Last Thursday, the unthinkable happened: A brand born in the aisles of the grocery store became part of the glorious gloss of New York’s Fifth Avenue. But if you know anything about Joe Fresh and its founder Joe Mimran, you know that well, it’s not really that unthinkable at all. Since launching the brand five years ago (and after years of style-propagation via his previous ventures, Club Monaco and Caban), Mimran has brought affordable chicness to the forefront of the Canadian fashion industry. South of the border was the natural next step, and since the brand’s U.S. launch late last summer, its bright and sunny hues have been infiltrating the pages of Teen Vogue, New York Magazine and the like. To boot, the brand has been making its mark on the arts community as well, sponsoring an event during Miami’s Art Basel, and the New Museum’s second triennial exhibit, The Ungovernables.
Fast forward to last Thursday, when the brand made its biggest slam dunk in the Big Apple: 14,000 square feet, two storeys, a glass-walled heritage building designated a landmark by the city of New York converted into its shiny flagship store. “When I first walked in, I was completely wowed,” said Mimran. “There was a ton to do, but I just fell in love with it. I thought it was an amazing place to have a flagship store.” After a 12-month renovation, the city’s finest, including Jessica Stam, Derek Blasberg, Fern Mallis and director Steven Sebring, came by to toast the open doors alongside the Canadians (Kimberley Newport-Mimran, the Weston family, former Fashion File host Adrian Mainella, and ahem, me.) The brand’s connection to the arts continued, with short films made by artists Ellen von Unwerth, Deborah Turbeville, Sue de Beer and others projecting throughout the store.
The coup of the night? Mayor Michael Bloomberg stopped by to speak at the event, professing that Mimran was the greatest Canadian import since Justin Bieber. Mayor made a lolzy!
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