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Joe Mimran, Canadian fashion mogul, joining CBC's Dragons' Den

03/18/2015 09:00 EDT | Updated 05/18/2015 05:59 EDT
Joe Mimran, Canadian retail fashion mogul and Joe Fresh founder, is the newest member of CBC’s hit reality show Dragons’ Den, the broadcaster announced Wednesday morning.

The 62-year-old style pioneer, who built brands such as Joe Fresh, Club Monaco, Alfred Sung, Caban and — with his wife, Kimberley Newport-Mimran — Pink Tartan, will join the show’s panel of venture capitalists in Season 10.

The announcement comes just two days after Mimran announced his departure from Joe Fresh, the cheap and cheerful Loblaw clothing line he helped launch in 2006.

Under his guidance, Joe Fresh has grown to become Canada’s second-largest apparel brand by unit volume encompassing women’s, men’s, children’s, baby and beauty collections.

Decades of experience

His three decades of retail experience will likely be a big draw for the aspiring entrepreneurs who pitch venture capitalists on the award-winning series.

"I’ve been starting businesses since I was in university, and this is the perfect opportunity to share that lifelong passion and experience with young entrepreneurs," Mimran said in a statement.

"I look forward to working with the other dragons, hearing some great pitches and hopefully bringing the next great Canadian business idea to life."

The recent departure of two popular dragons last month made some fans question the future of the series. The addition of such a prominent replacement is likely to give the show a welcome boost.

"We’re thrilled to welcome Joe Mimran to Dragons' Den," said Jennifer Dettman, executive director of CBC’s unscripted content. "Joe is a giant in fashion retail in this country. As the brains behind some of Canada's most successful brands, he's a welcome addition to the den."

Time of transition

Wednesday’s announcement comes during a time of transition for the popular series.

Longtime dragon Arlene Dickinson shocked fans last month when she revealed that she was giving up her chair on the show after eight seasons.

Dickinson’s announcement came less than a week after publishing powerhouse and personal finance guru David Chilton revealed he would not be a part of the tenth season.

The addition of Mimran in Season 10 still leaves one vacancy to be filled on the top-rated Canadian unscripted program. 

Hosted by CBC broadcaster Dianne Buckner, Dragons' Den has an average audience of about one million Canadians each week.

More announcements about the upcoming season will be made in the coming weeks, the broadcaster said.

Complete list of departed dragons:

- Arlene Dickinson, CEO of Venture Communications (Seasons 2 – 9) 

- David Chilton, The Wealthy Barber author (Seasons 7 – 9) 

- Kevin O'Leary, entrepreneur and TV host (Seasons 1 – 8) 

- Bruce Croxon, internet mogul (Seasons 6 – 8) 

- W. Brett Wilson, investment banker (Seasons 3 – 5) 

- Robert Herjavec, IT entrepreneur (Seasons 1 – 6) 

- Jennifer Wood, beef industry executive (Season 1) 

- Laurence Lewin, La Senza co-founder (Seasons 1 – 2)

Auditions underway

Producers are currently holding cross-country auditions for aspiring Canadian entrepreneurs who can pitch their business or idea in five minutes or less. More information on the audition process, tour dates and locations can be found on on the Dragons' Den website.

The current ninth season of Dragons' Den airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC Television.

Full episodes are available online here.

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