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.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)