October 21, 2014 5:20 am

Joe Fresh to shun runway shows, launches fund for emerging designers

A model shows a creation from Joe Fresh while walking the runway during Toronto Fashion Week in Toronto on Wednesday October 23, 2013.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
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TORONTO – As Joe Fresh continues its plans for international expansion, the affordable apparel brand is making a retreat from the runway, pulling the plug on future presentations at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashon Week.

“There’s going to be no runways,” said creative director Joe Mimran ahead of the Joe Fresh opening night party held on Monday.

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“All of our shows are going to be more geared to the wholesale market, and certainly, there’s a lot of showroom things that we’re going to have to do to service the different markets that we’re in. Our focus really is going to be on the future talent of the country.”

Mimran said the brand will be announcing details involving the Joe Fresh Fund which will support emerging design talent in Canada.

“For us, the world has changed quite a bit in the last 12 months,” he said. “Our market is expanding internationally. We’ve got great partners now in Saudi Arabia and lots of other countries in the Middle East and Korea, and we’re announcing a bunch more partnerships.

“There’s a time that you just want to be a mentor to the industry and start to give back to the industry and we thought that this was a great time to do it.”

In the meantime, Mimran was in a festive mood as he joined partygoers attending the Joe Fresh fete, where a short film featuring the accomplishments and impact of homegrown fashion was screened.

Singer Solange Knowles joined Mimran on the orange carpet, later taking on turntable duty as the DJ at the event.

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