I'm not saying there is anything wrong with China's quality control or construction. Most of RL's clothing comes from China anyway. I am a proponent of being competitive and making clothing outside US, Italy, etc.
However this will significantly lower the brands prestige since the denim was the core product. What I don't like is jeans made of Japanese selvedge and in the USA going for $360 then next season being made in China using Chinese denim for the same price. It's clear RL's profits will be higher and the consumer pays more for a lesser quality product.
Why would I pay $250+ for Chinese jeans when I can get Japanese jeans for the same price. It doesn't make sense to a denim enthusiast. RRL will become another ubiquitous mall-brand like Polo if everything comes from China. I suppose that is good for business... selling mass produced rehashed junk at ridiculous prices then at huge discounts is still better for the bottom line...
Yes- absolutely I agree. Just threw in my .02 as I didn't know your particular thoughts. I still recommend RRL as an eBay buy for people stepping into the brand. I don't find the idea lowered prestige too stinging. I understand for purists/collectors this may not be the case, but a simple pragmatic pair will get it done for me, while the ethos may have changed. Has it been determined that the denim is created in China? Maybe the final production occurs there? I did a quick search but I did not find much. As far as Cone goes, some of the separate/newer stuff is also complete trash in comparison, so that's why I hesitate to change my thoughts on country of origin.