LOS ANGELES — Joie Rucker, the co-founder and namesake of powerhouse contemporary brand Joie, has left the company, people close to the firm said.

Rucker and partner Sean Barron launched Joie three years ago. The line has grown into a celebrity and retail favorite carried by high-end boutiques and department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Scoop in New York and Fred Segal Fun in Santa Monica, Calif. Rucker, a surfer, personified the California lifestyle with her carefree line of denim jeans, trousers, cropped pants and tops.

Rucker and Barron declined comment.

Serge Azria, the brother of Max Azria, chairman and president of BCBG Max Azria, has recently joined Joie in a design capacity, the people close to the company said. Serge Azria is a former president of contemporary label Parallel.

In March, Rucker, a former senior designer with Levi Strauss and Guess Inc., launched a high-end denim line called Future Vintage that was intended to hit stores Aug. 1. Retailers, including E Street Denim of Highland Park, Ill., said they haven’t received shipments yet.

— Nola Sarkisian-Miller

This story first appeared in the July 28, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.