Rock & Republic files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
In case you missed my colleague Andrea Chang's post in our Business section's Money & Company blog, Culver City-based premium denim brand Rock & Republic has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
As part of a company currently going through the same financial reorganization, this Rager certainly isn't going to cast any stones. And, to the company's credit, after rocketing to become one of the top 10 premium denim brands in the country (in just five years after the label's founding), founders Michael Ball and co-founder Andrea Bernholtz were adamant about their ambitions to take the label beyond the blue bottoms and curved R back-pocket logo that put them on the map. They had grand plans for a full lifestyle brand that included not only tuxedos, floor-length dresses, shoes, cosmetics and accessories (all of which we've seen come to fruition), but also Rock & Republic boutique hotels, cars and even an airline (which haven't).
For a look inside the Rock & Republic world of the past, here's a link to the 2007 profile I did of Ball -- it opens with him in full rock-god mode, yelling for a helicopter to swoop down on the beach to get footage of the brand's fifth anniversary party attended by the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Ryan Seacrest, Brooke Shields and Paris Hilton -- and for which he'd hired Scott Weiland to entertain the crowd.
It'll be interesting to see how Rock & Republic fares in the attempts to reorganize, and while there are certainly more than a few folks who've crossed paths with Ball who are no doubt experiencing a bit of schadenfreude, the fashion world loves nothing more than a good comeback story.
And if anybody's meteoric rise, rapid descent and rocky road ahead seems tailor-made for reality TV redemption (and let's make it clear -- we haven't heard of such -- we're just spit-balling here), it's Ball's. I can only hope that copter footage is somewhere safe -- it would be perfect for the opening scene of episode one of a reality show.
"Michael Ball: Tangled Up in Blue," maybe?
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: Rock & Republic's chief executive and creative director Michael Ball fits a model in a September 2007 archive photo. The line he co-founded in 2002 recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and All the Rage thinks Ball's out-size ego and brash ambitions make him a tailor-made candidate for reality TV redemption. Credit: Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times.