News & Runway

Toronto Fashion Week Battle of the Budget Fashions: Target vs. Joe Fresh

There’s no doubt that last week’s Target runway show at Toronto Fashion Week was the crowd favourite. Led by Maybelline IT girl Erin Wasson, the show delighted audience members with its Christmas parade of stylish home décor pieces and more than 40 holiday looks from its brands Merona, Cherokee, Mossimo and Beaver Canoe. Of course, their rep was also bolstered by the presence of Target's beloved bull-terrier mascot, Bullseye, as well as the free Christmas gifts handed out to attendees to the tune of “Jingle Bells.”

"Making fashion accessible to all is an important part of the Target brand, so we're proud to host a show in which guests can personalize the stylish and budget-friendly looks they see tonight just in time for their own holiday celebrations,” said John Morioka, senior vice-president, merchandising, Target Canada.

But also waving a floral flag for affordable superstore fashions, Joe Mimram’s clothing Goliath Joe Fresh maintained its approach of less-is-more eclectic womenswear, this time drawing inspiration from the Far East with its collection of silk-like pyjama pant suits, large floral bloom prints and pagoda adorned tees. Navy dominated the palette with hints of the brand’s iconic orange peeking from shoe soles suited to all tastes.

Unlike the other World MasterCard runway shows, the crucial difference between Target and Joe Fresh is that they are vertically integrated retailers — both buyer and seller of their own clothing — with no need to flog to middlemen. With that in mind, they don’t even need to show at Fashion Week to begin with, but still do so to generate hype and brand awareness.

Battling the two against one another, it’s clear that Joe Fresh still has the upper hand going into 2014 as, despite its Bangladesh factory collapse hiccup, it still continues to appeal to the more fashion-forward consumer. True, Target is a newbie in the Canadian market, but until its next collaboration with London label Peter Pilotto comes to fruition, the store can do nothing but display its current stock from in-house labels. The capsule collections that make Target USA so great have yet to materialize here across the border.

Now with recent news of Sears Canada closing many of its flagship stores and withdrawing business (goodbye Eaton Centre locale), the competition for consumer cost-friendly clothing will be all the more visible between those still in the market, but judging on fashion alone, I have to say Joe Fresh is still the clear winner in this battle. What do you think?


1 Joe Fresh 

2 Joe Fresh


1 Target

2 Target

Images via World MasterCard Fashion Week