Private equity vehicle Star Avenue Capital, LLC has acquired a majority interest in J Brand, the Los Angeles-based premium denim line founded in 2005 by Jeff Rudes and Susie Crippen. Rudes and Albert Schami, Chief Operating Officer, will continue to serve in their current roles and maintain substantial ownership stakes in the company.
Los-Angeles based Star was recently formed in partnership with the private equity firm Irving Place Capital and leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). J Brand represents the firm’s first investment.

Said Mark Genender, managing director of the company: “Star was created to invest in growing branded businesses at J Brand’s stage of development and to assist them in executing upon and realizing the many attractive opportunities in front of them.”

“We have direct access to CAA’s extensive resources and expertise across multiple functional areas including marketing, branding, lifestyle and consumer research, as well as access to Irving Place Capital and its relevant investment experience with consumer and retail companies,” he added.

“We are very excited about the partnership with Star Avenue Capital and the strategic resources it will provide J Brand as we grow the business further and expand into new categories,” said Rudes. “Star, CAA and Irving Place Capital understand our core values and the importance of product quality, fit and innovative design. All three partners bring unique expertise and their ongoing involvement will be critical to our continued success.”

In conjunction with Star’s investment, Peter Boneparth, a senior advisor to Irving Place Capital and the former CEO of Jones Apparel Group, will become Chairman of J Brand.

—Tim Yap