Joe’s refresh: Three announcements shake up the Canadian fashion scene

By Ally Dean

When we heard that Joe Fresh would not be presenting a runway show at Toronto Fashion Week, our imaginations went wild. Would they host another star-studded cocktail party (shout out Solange!)? Or would the brand showcase a supermodel-studded off-site presentation? My secret hope was that their spring campaign model, Karlie Kloss (and her bestie, Taylor Swift) would host a shopping-slash-slumber-party. Hey, it could happen. Even with all the speculation, the announcement that founder and creative director Joe Mimram would be leaving the label came as a shock to all.

Read More: Check out Ally's Toronto Fashion Week diary

Stepping into Joe’s tangerine-coloured loafers is current Joe Fresh president Mario Grauso. Mario (who joined the brand last year) will work with designers Henriette Ernst (womenswear) and Jose Abellar (menswear) to oversee the house’s expansion into international markets. No need to stockpile brightly coloured silk shirts yet, ladies.


Just when we were accepting a Joe Fresh-less fashion week the label announced another major fashion move. And we mean major.

Joe Fresh will partner with Ryerson University’s Fashion Zone to create Canada’s first fashion innovation space called the Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation. The goal? To establish Canada’s fashion-inspired businesses through mentorship programs and targeted coaching. White and orange workspace, anyone?

As for Joe Mimram, instead of reclining under a palm tree sipping a Mai Tai, he plans to join the cast of CBC’s Dragons’ Den. The hit reality TV show – which profiles entrepreneurs vying for investment capital, mentorship and support – begins its 10th season this fall. With his prodigious fashion-meets-entrepreneur background (in addition to creating Joe Fresh, Joe founded both Club Monaco and Alfred Sung), we hope this means more aspiring Canadian fashion talent is slated to appear on the show.

With so much news there is one salient takeaway: Like with the end of Destiny’s Child, sometimes a good thing must come to a close for better things to begin. We'll be looking forward to seeing what Joe Fresh and Joe Mimram do next.

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