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Canadian fashion guru Joe Mimran has helmed influential brands like Alfred Sung, Club Monaco, and the lifestyle emporium Caban. Now, he's bringing his latest endeavor to America. Joe Fresh, a line of high-style, low-cost gear for guys, girls, and kids, will be launching four stores in and about NYC, including spaces in midtown and the Flatiron District. We caught up with him just after he opened a pop-up in East Hampton. Read on to find out his favorite NYC lunch spot, his summer plans, and what he thinks is the biggest difference between Americans and Canadians.
Why did you decide to bring Joe Fresh to the East Coast?
For years, international brands have been coming to Canada. Now it's our turn to return the favor and introduce Joe Fresh to the US. There will be four permanent locations opening in the tri-state area this fall. The first New York store will open in mid-to-late October, with the flagship opening at 510 Fifth Avenue (at 43rd Street) in early November. The launch focus in the US will be on high quality contemporary women's clothing and accessories at an accessible price point.
Will the product differ from what you can find in both the freestanding Joe Fresh stores in Canada as well as Loblaw's?
We will be offering the same product at the same great prices in NYC, though our freestanding stores (including those to open in NYC) tend to carry a little more of the runway collection.
How involved are you in the design process? Are you a hands-on boss?
I am very involved. I lead the design direction each season and every garment crosses my desk. I'm always working with the team to improve quality while keeping the price point affordable.
What do you personally have in store this summer? Any plans?
Summer is always a busy season for us but I set aside time to escape with my family as well. We just returned from the Hamptons! There will also be backyard dinner parties and a few games of bocce.
Living in Toronto, what are your top five favorite places in NYC? Restaurants, coffee shops, areas, parks, streets...
I'm back and forth between Toronto and NYC often. M favorite haunts are the MoMA, and whenever I have free time I visit the galleries in Chelsea (so inspirational). I stay on the Upper East Side so I tend to eat at DB at the Surrey and the Mark Restaurant, and when I'm downtown, it's Pastis. We sometimes go for a walk along the river at Carl Scurtz (Gracie Mansion) Park but it's usually pretty hectic when I am in NY, so this happens more often when our daughter is with us.
What's the biggest difference between Canadians and Americans?
Canadians are a diverse bunch with heritages and traditions originating from all over the world. You'll see this influence in the Joe Fresh collection. We've got a bit of New England prep mixed with Asian influence and a French sensibility. But New Yorkers are a breed unto themselves. The city has incredible verve and people are out on the streets more. You see much more fashion walking around NYC than in Toronto.
· Get Ready for Joe Fresh, Canada's Amazing Supermarket Clothing Line [Racked NY]
· Joe Fresh to Flatiron, Anthropologie to the Upper East Side [Racked NY]
· Joe Fresh [Official Site]