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Esprit Holdings

Esprit Holdings Limited is a publicly owned manufacturer of clothing, footwear, accessories, jewelry and housewares under the Esprit label. The company is headquartered in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and Ratingen (near Düsseldorf), Germany. In the 2007–2008 business year, Esprit generated worldwide sales of around $3.6 billion (as of 30 June 2008). Esprit operates more than 900 retail stores worldwide and distributes products to more than 8,500 wholesale locations around the globe. Esprit has more than 1.1 million square meters of retail space in 40 countries.

The ESPRIT brand name is licensed to other manufacturers. In addition, the group owns the Red Earth cosmetics brand. The Esprit flagship stores feature both current Esprit fashion lines and licensee products under one roof. Esprit has an architecture department that is responsible for the worldwide design of its stores.

On 27 September 2011 Esprit Holdings Ltd. was valued at just $1.4 billion, a loss of more than 90 percent from a $20 billion valuation four years prior. According to Credit Suisse, Esprit's brand has been valued at $3.4 billion since 2012, when it lost its global recognition and is in decline. Esprit has pulled out of most global markets, reducing stores in China, Australia, Hong Kong and closing in North America and Canada. In 2013, Esprit appointed a new CEO who was from a successful competitor to tackle this decline, which has brought great success for Esprit, and the company is fast becoming a recognized brand once again.


The first joint fashion line established by Susie and Doug Tompkins (who had previously founded The North Face) was sold from a VW bus and their headquarters was the Tompkins' apartment in San Francisco. Susie assumed the creative and Doug Tompkins the financial role in the business. At that time (mid-60's) their sales success was due to their original "Big Mama", Helene W. Japhe, who agreed to represent them exclusively as their sales agent, taking their line "on the road" and having great success. After Helene Japhe's departure from the company and San Francisco, the business continued to flourish under more professional administration and management until its US downturn and eventual sale to a Hong Kong firm.

In 1979, the Esprit logo was designed by John Casado.

The 1980s saw the introduction of the "Real People Campaign", which was shot by photographer, Oliviero Toscani, using architects and designers for its projects, starting with Italian, Ettore Sottsass, who developed the first Esprit Europe Headquarters in Düsseldorf. He established the overall concept of the stores in the style of the Memphis design movement. Architects and designers included Antonio Citterio and Norman Foster.

In February 2012, Esprit announced that it planned to close all retail stores in North America because they were not competitive in that market and were losing money.

In December 2015, Esprit announced it would be returning to the Canadian market. Since the announcement, Esprit has opened two stores, one in Metrotown in Metro Vancouver, and one in West Edmonton Mall, with plans to open a third store in fall 2016, in Mississauga.

In May 2018, it was announced that Esprit will close all 67 stores in New Zealand and Australia.

Product lines

Esprit's products include casual sportswear and "collection" business clothing for both men and women; "de.corp" urban casual clothing for young women; "kids" clothing for children up to 7 years old; sportswear including skiwear, fitness fashion and streetwear; accessories such as bags, shoes, and bodywear; day and night underwear and swimwear for men, women and children.

In 1998, the "edc" of young people's clothing was founded.

Since 1990, Esprit has grown through licensees. More than 30 license holders include Coty/Lancaster (scents) and Falke (socks and stockings). Under the name "Esprit timewear + jewel", Egana Holdings Ltd. produces watches and jewelry.

Esprit home sells furniture, carpets, wallpaper, lighting, living accessories, home textiles and bathrooms; Esprit kids’ world sells maternity wear, toys, buggies and nursery furniture.


In the 2007/2008 business year, Esprit Holdings Limited reported worldwide sales of $3.6 billion.

The Group operates more than 835 directly managed retail stores worldwide and distributes its products via more than 15,000 wholesale locations around the globe. The company has more than 1.1 million square meters of sales area in more than 40 countries.

2000s Esprit goes red

The brand takes a stand.

Esprit makes courageous decisions. And goes the whole nine yards. This is demonstrated impressively with the new corporate design, which consistently distances itself from the vibrant play of colors – and from now on only uses one color: red! The Esprit red becomes the overall trademark. This is the dominating element for both the inside and the outside of the shop, subtly complemented by airy colors.

Logo in red.

The advertising has also been given "a fresh coat of paint", as it were, overnight. In its well-known, characteristic form, the Esprit logo now shines in the fresh corporate color and characterizes the clear look of advertisements, posters and films.

2010s Gisele Bündchen & Christy Turlington

Two women lead the way.

Confidence, strength and the will to think for oneself – this is what Gisele Bündchen and Christy Turlington stand for. And as such, they are the ideal personalities to represent multifaceted Esprit worldwide. While Gisele embodies the stylish, cosmopolitan side of the brand, Christy combines fashion with Esprit’s original “natural way of life”.

2015-2017 Real people campaign 3.0

The hashtag makes a career.

#ImPerfect: a single word – or three words after all? – characterizes the new campaign. It is a play of words with "Perfection & Imperfection", where, first and foremost, everything revolves around one topic: individual personality. Authentic characters, real guys and freedom of expression is what characterizes the campaign – and in the process, this is also reminiscent of the appearance during the founding years of Esprit.

“Because when you feel good, you look good.”

Susie Tomkins Buell, Founder of Esprit

#ImEsprit takes a stand.

Welcome to 2017 – and to #ImEsprit. Behind this are, once again, the original core values of Esprit – freedom, love, courage and future. Things that every person carries within him – or herself in a unique manner. The campaign inspires people to show themselves – and simply to dress the way they are, the way they could be, or the way they would like to be.

A collaboration makes waves.

Nothing brings people together more than the same background – and the love of exceptional styles. Which is why, it was only a question of time until Opening Ceremony and Esprit would launch a mutual collection. In September 2016, the time had come: The OCxEsprit Heritage Collection was launched! The look was inspired by Esprit’s Californian roots – and the integrated spirit of the 80s is reminiscent in the own New Wave era. Or, to use the words of the founders of Opening Ceremony, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon: "We grew up with Esprit, and we have now re-interpreted the original essentials of back then – to inspire the modern generation for Esprit in the same way."

“We want to make you feel good, to look good”

Esprit is an international fashion brand that has represented style and quality since 1968. Founded in San Francisco by Susie and Doug Tompkins, Esprit works on the basis of creativity and responsibility, fused with a sunny Californian attitude.

Effortless style, authenticity and easy-going living are at the heart of the brand’s philosophy. These positive values shine through at every level, from the laid-back tailoring to the made-to-last quality, the use of natural materials and responsible production. Esprit's aspiration is to be the best casual fashion brand with an outstanding price-value proposition: Capturing market trends and newness in color, quality fabrics and shapes, and expressing them in the effortless, relaxed and comfortable Esprit style. For every garment, Esprit pays maximum attention to fabric selection, fitting, and perfect quality. The company's “esprit de corps” reflects a positive and caring attitude towards life that celebrates real people and togetherness according to the brand promise: “We want to make you feel good, to look good”.

Esprit has a presence in 40 countries with 761 directly managed retail stores and over 6,332 wholesale points of sale, including franchise stores and sales spaces in department stores, which share the company’s quality standards and brand essence, with inspiring collections for women, men and kids. The Group markets its products under two brands, namely the Esprit brand and the edc brand. Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 1993, Esprit has its headquarters in Germany and Hong Kong.