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April 20 2014

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4 posts tagged "Rock & Republic"

Blue Film: Paola Kudacki’s Short For Rock & Republic

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Denim label Rock & Republic returns to Paris tonight, staging its now signature blowout at the Hôtel de Crillon. This season, however, R&R is blowing out multimedia-style. Alongside the Spring 2010 collection, the brand will be screening the first in what CEO and creative director Michael Ball envisions as a series of films documenting Rock & Republic mood and/or modus operandi. Style.com has a sneak preview of the video, which was directed by rising-star photog Paola Kudacki and styled by Mel Ottenberg, and sets up models Charlotte Carey and Stephane Olivier for an erotic pas de deux. But go ahead, click to play. It’s still SFW.

As Ball explains, the key to the video’s interpretation of Lolita lust is restraint. “I think we’ve all felt, at one time or another, a lust for the thing we can’t have,” he explains. “But the great love affairs are the ones where some patience is exercised and those lines aren’t crossed.” He adds, “At least not right away.” The concept of restraint, Ball explains, ties back to Spring’s clothes. “Charlotte was really my muse this season,” he says. “She’s young and incredibly sexy, but there’s a sweetness and naïveté to her that makes her sexiness interesting. I wanted to channel that into the clothes and go for a sexiness that’s not so overt.”

Buying Generic

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No one is asking for this recession to last any longer than it has to, but there may be some downturn-related developments we’d all be happy to have stick around. Rents are dropping, for example. Making coffee at home, that’s not so bad. And less work means more time to spend at the gym. And watching TV. And…OK, pretty much, the recession stinks. But Rock & Republic founder Michael Ball is seeing the silver lining: The brand’s limited-edition Recession Collection has proved such a success that Ball is expanding it into a larger, ongoing range called Plain Wrap. “It’s just a very basic, clean version of what we do,” explains Ball. “Staple pieces like T-shirts and jeans, the kind of thing you wear for a long time. The opposite of disposable fashion.” Like the Recession Collection, Plain Wrap comes in at a lower price point than the clothes and accessories in the main Rock & Republic line, and in keeping with the new range’s generic inspiration, Ball is minimizing adornment and letting the clothes speak for themselves. Literally. “The names on the items, written on the items, that’s a novelty thing we’ll probably let go of eventually,” he notes. “It’s fun, though, and I do like the way it’s come out—like the stiletto with the word ‘STILETTO’ written on the side, I love the way that came out.” Chalk one up for the end times.

Photo: Courtesy of Rock & Republic

Encore, Encore: Shopping Sin City’s Newest Hotel

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To get an idea of how desperate the situation has become in Las Vegas, you only need to look at the tourism board’s ad campaigns. Last summer, it was “Crazy Times Call for Crazy Fun.” Now, it’s “The Dangers of Thinking.” Are things really so bad in Sin City that you have to flip your brain to the off switch to visit? Not exactly. In fact, savvy travelers (who know casino hotels do whatever it takes to keep their volume up) can book rooms cheaper than ever. But this is hardly the best time to open a new luxury playground—which is exactly what Steve Wynn did a month ago with Encore, a $2.3 billion casino complex attached to the Wynn. Tellingly, the 2,304-suite hotel is surrounded by stalled projects—like MGM’s colossal CityCenter and the Fontainebleau, which opened in Miami Beach in December—that were supposed to one-up it. As if filling the craps tables wasn’t tough enough, Encore is hoping to lure luxury customers into its 11 new high-end shops. That would be tough enough in a normal city. In Vegas, where consumers go for clothes that make a statement—which is usually something akin to “It’s Fun Time!”—it would appear all but impossible. So how’s business, at a glance? Continue Reading “Encore, Encore: Shopping Sin City’s Newest Hotel” »

the new republic: L.A.’s jean queen has bold plans for her brand

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Andrea Bernholtz is not afraid of thinking big. As president of Rock & Republic and the living embodiment of its edgy-jet set brand identity, she’s watched the company she co-founded with creative director Michael Ball six years ago balloon from a premium denim start-up to a global fashion phenomenon encompassing everything from ball gowns to kids’ clothes to cosmetics. Next month, Rock & Republic opens its first freestanding retail store, in Beverly Hills, with a second shop following in December in Las Vegas, and a third due in Soho next spring. But Bernholtz has her eyes on bigger things. Over lunch at the Ivy, a hop-skip from the new Beverly Hills boutique, she insisted that she and Ball have only scratched the surface of their brand’s potential. “Private air travel, boutique hotels,” Bernholtz says, ticking off two of her more ambitious plans for Rock & Republic. “We’re launching a swimwear collaboration with Maria Buccellati, and pet accessories…I mean,” she explains, “what we see is a Rock & Republic lifestyle, and all the ways we can interpret that for consumers. The sky’s the limit.” (If private air travel is indeed in the works, perhaps the sky isn’t the limit, after all.) Bernholtz says much of the point of the retail push is to help the label’s fans see the Rock & Republic world beyond denim. Although it remains key to R&R’s success, the other products will be in the foreground at the soon-to-open stores. “They walk in, they see it, they get it,” says Bernholtz. “We’re not just another L.A. denim brand. We’re the people who bring the cool.”