NEW YORK — Joseph Mimran has a passion for art and fashion.

This story first appeared in the June 20, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Joe Fresh founder in September will combine both loves at the brand’s fifth Manhattan store, a 10,000-square-foot flagship at 462 Broadway and Grand Street in SoHo. Mimran said he was attracted to the former Daffy’s store by the columns and tin ceiling and history embedded in the walls of the cast iron artist’s loft space.

The store will have an art component. New York artist Joshua Abelow designed two exclusive illustrated T-shirts that will be carried at Joe Fresh in SoHo for a limited time. The Paris-inspired Ts were originally designed by Abelow for the Joe Fresh fall runway show. “We will build on Josh’s T-shirts,” a spokeswoman said.

“I love Josh’s work,” Mimran added. “The T-shirts are our nod to our connection to art and our constant desire to bring artists into our fashion world.” Joe Fresh last month provided free shuttle bus service from its store at 110 Fifth Avenue to the Frieze New York Art Fair on Randall’s Island.

Also exclusive to the SoHo store will be a leather collection from the runway. “We did some very special one-of-a-kind pieces,” Mimran said, referring to a biker jacket, leather jacket embellished with heavy studs and zippered white pebbled leather skirt. “It’s very out-of-the-box for us. We decided it was time for us to step out and do some things that are more” edgy and unexpected.

“SoHo is a more casual and fashion-oriented market with a much edgier customer, lots of students and more experimentation,” Mimran said of the neighborhood.

Joe Fresh has room to grow downtown, on the Upper West Side and in “one or two neighborhoods where a real estate opportunity presents itself,” said Mimran, adding that he’d be satisfied with nine or 10 units in New York.

Joe Fresh is carried in 700 J.C. Penney stores in the U.S. and 300 in-store shops at Loblaw Superstores. There are 14 freestanding stores in Canada. “We’re building a brand,” Mimran said. “[Downtown Manhattan] is a really important market,” he noted, referring to properties such as Brookfield Place and the World Trade Center. “We haven’t acted on anything yet. It would be a high priority if we were to open an additional store.”

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