The Joe behind Joe Fresh is stepping away from the label he built into a fashion powerhouse, saying after a decade “it’s just the right time.”
“It is in great hands — there’s a great design team we’ve put into place and we’ve been working for the last 18 months, and I’ve been working with Mario (Grauso) very closely,” said founder Joe Mimran in a telephone interview Monday with the Star.
Mimran said Grauso, president of Joe Fresh, is a “really great retailer and great on the international front, he has lots of contacts. He’s got a good blend of fashion and style, and I really think he can take the business to the next level. I’m very excited about that.”
Mimran said he’s worked with the new team for the past 19 months, and they’re “in a really good place and it’s just the right time” to go.
“I’ve been doing it for 10 years, and I’ve been looking to relax a little bit and enjoy my home in Palm Beach, my wife and kids.”
The stores will continue on as Joe Fresh, and Mimran said he will still spend time as a “brand ambassador” and will check in on the line’s international expansion to Mexico, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Otherwise, he’s still figuring out his next move, but said he’s interested in the contemporary art world.
“I’ll do a little bit of relaxing for the next while and then see what I want to dig into. Maybe I’ll pursue something in the art world, I’ll help Kim with Pink Tartan a little bit — lots of things interest me,” he said, referring to his wife, Kimberley Newport-Mimran, and her women’s clothing line.
Owned by Loblaw, Joe Fresh launched in 2006, and has more than 350 stores across Canada, most of them located inside grocery stores.
Known for being stylish and affordable, Joe Fresh expanded into the U.S., setting up almost 700 stores inside J.C. Penney locations, but is now down to about 200.