J. Mendel Announces Planned Departure of President & COO

Feb 27, 2013, 09:25 ET from J. Mendel

NEW YORK, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Luxury fashion house J. Mendel today announced that Susan Sokol will step down as President and Chief Operating Officer of the company, and will transition her duties over the coming weeks.

Ms. Sokol joined J. Mendel as President and COO in 2008. During her almost five year tenure at the company, Sokol was integral to the expansion of J. Mendel's ready-to-wear, which now accounts for 60% of its wholesale business, and to entering the brand into new international markets.

"I am deeply grateful to Susan Sokol for her outstanding service, and wish her well in the next phase of her career," said Gilles Mendel, Creative Director and Chief Executive Officer of J. Mendel. "Susan has been a trusted colleague, and leaves J. Mendel with a strong foundation for the future. We remain committed to our goals for long-term growth, including an increase in our retail footprint, entering new markets, and the introduction of new product categories."

"I am immensely proud of my time with J. Mendel, and of spearheading the company's ready-to-wear growth," said Susan Sokol. "It has been a great pleasure to work with this iconic house, and to have actively participated in its evolution as a global luxury brand."

J. Mendel, together with its parent company The Gores Group, has initiated a search for Ms. Sokol's successor, retaining leading executive search firm, Karen Harvey Consulting to facilitate the process.

J. Mendel is a fifth-generation luxury brand established on the principles of high quality, style, and impeccable craftsmanship. Applying his unique skills and design aesthetic, Paris-born Gilles Mendel transformed the company from a luxury furrier into a full-fledged fashion house with the launch of its ready-to-wear collection in 2002. In recognition of his achievements in women's fashion, Mendel was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2003, and was awarded the prestigious Cooper-Hewitt National Fashion Design Award in 2011.

The Gores Group, LLC is a global investment firm focused on acquiring controlling interests in mature and growing businesses that can benefit from the firm's operating experience and flexible capital base. The firm combines the operational expertise and detailed due diligence capabilities of a strategic buyer with the seasoned M&A team of a traditional financial buyer. The Gores Group, which was founded in 1987 by Alec E. Gores, has become a leading investor having demonstrated over time a reliable track record of creating value in its portfolio companies alongside management.  Headquartered in Los Angeles, The Gores Group maintains offices in Boulder, CO, and London. For more information, please visit www.gores.com.

SOURCE J. Mendel