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High-street heaven: Inside Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh

Sweden brought us H&M, Spain gave us Zara, and now the latest fast-fashion retailer comes courtesy of Canada.

Joe Fresh - which officially opened in the Flatiron District last week - is an addition to the city's high streets that offer stylish ready-to-wear clothing and accessories for men and women at prices that let consumers buy en masse without worrying about draining their bank accounts. It's a concept that works - we bought five things for under $130 when we popped in last Friday - and it's what makes casual shopping exciting. A brief rundown:

The store - at nearly 10,000 square feet - is easy to navigate. It's laid out simply, with white walls, bright lights and neat displays. 

Shoppers are met with the "better," more high-style items right off the bat: a leathery fringed skirt ($39), shelves of colored cashmere sweaters ($49), silk Equipment-like blouses ($19), faux-sherling bombers ($69) and our favorite item, colorful neoprene coats for $99.

Farther in, you'll find cozy sweaters, leggings and knit sweater-skirts. There's a section dedicated to workout gear that we wished were smaller - nobody seemed to be paying much attention to it.

We're also not entirely certain how necessary the beauty section is, which carries cosmetics and nail polish. H&M tried that for a bit, and it didn't work.

Staffers are well-dressed and helpful, although we found it fairly unnerving that every time we picked something up, a salesperson hovered, ready to refold it or re-hang it.

The dressing room attendants seemed a little overwhelmed to boot, but these are minor grievances and was probably just part of the usual opening-week frenzy.

Joe Fresh is a welcome addition to the city's fast-fashion landscape that lived up to the hype.

The Flatiron store is here to stay, but there are two temporary locations that will be open through December (1055 Madison Ave., open now, and 215 W. 34th St., which opens Saturday).

The official flagship on 43rd Street and Fifth Avenue will open in March.  

Follow Style/Buzz/Special Sections Editor Perrie Samotin on Twitter: @PerrieWS 

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