The fashion phenom that is Joe Mimran (you know, of Alfred Sung, Club Monaco, Pink Tartan and Joe Fresh fame) has done it again! Rise Little Earthling is an accessible, multidimensional brand for little ones with a commitment to do better through positive messaging, imaging and practices. Available exclusively in collaboration with Toys “R” Us, which shares in a collective mission to bring joy and imagination into the lives of families nationwide, you and your littles are going to love these clothes. We had the honour of chatting with Joe about this latest launch, and got the lowdown on which piece he wishes came in his size! —Noa Nichol
Hello Joe! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your incredible (and incredibly fashionable) career to start.
I have been entrepreneurial my entire life. At the age of 14 I had a student discount card business, worked every summer while at school and, by age 17, I had an art gallery in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood. I worked with my brother and mother to create Ms. Originals, a dress business, and went on to start the Alfred Sung line with my brother. Together, we also created Club Monaco, while he ran Alfred Sung and I went on to run Club Monaco, growing it across Canada and internationally. I also created Caban, an interior lifestyle-oriented concept then sold it and Club Monaco to Ralph Lauren. In 2000, I co-founded Pink Tartan with my wife Kimberly Newport Mimran, where she currently serves as president and creative director. In 2002, I was asked by Loblaws to create kitchen and home designs for the President’s Choice brands. I then founded an apparel line, Joe Fresh, and within five years it became the number 1 apparel brand in dollars and units in Canada; I retired and sold my interest in 2015. I consult to Staples US and Staples Canada in the product design buying and merchandising areas, and have created a few brands—most notably General Supply and, in 2019, I created and introduced Gry Mattr, a collection of thoughtfully designed home and office accessories that live at the intersections of work and life.
When and why did you/what spurred you to launch Rise Little Earthling?
I was inspired by Vic Bertrand’s vision for the re-imagination of Toys “R” Us. I also saw a wonderful opportunity to create a unique brand from scratch that reflected the zeitgeist of the moment.
Joe Fresh children’s clothes have long been among our favourite kid fashions; what makes Rise Little Earthling’s offerings unique/different?
There are so many apparel brands out there and each one has a unique voice and aesthetic, which is filtered by the creative director. This brand is unique in so many ways—from its social stance, to the print direction, to the colour direction, the hand feel of the product and the philosophy of the merchandising and visual imaging. Apparel brands are like great recipes with endless ingredients that all have to come together to tell a cohesive story.
In the same vein, what sets it apart from other kid clothing brands out there?
There are many distinguishing brand elements that I am proud of. Most of our line is made of easy care knitted fabrics in 100 per cent organic cotton, our garments come with recycled cardboard hangers (plastic hangers are a pet peeve of mine), our unique Rise Little Earthling Monsters, and the wonderful colourations and hand feel.
How are these clothes designed for parents (and kids?!) who care about the future? Please tell us more about the label’s commitment to do better through positive messaging, imaging and practices.
We have created a number of Rise Little Earthling Monsters that make appearances across the products. Our Monsters each have social missions, their own distinct personalities and pronouns that they use. For example, one of our monsters, Sydney, identifies as They/Them and celebrates differences in others. Moonie is a space traveller, and we intentionally chose the female character to further cement for young girls that you can do anything. Cosmo is our carbon eater and champions environmental missions. Created as a gift to our community, we are also launching Rise Little Earthling: The Podcast, for kids newborn to age 6, which centres around affirmations for kids and is narrated by Canadian musician Lights. Universally, all families have daily rituals that are connection moments—bedtime, meal time, play time, tummy time—and we wanted to enhance this family time by supporting a healthy, growth mindset.
What makes the exclusive availability collaboration with Toys “R” Us a perfect fit for Rise Little Earthling?
Toys “R” Us is unique in helping kids and parents alike enjoy the wonderful world of play. Who wouldn’t want to be part of such a joyful brand? We share a collective mission to bring joy and imagination into the lives of families nationwide.
Any particular piece from the collection you wish came in adult sizing?!
The organic sweatshirt—it is so soft and buttery to the touch!
Win! A $250 Rise Little Earthling Gift Card!
Congrats Danielle C. @dclark09 of Port Moody, B.C., who will receive a $250 Rise Little Earthling gift card! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.