Denim Retailer True Religion Files for Bankruptcy

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The Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based brand is the latest to file a Chapter 11 petition.

True Religion's recognizable stitch denim doesn't seem to appeal to customers anymore.

On Wednesday, the Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based brand filed for Chapter 11 protection in hopes of reducing its debt of about $500 million, Reuters reported. The petition was filed in the U.S. bankruptcy court in the District of Delaware.

According to Reuters, True Religion has secured a debtor-in-possession loan from Citizens Bank for up to $60 million. Investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, which acquired True Religion for roughly $835 million in 2013, has also approved the company's plans.

Founded by Jeff Lubell in 2002, True Religion has 140 stores and about 1,900 employees. Its apparel is also sold at department stores, including Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Best known for its iconic horseshoe inspired by the silhouette of a Buddha's smile, the premium denim was once a hit among stars like Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears. The denim label was often referenced by rappers like Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. However, its popularity has waned, with the athleisure trend taking over and online competition gaining momentum. Last year, 20 stores were closed to cut costs. 

True Religion is the latest SoCal-based retailer to file for bankruptcy, following the likes of Nasty GalAmerican Apparel, PacSun and BCBG Max Azria.

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