J.C. Penney Co. Inc.’s deal with Joe Fresh materialized fast, keeping pace with Penney’s rapid reinvention.
“Ron and I touched base about four months ago, he reached out to me and I told him to visit our flagship in New York,” on Fifth Avenue, Joseph Mimran, the founder of the Toronto-based Joe Fresh brand, said, recalling his first conversation with Penney’s chairman and chief executive officer Ron Johnson. “He shared with me his vision and the repositioning and transformation. For us, it looked like a great opportunity to get a very large footprint in the U.S. very quickly and to do it with someone who is visionary.” RELATED STORY: J.C. Penney Unveils Mock-up of New Look >>
The two worked out a four-year agreement whereby Joe Fresh designs the shops and supplies the merchandise, which is manufactured by Joe Fresh. The plan is to open Joe Fresh shops in 683 Penney doors, each from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet. Mimran said he will still proceed with rolling out freestanding locations around the U.S. There are currently just six. The deal is reminiscent of Topshop’s decision to open inside Nordstrom stores, unveiled earlier this month, but that’s a much slower rollout, with Nordstrom planning to open 14 Topshop shops-in-store at the outset.
“It’s going to be exciting. It’s bold. It’s aggressive,” said Mimran of Penney’s “store of the future” remodel.
“I buy into the vision — the wider aisles, the self checkout, the cafe, the juice bar, the seating arrangements, the room being offered to the brands and the fact that each brand can have its own voice. It feels right,” he added. “We designed it. I think it’s really important that the brands that populate the store feel like true brands and feel genuine.…There is a long road ahead in terms of getting the productivity up, but we are not going into Penney’s on the basis of today’s performance. We are going in on the basis of tomorrow. There will be enough great brands that will lift the sales overall.”
Mimran is accustomed to operating Joe Fresh within other stores: it is the in-house apparel brand of the Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws, which is owned by the Weston family. The Westons also own Selfridges in London, which is one of the stores that has inspired Johnson’s reinvention of Penney’s.
“It’s Joe’s fixturing, Joe’s price signs. It looks just like Joe Fresh,” said Johnson, standing next to the Joe Fresh shop at the mock-up. “It’s a pure, perfectly branded environment. Joe Fresh is Canada’s number-one brand. It’s affordable fashion for everyone.”
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)