Esprit Holdings

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Esprit Holdings Limited
Company typePublic
IndustryRetail, Fashion
Founded1968; 56 years ago (1968) in San Francisco, California
HeadquartersBermuda (Seat); North Point, Hong Kong (HQ); Ratingen, Germany (Co-HQ); New York City, U.S. (Creative HQ)
Areas served
Key people
William Pak (CEO)
Productswomen's clothing, men's clothing, accessories, shoes, body wear, kids wear, glasses, fragrance
Revenue7,064M HK$ (2022)
Number of employees
approximately 2230 employees worldwide

Esprit Holdings Limited (Chinese: 思捷環球控股有限公司) is a global publicly traded retail company incorporated in Bermuda,[1] with headquarters in North Point, Hong Kong, and further major locations in Ratingen, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and New York City.[2][3][4] The company offers an assortment of clothing, accessories, footwear, jewelry, and housewares under the Esprit label.[5]

Esprit operates in more than 30 markets in Europe, Asia and America. It has about 20 partner stores in Southeast Asia and about 50 in Latin America. In Europe, the brand has 160 retail stores and approximately 400 franchise stores. They also have two pop-up stores in the United States in Los Angeles and New York.[6]


Early years[edit]

Founded in 1968, Esprit was the first clothing line established by Susie and Doug Tompkins (also co-founders of The North Face) and was initially sold out of a VW bus, with the Tompkins' San Francisco-based apartment serving as the brand’s headquarters.[7]

In 1979, Esprit brought on graphic designer John Casado—who designed the branding trademark of the first Macintosh computer—to develop and design the brand’s stencil-effect logo.[8][9]

In 1985, the brand debuted its legendary "Real People Campaign," photographed by photographer Oliviero Toscani and featuring Esprit employees, architects, and designers, among them Ettore Sottsass, the Italian architect and founder of the Memphis Group.[10][11] Sottsass was also commissioned to build Esprit’s European headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany, as well as set the visual direction for the brand’s retail stores.[12] Other noteworthy architects and designers who contributed to the Esprit brand include Antonio Citterio and Norman Foster.[13]

Transitional period[edit]

Throughout the late 1990s and into the 2000s, Esprit experienced significant and rapid financial growth in multiple markets outside of the United States. At its highest point, Esprit Holdings’ market capitalization was over US$20 billion. Since the financial crisis in 2008, Esprit Holdings has faced a series of financial and market-share setbacks.[14][15] With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Esprit gradually closed all stores in China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Macau.[16]

Brand comeback[edit]

William Pak was appointed as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer in September 2021[17] and became interim CEO in October 2021, and subsequently named permanent CEO of Esprit in March 2022.[18] In April 2022, Esprit reentered the Asian market with the opening of a long-term pop-up store located in Seoul, South Korea and followed by another pop-up store in Hong Kong in the summer of 2022.[16] By the fall of 2022, after five years of losses, the company returned to profitability with a $48.5 million profit on $1 billion in revenues.[19][20]

Ana Andjelic was appointed as the Chief Brand Officer in December 2022 to oversee the brand’s creative and marketing teams.[21][20] In 2023—and following the brand’s reintroduction to NYC with a short-term pop-up on Prince St. — Esprit unveiled an experiential store space on Greene St. in Soho.[22] As part of the brand’s new creative focus and direction, it launched a series of high-profile campaigns by photographer Richard Phibbs.[23]

In April 2024, the Belgian franchise of Esprit filed for bankruptcy,[24] with the expected closure of its 15 self-operated stores and 148 job losses. The Swiss franchise had filed for bankruptcy in March 2024 already.

In May 2024, the European operations of Esprit collapsed into administration for the second time in four years. The company stated that its operations would continue for now, and that 1,500 employees would be affected.[25]

Product lines[edit]

Beginning in 2023, the brand adopted a new approach to its design strategy. As part of the new design strategy, Esprit will offer a seasonless selection of eight hero or “signature,” products — a multisystem parka, “soft” suit, tracksuit, soft skirts, logo chunky knits, button-down shirts, jeans, and a locker bag. In 2023, Esprit eliminated its EDC label and consolidated the brand’s line under the Esprit name.[26]

Esprit products include a variety of apparel, including apparel essentials, casual sportswear, and other specialty capsules and collections for men, women, and children. The brand’s assortment also includes sportswear, swimwear, and activewear. Additionally, Esprit carries accessories such as bags, shoes, and underwear for men, women, and children.[27] Esprit Home offers an assortment of furniture, carpet, wallpaper, lighting, decorative pieces, home textiles, and bathroom accessories. The Esprit Kids World line includes maternity clothing, toys, strollers, and nursery furniture.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Equities Quote". Retrieved 2024-04-19.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Imprint | ESPRIT". Esprit Company.. Retrieved 2024-04-19.
  4. ^ Moin, David (February 9, 2023). "Esprit Signs NYC Lease for Creative Headquarters".
  5. ^ "New locations for Esprit and Calvin Klein – Lucire".
  6. ^ "Hoe Esprit zich klaarmaakt voor een grote relaunch na jaren van merk degradatie".
  7. ^ Lockwood, Lisa; Medina, Marcy (December 9, 2015). "Douglas Tompkins Remembered as Pioneer in Retail, Marketing".
  8. ^ McBride, Sarah (June 18, 2002). "New Owner Tries to Make Esprit Hip in the U.S. Again" – via
  9. ^ "The Macintosh 'Picasso' Artwork Was Inspired By Matisse | Cult of Mac".
  10. ^ Bote, Joshua (January 17, 2022). "The rise and fall of San Francisco's coolest clothing brand". SFGATE.
  11. ^ "A Serious Case of PoMo… | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum". January 29, 2020.
  12. ^ Staff, W. W. D. (September 18, 2008). "Timeline: History of Esprit".
  13. ^ Sudjic, Deyan (December 16, 2022). "Antonio Citterio, the man who reinvented the sofa".
  14. ^ "The rise and fall of Esprit, San Francisco's coolest clothing brand".
  15. ^ "Esprit to Close All Stores in Unprofitable North America - Bloomberg". February 1, 2012 – via
  16. ^ a b Leung, Jenny (August 17, 2022). "Esprit returns to Hong Kong with a three-storey pop-up in Causeway Bay". Time Out Hong Kong.
  17. ^ "Esprit names new COO as it eyes revamp of brand and digitisation".
  18. ^ "Esprit appoints new CEO, its third in 10 months".
  19. ^ Asia, Inside Retail (May 19, 2015). "Esprit warns of "substantial loss"". Inside Retail.
  20. ^ a b Belgum, Deborah (October 31, 2022). "Esprit Is Back in the U.S."
  21. ^ WW, FashionNetwork com. "Esprit names new chief brand officer".
  22. ^ Moore, Booth (May 11, 2023). "Esprit Opens New SoHo Pop-up, Plots Fashion and Retail Direction".
  23. ^ "ESPRIT Summer 2023 Campaign: Dive Into Swim Season". April 16, 2023.
  24. ^ "Esprit demande sa mise en faillite en Belgique, 148 travailleurs perdent leur emploi". L'Echo. April 8, 2024. Retrieved April 9, 2024.
  25. ^ "Fashion brand Esprit files for bankruptcy for its European business". The Business Times. 15 May 2024. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  26. ^ Moin, David (May 31, 2023). "From California Cool to New York Nuanced, Esprit Rebuilds".
  27. ^ "Clothing Brand Esprit Coming Back to North America: CEO". May 5, 2023 – via

External links[edit]