Rock & Republic Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

by Jaime on April 2, 2010

This is an interesting – and fairly unexpected, in my opinion – story. The LA Times reported today (and Reuters yesterday, but I always wait on news like that. I’m just a huge skeptic when it comes to April 1st!) that famed denim brand Rock & Republic has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

Here’s a little bit from the story:

Rock & Republic, the fashion brand known for its pricey designer denim and other apparel, said Thursday that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Culver City company, whose products are sold in upscale department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom as well as specialty retailers and its own free-standing stores, said the filing would ease pressure on its balance sheet. Day-to-day operations are expected to continue.

“The Chapter 11 filing is a strategic action that will alleviate balance sheet burdens and enable us to adopt the financial and operational initiatives needed to support the brand’s growth needs,” said Geoffrey D. Lurie, the privately held company’s newly named chief restructuring officer. “We are confident that this is the right move for Rock & Republic.”

Lurie added that the company was exploring “financial relationships” and would sharpen its focus to emphasize its core apparel and footwear businesses.

Rock & Republic was founded in 2002 by Chief Executive Michael Ball and has become known for its edgy and sexy clothing, including premium jeans priced at $200 or more.

The bankruptcy petition was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. The company said it had obtained a commitment for a line of credit from CIT Group/Commercial Services Inc.

So, it seems like this won’t have much effect on the brand… but I’m not sure how I feel about this move. I know they’re happy about it (at least, their chief restructuring officer sounds okay with it), but I can’t get behind it.

What do you guys think about this? Surprised, or did you expect it was coming down the pike? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Love,
JP

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