By  on February 9, 2009

Longtime industry executive Stephen L. Ruzow is stepping up at Rachel Roy New York, becoming the brand’s first president.

Ruzow had been consulting for the designer brand for a year and has a history of working within conglomerates and leading their designer businesses.

He spent six years at Kellwood Co., where he was president of the Calvin Klein better women’s sportswear division. Ruzow has also held executive positions at Pegasus Apparel Group and Warnaco Group, and was president of Donna Karan International.

Since leaving Kellwood in September 2007, he has been an independent business consultant for Lyn Devon and Donna Karan on the Urban Zen project, in addition to Rachel Roy.

“Steve is already implementing his many innovative, out-of-the box ideas that are freshly inspiring and exciting,” Rachel Roy said.

In July, Jones Apparel Group bought a 50 percent stake in Rachel Roy, creating a three-way venture involving Rachel Roy, Jones and TSM Capital, which acquired a significant minority stake in Roy’s firm in November 2007. The deal gave Jones a long-desired entry into the high-end contemporary market and provided the small design house with vital operational backing.

Based in New York, Ruzow reports to Susan Metzger, chief executive officer of the women’s wholesale sportswear division at Jones.

“I feel strongly that his breadth of experience coupled with his key relationships and intimate understanding of Rachel Roy’s vision will make him an excellent leader as we begin to expand the Rachel Roy brand both domestically and internationally,” Metzger said.

Ruzow was unavailable for comment Friday.

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