Joseph Mimran’s Fresh Approach

Joe Fresh Fifth Avenue Flagship | Source: Courtesy photo

TORONTO, Canada — These days, it’s not uncommon that a weekly trip to the local supermarket for milk, cereal and bread might involve coming home with a coat, dress or pair of jeans. Since 1990, when British supermarket chain Asda launched George, the world’s first grocery store clothing label, companies like Tesco and Sainsbury’s have followed suit, capitalising on well-established relationships with their customers, who visit

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The Spotlight | JUMA

JUMA Inspiration | Source: JUMA

TORONTO, Canada — Following our piece on Vancouver’s Digital Olympics earlier this week, it only makes sense that the BoF Spotlight should focus on the Great White North for our monthly inspiration from emerging designers. This month I turned to long-time friends of BoF, Alia and Jamil Juma. The designer brother-and-sister duo are based in Toronto, not Vancouver, though they have called both cities home. They are of South

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NRDC | Setting its sights on Canada

TORONTO, Canada - When Richard Baker, CEO of NRDC, bought The Hudson's Bay Company for a cool $8 billion last month, he announced his plans to turn Canada’s oldest retailer into an industry leader, using a similar strategy to that of US retailer Lord & Taylor. Lord & Taylor, which happens to be America’s oldest department store, was also recently acquired by NRDC. So, with two of the oldest department store chains on the continent in his portfolio, what are Baker’s grand plans? In Canada, Baker believes that there is a gap between mass-market The Bay and luxe player Holt Renfrew. Thus, he plans to open 10 to 15 Lord & Taylor stores within existing Bay flagship stores or within…

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Cottage country: Canada’s top (business) models

I am filing this post from “Cottage Country”, north of Toronto, very far from the centre of the fashion world. Nontheless, when I first arrived in Toronto about a week ago, I asked local fashionistas the same questions I ask everywhere in an effort to seek out local stories which are still relevant to the international readership of the Business of Fashion. There's always an interesting story to tell. Who should I try to meet, where should I go to see designs by the top local designers, and which fashion brands and retail chains are using innovative ways to build their businesses? Almost without exception, these questions were met with a slight shrugging of the shoulders and a resignation that…

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Juma: Exploring contemporary-LAnd

To many die-hard fashionistas, Los Angeles has always been considered the less sophisticated, dressed-down, in your face, suburban, over-celebrity conscious little sister to New York, which has consistently retained its place amongst the world's fashion capitals.  However, our visit to L.A. has revealed an interesting mix of local designers and boutiques combined with the glossy global brands along Rodeo Drive. Driven by its native contemporary brands, L.A. is experiencing a fashion renaissance. Yesterday, I cruised around some upcoming fashion districts here with Jamil Juma, of Juma, which he designs with his sister Alia. Juma's collections (one fashion forward RTW, one activewear) are carried at more than 30 boutiques around North America, including Fred Segal  in L.A. and Caravan in NY.…

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Holt Renfrew: Canada’s luxurious monopoly

Unlike the United States, Europe and the Middle East, the Canadian retail luxury landscape is dominated by one major player, Holt Renfrew, which was founded in 1837 in Quebec City.  In 1986, the venerable retail chain was acquired by Galen Weston, who also owns Selfridges in London and Brown Thomas in Ireland.  Since then, Holts has gone on to become the destination for luxury shoppers in Canada with 9 locations in all major cities, an estimated $500m in revenues, and still virtually no competition to speak of in the domestic luxury department store market. However, with monopoly can come complacency.  To address this, in 2004, the company brought in Caryn Lerner to be its new President and CEO. Lerner came…

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Fashion Television: Sartorialist, Blogging, Ford and Mentorship

In Canada, many young aspiring fashionistas cut their teeth on Fashion Television (or FT), hosted by Jeanne Beker. I accidentally happened upon the site recently and came across a veritable treasure trove of video content that is relevant to some of the topics recently debated and discussed on The Business of Fashion: Fashion blogging Any regular readers of this blog know that I have been a big fan of the Sartorialist, aka Scott Schuman, since I first came across his site almost two years ago. His was the first blog of any sort to really catch my attention because there was something really powerful about seeing clothes that are styled by real people on the street. It brings the clothes…

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Creativity and Commerce: The Arcade Fire

Yes, this blog is a commentary on the Business of Fashion. But, it is also a blog, more generally, on how you can take artistic and creative ideas and channel them in a way that is economically sustainable (and commercially lucrative) over the long term; how you can make the worlds of creativity and commerce co-exisit and feed off of each other harmoniously, without worrying about "selling out." Yes there is always a tension between the creatives and the corporates, but if the right balance is struck, the results can be magical. For example, when John Galliano takes his fantastical ideas from Haute Couture origami and oriental dreams and declines them for his RTW show in a way that is…

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