SPITE reports today that the Rodarte brand is “undergoing a transition” to focus on its “RADARTE”-emblazoned casualwear, the house has today asserted that it is business as usual for ready-to-wear. The Fashion Law reported that several major retailers in the US – including Neiman Marcus, Opening Ceremony, Curve and Bergdorf Goodman – have either “stopped stocking their garments online entirely, or have substituted their pricey ready-to-wear for their ‘RADARTE’ emblazoned track pants and T-shirts,” but a spokesperson told us that this just isn’t the case.
“Rodarte’s ready-to-wear business and private client sales are going strong and they have a loyal global network of bricks-and-mortar and online stores supporting this,” we were told. “In addition, they’ve also, on top of this and not replacing this, seen a strong growth in more accessible items including T-shirts and sweatshirts, which has added to their brand’s offering – which is very exciting.”
Every major house generates cash flow through its fragrances, sunglasses, accessories and entry-pricepoint products – and always has since Christian Dior himself began licensing his name in the early Fifties – so maybe, in the era of the Instagrammable sweatshirt logo, this is Rodarte’s way of joining the conversation.
In a retail climate where even international stores like J Crew are moving away from high-end and focusing on “core products,” it seems sensible that Rodarte should grow its cash-cow. It’s no secret that the most detailed and delicate products from even the world’s most famous houses makes very little profit, so could Rodarte now be beginning to view its catwalk collection as almost a couture range – great to garner press coverage and tell the story of the brand, but more as a marketing expense than a money-making venture?
For its part, Rodarte’s only UK bricks-and-mortar stockist, Selfridges, told us the collection is still going strong with its customers: “We are stocking both the Radarte and the Rodarte lines – and currently are awaiting delivery of 12 new lines from Rodarte’s catwalk collection,” a spokesperson for the store confirmed this morning. “We are always very excited about the show and the collections as they are always original, unique, and always feature interesting embellishments.”
The Mulleavy sisters, Kate and Laura who founded the brand, have always had many strings to their bow – a Target collaboration, costume design for The Black Swan and a book among them – and earlier this year announced that they were set to direct their first feature film starring longtime friend Kirsten Dunst.