Paul Charron, former chairman and chief executive officer of Liz Claiborne Inc., and Paul Tierney, who recently resigned from Claiborne’s board, are teaming up for a new venture.

This story first appeared in the March 13, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The two Claiborne alums are joining with John J. Ross 2nd, managing partner of banking firm Fidus Partners, to form an affiliate of Fidus that will make both mezzanine-level and full private equity investments in small- and mid-cap consumer firms, including fashion and retail.

The plans for the $250 million to $300 million fund are still being finalized, and Charron, who will divide his time equally between this venture and his senior adviser role at Warburg Pincus, said not to expect their first acquisition anytime too soon.

“It’s a lousy market for doing buyouts, and it’s very hard to borrow money to make investments of any magnitude given the macroeconomic situation,” Charron said. “Right now we are laying the foundation: doing our homework, identifying potential investments, and letting people know we can be open for business.”