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NEW YORK — After 17 months in the role, Stefani Greenfield has resigned as chief creative officer of The Jones Group Inc.
This story first appeared in the April 16, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
She will serve as global creative consultant to Jones and will work on creative and marketing initiatives through her consulting firm, My Next Act. The move is effective immediately.
In her consulting role, Greenfield will work with specific brands within Jones on product innovation and new concepts. Those brands will be Nine West, JonesWorks, Rachel Roy, Brian Atwood and Kurt Geiger, said a spokesman.
“Stefani has done an outstanding job of attracting exceptional talent, and having accomplished that, we are now ready to fully shift product design into our brands,” said Richard Dickson, president and chief executive officer of branded businesses at Jones.
Since coming on board in November 2011, Greenfield has served in the creative function specifically on design, merchandising, marketing and creative services. She had operating responsibility, and those creative areas reported into her. She will no longer have operating responsibility or executives reporting into her.
“I came in, analyzed the design organization, brought in phenomenal people throughout every brand and built the teams, so I could move on to Stage 2. The master plan was always so I could come and go…and bring my obsession with culture, popular culture and the world to The Jones Group. Phase One for me was done,” said Greenfield.
Part of her role was to boost Jones’ U.S. apparel operations, which have struggled. Her tenure was marked by high turnover of long-time Jones executives. Greenfield assembled a new creative team, as well as brought in such talent as ad men Doug Lloyd and Trey Laird and photographer Mark Seliger.
She said her goal was for the Jones brands to run monolithically. “I’m here to be available to the design, creative and marketing services throughout the company. But I need to do it for me entrepreneurially,” she said. She said she’s most proud that she was able to attract and cultivate great talent. “I’m obsessed with the brand architecture we’ve established, if you look at Nine West, the creation of JonesWorks, launching Jones New York jeans and organizing Anne Klein. We’re going to work on all the projects that we’ve been working on, keeping it moving. I’m doing it in a way that works for me,” she said.
She will continue to do multicity tours with JonesWorks. “I came here to help change the way the consumer experiences product, design, marketing and merchandising. Now the closer I can get to what the consumer sees and does, that’s why I’m here,” said Greenfield.
She declined to divulge the length of her consulting contract. “It’s going to be for quite awhile. I am 45. You will see me through being 46 at least,” she said.
She said that this was something she requested and had been talking about for a while. She was initially introduced to Dickson through Stuart Weitzman. “I came here very unexpectedly over lunch. This was not an interview or a headhunter search. It all happened serendipitously. And my whole life I’ve followed my internal compass and it hasn’t done me wrong yet, has it?” said Greenfield.
She is best known for building the Scoop NYC chain of stores. She started her career in the late Eighties at DKNY during the brand’s launch period, then joined Esprit as vice president of design and merchandising. Greenfield cofounded Scoop NYC in 1996 and grew it into a chain of more than 15 units. After leaving Scoop, she launched her consulting firm My Next Act in 2008. She worked on several projects, including Curations for HSN and the Theodora and Callum brand with Desiree Gruber, which continues and sells to stores such as Bergdorf Goodman.
Greenfield said the team she put together is all staying at the firm. “I was here to put design in place to function within the individual brands. We’ve done that. Now it’s about me, and what Stefani Greenfield wants to do, and how Stefani Greenfield wants to add value. I’m my own service, and the service I can provide here.”