The story behind the premium jean maker's Chapter 11 filing seems to center on the company's biggest creditor, Richard Koral. Rock & Republic was forced into bankruptcy early this month when it was unable to repay Koral a $15 million loan. Koral, who sells close-out merchandise to Ross Dress for Less and T.J. Maxx, is now holding back nearly $1 million in payments he owes Rock & Republic. He's also refusing to sell $6 million worth of Rock & Republic's close-out and irregular goods. From California Apparel News:
"Under the current situation, the debtors have only one customer for this inventory, Koral, and that customer refuses to pay for the inventory or take delivery when it suits its own purposes. Therefore, the debtors require the agreement to be rejected so that the debtors are free to sell their inventory to whomever they wish at the best possible price," Rock & Republic said in court papers.
The Culver City-based company is trying to get the bankruptcy case moved from NY to L.A. A Hollywood-style setting seems appropriate: The company's popular skinny jeans are often worn by celebrities. By the way, Koral happens to be the brother of Peter Koral, co-founder of 7 For All Mankind, now owned by VF Corp.
Photo: Victoria Beckham used to design Rock & Republic jeans.