Rock & Republic

Rock & Republic "Kasandra" Basic Bootcut, $225. Photo:

It seems that the fashion world has another recession-era casualty on its hands.

Premium denim and accessories brand Rock & Republic filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Manhattan courthouse last night in order to, in the words of the company, "ease pressures on its balance sheet," reports WWD.

The American label, founded by Michael Ball in 2002, joins bankruptcy-laden fashion houses including Escada, Yohji Yamamoto, and Christian Lacroix as well as mass retailers Eddie Bauer and Filene's Basement.

Rock & Republic will keep operating under Chapter 11 protection while trying to reorganize the company with the help of several outside resources, including the Geoffrey D. Lurie firm, which previously patched up ailing The North Face, according to the paper.

"The pillars of our restructuring strategy include strengthening the company's financial capacity, realigning its product focus and enhancing its operational execution," Lurie told WWD.

"Toward that end, we are exploring financial relationships that can provide the resources to support our near-term capital needs and long-term growth objectives, and we are serious about satisfying outstanding financial obligations.

"At the same time, we will be sharpening our product focus to emphasize the core apparel and footwear businesses that have been the foundation of Rock & Republic's brand reputation, while seeking alternatives for ancillary product lines."

Hmmm... we wonder if that means the end of Rock & Republic cosmetics -- R&R denied rumors that it was shuttering the category just a few months ago.

In any case, it doesn't look like the brand's aptly named Recession Collection helped much.

Ball, who is known for putting on elaborate fashion shows and who boasted of $120 million sales in 2006 to CNBC, will stay on as the CEO and creative director of the company.

Keep clicking to read more about how the other players in the cutthroat premium denim industry are trying to stay afloat.