NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Loblaw Companies Limited ("Loblaw," TSX:L) and its affiliates, the owners of Joe Fresh ®, today announced the signing of three separate partnership agreements that bring the brand into 23 new countries. The agreements cover key growth markets in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and South Korea. The partnerships represent the first expansion for Joe Fresh beyond North America. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140220/NY69103LOGO ) These initiatives transform one of Canada's leading fashion brands into a global retail presence, driven by the Joe Fresh signatures of accessible, modern style and compelling value. With its partners, Joe Fresh will offer comprehensive collections of men's, women's and children's apparel, in addition to Joe Fresh Beauty ® cosmetics, to a wide international audience. "These first international agreements signify an important milestone for Joe Fresh as we build on the strong foundation we've established at home in Canada. We continue to evolve the brand forward and I'm thrilled to see Joe Fresh grow into a global brand, developing on the success we have had in the United States since launching there in 2011," said Joe Mimran, Creative Director of Joe Fresh. Mimran founded Joe Fresh in 2006 in partnership with Loblaw. Today, Joe Fresh is available online, in more than 340 retail locations across Canada, in six freestanding stores in New York, including a flagship location on Fifth Avenue, and in over 650 J.C. Penney stores across the United States. "In order to best tap these vibrant new markets, we have partnered with companies possessing deep local knowledge and wide expertise of the retail dynamics and consumer preferences in their respective geographies. Together, we are committed to bringing the Joe Fresh formula of sophisticated style and compelling value to a broad overseas audience. International markets are an important avenue of growth for Joe Fresh, combined with our own retail stores, in-store shops and burgeoning Canada e-commerce business," said Mario Grauso, chief operating officer of Joe Fresh Apparel Canada, an affiliate of Loblaw. Grauso joined Joe Fresh in October 2013. A 20-plus year veteran of the fashion industry, Grauso was previously president of New York-based Vera Wang Group and president of Puig Fashion, parent company of Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne. Earlier in his career, Grauso held executive positions at Celine, Giorgio Armani, Escada and Calvin Klein. The international agreements encompass the Joe Fresh women's, men's and children's lines, which offer apparel, activewear, sleepwear, accessories and footwear, in addition to the Joe Fresh Beauty cosmetics range.