Rock and Republic
The Rock and Republic range consists of a wide range of designer clothing including jeans, dresses, jackets, coats, suits, skirts, shorts and accessories including handbags, shoes and cosmetics. However, this article is specifically focused on the Rock and Republic Victoria Beckham crown jeans, as these were the most popular product.
Rock and Republic was founded in 2001 by an American named Michael Ball. Their premium brand jeans can cost up to £360 a pair in top drawer outlets such Harvey Nicholls, Harrods and other smaller designer boutiques. They are famed for being the "Wonderbra for the bottom". However, I tried a pair on and I couldn't see much of a difference in my bottom, so try not to get caught up with the hype. (Then again, maybe there's no hope for my bottom). The jeans are made of wonderful quality denim though - but then, so they should be at that price!
Victoria Beckham's involvement with Rock and Republic started in 2004, when she designed the "VB Rocks" range. This range is characterised by the Victoria Beckham VB Crown (see photo to right) and has enjoyed great success. However, Victoria parted company with Rock and Republic in September 2006, to launch her own range of jeans called "DVB Style" (see logo to the left). It has been said in the press (The Sunday Mail) that Victoria wants to sue Rock and Republic for £50million for loss of earnings, so the split would appear to be somewhat acrimonious. I have to say, in my view, Victoria's Crown design knocks the spots off the other Rock and Republic designs. My opinion of course, comes for free . However, if Michael Ball would like me to create a new design for the back pocket of his jeans, I'll do it for £10 and a nice meal out. There's an offer you can't refuse, Michael.
Victoria's DVB style range of jeans and perfume has now been launched. The DVB Style web site is up and running, but currently does not feature the new DVB range (as at August 2007). However, below are featured somes photos of the star and signature designs from the new range. Personally, I don't think they're as nice as the crowns - it might even have been nice to see the DVB logo emblazened with swarovski on the back pocket, don't you agree? "DVB" stands for David and Victoria Beckham, in case you were wondering.
(Be sure to read this update which includes photos of my own genuine R&R jeans).
Rock and Republic crown jeans are a highly coveted brand, patronised by celebrities including Shilpa Shetty (of the infamous Celebrity Big Brother fame), Britney Spears (before shaving), Terri Hatcher, Cameron Diaz, Katie Holmes and Lucy Liu, to name but a few. As is usual with such a high profile, expensive item, it is faked in the far east and then passed off as real by dodgy sellers. There are many fakes currently on sale at eBay, but there are also genuine Rock and Republic jeans for sale there aswell. You can find a list of honest sellers and much more besides at the Honest Forum, a forum dedicated to lovers of designer denim.
At the beginning of February, a teenager was caught running a counterfeit jeans business from her bedroom. She was importing the jeans from China for £5 a pair, then selling them on eBay for upwards of £50 a pair. Though she was caught and let off with a warning, there are hundreds of others out there doing the same. A search for Rock and Republic on Alibaba, a site dedicated to global trade, will reveal any number of sources purporting to sell "Rock and Republic" and other designer brands. You judge for yourself whether they are the genuine article are not.
How to spot a fake (crown jeans only)
I have only studied the crown jeans so this part of the article refers only to them, although some parts may be relevant to other styles. Note, I am not going to witter on about the price because I have seen genuine R&R's on eBay go for less than £100 - you might get lucky. Knowledge is power, as they say.
Please bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive guide to identifying a fake, and that fakes of the future may be improved upon. Also bear in mind that it is possible for sellers to display photos of genuine jeans in their listings, then send you a fake pair once you have won the auction and paid. Be careful.