion marketplace dynamics and also benchmarked brands worldwide, before defining and agreeing the key requirements. One was to redraw and refine the master brand mark to add finesse, but retain the mixed upper and lower case style to maintain the brand’s visual heritage. In our rebrand, we added new design elements to the brand system to expand the brand’s visual language, including an expressive script font for headlines, new colourways and supporting typography.

Sub brands were streamlined and a distinctive monogram added to the brand system for digital and social media. New packaging was designed, applying the expressive script to perfumes, carrier bags and outer packaging, which now has an important role fulfilling the ecommerce brand experience.

The refreshed brand system was documented in detailed brand guidelines and applied to both the ecommerce website and the app.

The increased discipline provided in the design guidelines guided local implementation to deliver a clean, premium brand experience across all customer touchpoints.


The rebrand was launched in 2019, supporting new collections designed in Europe and local styles specifically produced for Ramadan, which have all contributed to significant growth for Riva in store and online.

The Riva brand won ‘Brand of the Year 2018/9’ at the World Branding Awards – judged on a unique process of brand valuation, online public voting and market research.

Armada Group rewarded Nucleus with further brand development projects which will be launched in 2020.