Group apparel maker Jones Apparel Group, Inc., whose brands include Nine West, Anne Klein and Rachel Roy, has acquired Moda Nicola International, LLC, the owner of Robert Rodriguez Collection, the women's contemporary eveningwear and sportswear brand, in a deal valued at about $28 million.

Said Wesley Card, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jones Apparel Group: "We believe that now is the right time to be making an acquisition as our core brands and organization are strong, and we are well-positioned for a new phase of growth. Robert Rodriguez will increase our presence in the contemporary market."

Founded in 2003 by designer Robert Rodriguez and business partner Nicola Guarna, Robert Rodriguez quickly gained attention from buyers, celebrities and trendsetters alike for its feminine and sexy contemporary styling for women of all ages. The collection, which includes Robert Rodriguez, Robert Rodriguez Black Label, and Robbi and Nikki, is currently sold at luxury retailers in the U.S. and Europe, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Fred Segal, Intermix, Holt Renfrew, Harrods and Lane Crawford.

Sales at MNI, LLC were approximately $17 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009.

—Tim Yap