TORONTO - With recent collections channelling Paris and Asia for style inspiration, Joe Fresh made the trek back home for its newest line, offering a fashionable vision for fall and winter rooted in Canada's great outdoors.
While creative director Joe Mimran opted to wear an ultra-bright quilted coat and scarf in his label's signature orange shade, flashes of vibrant colour were few and far between in the new collection unveiled at Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week on Wednesday.
"It's all going to be neutrals on the runway," Mimran said backstage prior to the latest runway presentation for the affordable apparel brand. The line featured shades of camel, grey and khaki green with dashes of the brand's fiery orange hue showcased on a tuque and the inner lining of a hooded parka among several other garments.
There was an abundance of texture and sense of cosiness conjured by the oversized loops of chunky scarves, knitwear, faux fur-adorned bags, vests and coats and even long johns which featured in the line.
While many Canadians are ready to tuck away their heavier jackets after an arduous winter, Joe Fresh showcased several interpretations of outerwear styles for when the temperatures plunge again later in the year, including ample ankle-length coats and trenches, bonded duffle coats and puffer jackets.
The brand offered a more literal interpretation of the outdoors theme with an animal sweatshirt, a mountainscape etched on a knit sweater and scenic photo prints of foliage emblazoned on skirts and delicate dresses.
Since Mimran founded the brand in 2006 in partnership with grocery giant Loblaw, Joe Fresh has experienced dramatic growth with more than 340 retail location across Canada, six freestanding stores in New York and a presence in more than 650 J.C. Penney stores south of the border. Now, Joe Fresh is now poised to go global with the signing of three separate partnership agreements which will facilitate the launch of international expansion in 23 countries.
Mimran is appreciative of the successes to date, but acknowledged the often fleeting nature of the fashion business.
"I'm grateful for the fact that I can come out here and enjoy an evening like tonight and be artistically challenged and feel fulfilled artistically. It's a great thing. But the industry's always so competitive that no matter how much we grow, I always feel like I'm just starting," he said.
"I feel like I have so much to prove and I'm only as good as I was last week. So I think this industry keeps you very humble, and you have to maintain that humility."
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