joe fresh mimran

Joe Mimran stepping down at Joe Fresh

It's tough to imagine a Joe Fresh without Joe Mimran. The fashion magnate, already with a long list of successes such as Club Monaco and Alfred Sung under his belt, became a household name when he launched the ubiquitous Canadian line of cheap-and-cheerful threads in 2006. But now it looks like the two will finally be separated, with Mimran announcing he's handing the reins over to the company's current president, Mario Grauso.

"As I step back from my day-to-day responsibilities, I'm happy to pass the baton to Mario and his team -- experienced hands committed to our shared vision," Mimran told the Financial Post.

The move caps off a period of upheaval and change for the brand, which saw explosive growth in the years after launching and has garnered steady sales and a loyal following, both in trendier standalone stores in big cities and in supermarkets like Loblaws in suburban centres.

The company's image took a major hit after a 2013 factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed over 800 people and injured 3,000 - a catastrophe still top of mind for many would-be shoppers. In the aftermath, they also began re-evaluating their position in the Canadian and international fashion landscape, bowing out of showing at World MasterCard Fashion Week (instead, they screened a five-minute "documentary" on Canadian fashion).

They've also been courting star power, flying in Solange Knowles to DJ the event and tapping megamodel Karlie Kloss to be the face of the franchise.

Grauso's role, too, seems to be part of that transition; according to the Post, Mimran brought him on board to help bolster the brand's bid to become a worldwide fashion player. Grauso vows Joe Fresh will retain their familiar branding, aesthetic and price point - good news for their legions of Canadian fans.

Photo by Mauricio Calero


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