GM Design, Jones Part Ways

Edward M. Jones 3rd, GM Design Group Ltd.'s chairman and chief executive officer, is no longer with the firm, WWD has learned.

NEW YORK — Edward M. Jones 3rd, GM Design Group Ltd.’s chairman and chief executive officer, is no longer with the firm, WWD has learned. A source close to the company said Friday was his last day.

When reached via e-mail on Tuesday, Jones declined to discuss details, but said, “I am very proud of what has been accomplished by the team at GMDG in the past year: updated product, better positioning of the brands and expansion of the distribution base. This is a great company with an amazing group of talented people.”

David Rosenzweig, president of GM Design Group Ltd., has also left the firm, but couldn’t be reached for comment.

GM Design Group manufactures brands such as GarfieldMarks, Womyn and Options. Under Jones, the GM Design Group overhauled its product offering and looked to build its distribution base by adding two new brands, iAlex-Alex Garfield and Range93.

In 2004, Garfield & Marks was bought by a consortium of private equity funds led by Boston-based Falcon Investment. The transaction was developed by retail consulting and branding firm Jones Texas Inc., where Jones is chairman and ceo; at the closing of the deal, the holding company was named GM Jones Brand Holdings Inc. The name of the holding company will probably be renamed now that Jones is no longer on board. [GM Design Group Ltd. was the acquired operating company.]

Jones will continue as chairman of Jones Texas Inc. and Strategic Initiatives Group LLC. Meanwhile, he was spotted at the Cynthia Steffe show last week and is no stranger to building Seventh Avenue businesses. He was a principal shareholder in Sigrid Olsen and is largely credited for building the brand before selling it to Liz Claiborne in 1999. Earlier, he was president of Esprit de Corp.

This story first appeared in the September 21, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.