With Joe Fresh, what’s good for North America is good for the rest of the world.
That’s the message from the new 4,000-square-foot, two-level Joe Fresh store in the heavily trafficked Myeongdong shopping district in the heart of Seoul — the brand’s first unit in Asia. “There’s exactly the same assortment as you would see in SoHo [in Manhattan],” said Joe Mimran, president of Joseph Mimran & Associates and founder and creative director of Joe Fresh, on Wednesday. Mimran just returned from South Korea, where last weekend the company staged a fashion show at Seoul’s Beyond Museum and opened the store.
There was some tweaking involved, considering the size of the store, which is about 3,000 square feet smaller than typical Joe Fresh units, and considering the target population. “There is less space to do visual presentation, so it’s more about product, and there’s less visual concentration,” said Mario Grauso, chief operating officer of Joe Fresh. “We also broadened the size assortment so there is more extra-extra smalls than you would see in our other stores. Otherwise, it is really similar to SoHo.”
The Seoul opening marked an initial step in expanding Joe Fresh beyond its North American boundaries. Earlier this year, Joe Fresh announced three separate partnership agreements to swiftly enter the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and South Korea, representing a total of 24 countries.
Where Joe Fresh has situated in Seoul, said Grauso, has “a Fifth Avenue sensibility” and is a good fit for the Joe Fresh moderate price point. Fifty percent of the footfall is tourism from the Asian market, Grauso said, adding, “It’s very dense traffic and really important for us that we got into the neighborhood.”
Joe Fresh silks, shorts, maxis, midis and soft pants were getting “really good traction,” though Mimran added, “The good sellers here are the good sellers there, but it’s way too early to make any kinds of determinations and adjustments.”
Regarding the international expansion strategy, “We are being very aggressive about the rollout,” Grauso said. “We will open nine more stores in Korea this year and have a total of 35 stores in Korea in the next four years, which is what we contractually agreed to. Korea is very much a shopping hub for Asia. Korea became a priority for us.”
As reported, Joe Fresh’s South Korea partner is Origin & Co. Ltd., based in Seoul. It’s also partnered with Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co., based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the Dubai-based Retail Arabia International. Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is the parent company of Joe Fresh, which operates freestanding stores in Canada and the U.S., as well as shops inside Loblaws and J.C. Penney.
Aside from the three agreements announced, “We are working on a few more deals that you could hear about in the coming weeks,” Grauso said.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye