NEW YORK — Mark Waldrop, senior vice president of design for knitwear for the Jones New York Collection, died Friday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He was 52.
The cause of death was complications from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said his partner, Jeffrey Libby.
Waldrop was born into a military family in Quantico, Va., his father serving as a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. Waldrop graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in landscape architecture design. For a short time, he worked in that field but then began working in window dressing and display at Rich’s in Atlanta. He quickly realized he loved fashion and attended the Parsons School of Design, where he received the Golden Thimble Award, presented by Donald Brooks, upon graduation in 1987.
Waldrop’s first job in the industry was with Carolyne Roehm, and he later worked at Perry Ellis. Afterwards, he joined Jones Apparel Group (now known as The Jones Group), where he worked for 20 years. He was responsible for knitwear design for Jones New York Collection, Joneswear and Evan-Picone. Waldrop served as a critic at Parsons, the Fashion Institute of Technology and the University of Virginia, and guest lectured at Parsons and FIT.
“Mark was an extremely talented designer and an integral part of the Jones family,” said Susan Metzger, chief executive officer of women’s wholesale sportswear for Jones. “His passion for design and a natural ability to know what women wanted to wear made him a tremendous asset, but it was his kind and generous nature that set him apart. Mark always made you feel like a treasured friend whether you knew him for five minutes or five years.”
Angela Baldanza, senior vice president of merchandising at Jones, added, “He was an absolute perfectionist, he was driven and had the utmost loyalty. He would always have the best advice and was an amazing mentor.”
Waldrop loved gardening and designing gardens, and had a home in Provincetown on Cape Cod where he went every weekend. “We have a magnificent garden he designed, and he planted the entire garden,” said Libby.
In addition to Libby, Waldrop is survived by his sisters, Judy Williams and Col. Marianne Waldrop, and brother Harold.
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