Rock & Republic Restrains Itself

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When we think of Rock & Republic during Fashion Week, we think of words like flashy, brassy, profligate, audacious — but never do we think, "Wow, that gun-toting runway model sauntering down the lacquered catwalk sure is austere." The denim and sportswear Svengalis are making some changes, however, that will likely prompt us to reevaluate a bit: Last week the label decided to host a humble presentation in lieu of their Bryant Park show — which typically costs anywhere from $1 million to $3 million and seats an audience of around 1,000 — and now the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Runway blog is reporting that they'll be lowering prices, as well. After seeing some sales falter in this economy, they're working on a limited-edition line of denim that will run around $130, which is $50 less than the usual going rate for some Rock & Republic jeans. (And, while we appreciate the gesture, if they really want to send a message, they'd best get working on their H&M or Target lines.)

If you're concerned that all this means that the label's carefully cultivated image of leathery, downtown fabulousness might take a hit, worry not: They'll still be hosting their regular over-the-top party during Paris Fashion Week in March. That one usually clocks in at somewhere under $500,000 in costs — and is aimed at buyers from economies less decrepit than ours (helloooo, Dubai) — so it's a practical expense. Just don't expect them to host it in the Eiffel Tower this time around.

A New Austerity at Rock & Republic [WSJ]