Jones NY Buys 50% Stake in Rachel Roy

Looking to freshen up its wardrobe, Jones Apparel Group, New York, announced today that it has purchased a 50% equity stake in Rachel Roy, a high-end fashion line founded by its eponymous designer in 2005.

Jones Apparel will handle business operations for the collection, via a license with the new joint venture that also includes Roy herself, her husband, music and entertainment mogul Damon Dash, and TSM Capital, New York, which signed on as a minority investor in the fashion company six months ago. Financial terms were not disclosed.

With the new partnership, the Rachel Roy line will continue to expand its global wholesale network, add more product categories, and open stand-alone retail stores in key markets.

“Rachel Roy is a gifted design talent and represents the new wave of modern fashion,” said Wesley Card, president and CEO of Jones Apparel, in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with Rachel and [TSM Capital] as we invest in the designer business and explore opportunities to broaden her reach to a larger audience. We see tremendous opportunity in Rachel Roy as a designer and a brand.”

For her part, Roy said, in a statement, that the move would “uncover the label’s full potential,” and Dash added that “through this partnership, we will be able to explore new opportunities for…the brand.” Susan Metzger, CEO of women’s wholesale sportswear at Jones Apparel, will oversee business operations for the Rachel Roy brand.

As much as the move is expected to benefit Roy and the expansion of her collection, it also likely gives a freshness and design cache to Jones’ ailing business. The company’s sales slid 6% in 2007, to $3.79 billion, and in the first quarter of this year, sales were down roughly 10% to $963.4 million.