Joe Fresh is a company that I've already come to know and love in Canada (where I'm from), and so it was with double the excitement that, yesterday morning, I went to celebrate Canadian transplant Joe Fresh's first foray into American retail.
The company's new U.S. store stands at 16th and 5th avenue, done up sleekly in all white with perfectly distressed vintage-looking floorboards and birch tree installations adorning the nooks and crannies of the space. Though you wouldn't know it from glancing at the company's chic and affordable offerings, the new store is a far cry from where Joe Fresh started out, which was, namely, the fresh produce aisle at one of Canada's largest grocery store chains, Loblaws. "When I said I was going to do a clothing line in a grocery store, everybody told me I was nuts," Joe Fresh's founder and creative director, Joe Mimran told a group of editors yesterday morning. Looks like Mimran has the last laugh though. “I joke about it, because we’ve gone from the frozen food aisle to Fifth Avenue!”
Since first opening up shop in 2006 at a Toronto Loblaws, Joe Fresh has gained a cult of rabid fashion fans who eagerly gobble up the line's trendy, well-designed and well-made clothing at affordable prices. The label's popularity prompted expansions into activewear and beauty as well as free standing stores, including this one in NYC.
But while Joe Fresh is still a relatively new brand, Mimran is a true fashion vet. In 1985, Mimran started Club Monaco, a brand originally based on a line of unisex basics, and we all know how well that went.
Incidentally, Club Monaco is also the reason why Toronto-native Joe Zee, who was also on-hand to fete the new store, got into the fashion biz in the first place. "Twenty-five years ago, when I was 17, I walked into a brand-new store on Queen Street West in Toronto. It was pulsating with energy, and I just thought, ‘I have to skip school and work here right now!'" he said.
While Mimran sold Club Monaco to Polo Ralph Lauren Corp in 1999, he brings that retail expertise and unmistakable aesthetic to Joe Fresh. Except at extremely low prices. Which is where we cut to the chase: Joe Fresh's clothes are not to be missed. Some of the highlights include a neoprene cocoon-shaped coat for $99, skinny jeans for $39 and cashmere V-necks for just $69.
Best of all, the first 300 shoppers who spend $50 at Joe Fresh tomorrow get a women’s down jacket for just $5. And now we think we know what you'll be doing this weekend.
Check out some of our favorite looks from the brand's website below.