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Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Sells Majority Stake

Apparel veteran Edwin Lewis joins firm.

Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, a denim brand targeting Baby Boomer women, has sold a 50 percent stake to Falconhead Capital LLC, a New York-based private equity firm.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Edwin Lewis will head day-to-day operations as chairman and chief executive officer and will oversee the company’s growth plans, said Marvin Padilla, a banker at The Sage Group LLC, which, along with Thomas Weisel Partners, advised Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. Lewis is a former president and co-ceo of Mossimo Inc., vice chairman of Tommy Hilfiger Corp. and president of Ralph Lauren women’s wear. He could not be reached for comment.

Based in Vernon, Calif., Not Your Daughter’s Jeans was founded in 2003 by Lisa Rudes-Sandel and her siblings, Leslie and Kenneth. The Rudes family, including their father, George, a fashion industry veteran who served as ceo, will remain involved in the business. George Rudes will be vice chairman.

The company grew from “$7 million in annual revenues in 2005 to $80 million in 2008,” George Rudes said, and the family felt it was time to bring in an investor to grow the business into a “couple of hundred million [in annual revenues] in a few years.”

Although the Rudes family retains a 50 percent interest in the business, Falconhead will control the management of the company. George Rudes said it was Falconhead’s decision to bring in Lewis.

“We will still be doing what we do best, which is bring product to the table. Falconhead will handle the building of the infrastructure,” he said.

“Not Your Daughter’s Jeans chose Falconhead because of the experience of the firm and [the addition of] Edwin Lewis, who can help the firm more aggressively execute its growth plan,” Padilla said.

Falconhead’s other investments include Competitor Group Inc., which caters to endurance sports enthusiasts, and Extreme Fitness Inc., an operator of gyms based in Toronto.

Not Your Daughter’s Jeans is sold at department stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Dillard’s, and at specialty chains in the U.S. and internationally through distributors in Canada, Ireland, the U.K., the Netherlands and other countries. It bills its principal product as “the original tummy tuck jean.”

George Rudes said that, as the company grows, its main focus will still be on bottoms. “We did dress pants with our tummy-tuck technology in June, and are doing shirts with tummy control. We’re doing maternity and postpartum jeans. Everything we do includes the tummy-tuck technology.”

WWD reported this month that the company was close to a deal to be sold for as much as $150 million, but the firm’s officials denied it was for sale.�