Jeffrey Rudes is co-founder of cult denim label J Brand, and remained chief executive of the popular jeanswear label from its conception in 2005 until May 2014. His creative and innovative initiatives quickly secured J Brand’s position as a fashion-forward market leader; the brand is credited with launching the skinny-jean trend with the introduction of its “910” range in 2006. After departing the company, the entrepreneur launched a new luxury namesake menswear label — Jeffrey Rudes — in 2015. Based in Los Angeles with a design atelier in Bologna, the line places emphasis on high-quality fabrics and careful construction.
Rudes has worked in the fashion industry for over 35 years. A pioneer in the French-jean trend in America, he first entered the denim market with the launch of the Paris 2000 jeans line in the late ’70s. Initially based in New York, Rudes moved his company to Los Angeles in the early ’80s where he set up apparel brands including Area Code and A. Gold E (a denim sportswear brand created in partnership with Ron Herman and Adriano Goldschmied) and later consulted in the denim department of retailer Abercrombie & Fitch.
He launched J Brand in 2005 alongside stylist Susie Crippen. During Rudes’s time as chief executive, the label regularly collaborated on collections with brands including Proenza Schouler , Christopher Kane and Topshop, eventually launching a menswear line in 2008. In 2010 the company was acquired by Star Avenue Capital LLC a growth equity vehicle formed by Irving Place Capital and the Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Starworks subsequently sold its stake to Japanese investment company Fast Retailing in early 2013, with Rudes retaining a 19.9% shareholding.