Fifth Avenue fast-fashion newcomer Joe Fresh threw open the doors of its very bright global flagship on Thursday night for that rarest of fashion events: a store opening cocktail party where attendees were actually shopping. The inclusion of gift cards in the bright orange tote bags handed out to partygoers probably helped.
Given the brand’s Canadian home base — it launched north of the border at grocery chain Loblaws — there was a strong contingent of eh-sayers in the house, including Ontario-born Jessica Stam. “I still feel like I need to go back home and visit,” she said when asked of the recent spate of Canadian imports to the city that also includes La Senza and Tim Hortons. “I mean, I love New York, but I still need to go back to my roots.”
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed the brand to the neighborhood, getting a rise out of the crowd when he explained that it was, “the biggest Canadian import to these shores since Justin Bieber.” The extended Weston family — which counts Loblaws, Holt Renfrew and Selfridges among its holdings — turned out for the fete with Galen Weston Sr. and wife Hilary leading the way. Galen Weston Jr., who oversees Loblaws and its related businesses for the family, marveled at the store’s centerpiece, a massive Harry Bertoia screen installation that was reinstalled at the landmarked 510 Fifth Avenue earlier this year.
“It’s honest because it came with the space,” he said. “To figure out a way to incorporate it into the shop, I think was a stroke of genius.”
The man of the hour was Joe Fresh creative director Joe Mimran, who greeted well wisher after well wisher dressed in a sharp blue blazer and a scarf of the brand’s signature color, Creamsicle orange. “If you cut my veins, I bleed orange,” he laughed.