Esprit Repositioning Brand – Playful, Modern and Cool

After struggling to keep pace with fast fashion, lifestyle brand Esprit is set to take a leap of faith to re-establish itself as the global leader in fashion. Popular in the 80s and 90s, Esprit slowly and steadily drifted away. It lost its identity.

William Pak, CEO at Esprit, said they have had to do a very thorough rebranding. “This represents a year of planning, strategy, and relationship building, and this autumn is the first time, the brand’s marketing has been aligned globally.”

He said that in terms of style, the idea is to have an elegant urban look with a strategy built around three heritage pillars – Esprit is playful, modern, and cool. “We are building this proposition with a pyramid offering, with Hero products at the very top of the collection.”

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As Esprit repositions, it will offer a range of basic and more affordable products. Moreover, the Esprit style team defined eight key signature elements to underpin their new brand story – a parka, a loose suit, a shirt, products bearing the brand’s logo, the tote bag, a wrap dress, a denim collection, and lightweight skirts.

Pak is creating a new dynamic around the company’s various departments. There’s a design and technology development center in New York and a denim innovation center in Amsterdam. Pak said the idea was to create a dedicated team, to have experts who have relationships with the best factories and who know all the processes.

In Europe, Germany remains a key market for Esprit. It has 160 branches, 420 franchises, and in-store corners. The executive said they are in the process of diversifying their German market. “Our omnichannel strategy is based on flagships. We have a flagship shop in New York next year, and we already have an ephemeral space in New York in SoHo. But we also have regional shops in Los Angeles and Chicago, which have already opened, and Miami and Vancouver, which are due to open by the end of the year. Early next year we should have five shops in the United States.”

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Pak said they aim to have two shops in these cities by the end of next year, in an effort to achieve economies of scale. “We could have around fifteen shops, then 25 the following year. If we’re present in the United States with around thirty shops, that’s a good way of building up the recovery. Then there’s the halo effect. We will have specific marketing in these key cities.”

Esprit’s team is working toward convincing Europe’s leading department stores to invest in the brand Esprit and its upmarket positioning. Pak explained that marketing investment must go hand in hand with their change of image. “We are moving forward with regional approaches to elevate the brand. we are reallocating budgets and our strategy is geared towards full price with a focus on key cities.”

Also Read: Brand Transformation: Esprit Preparing for Major ReLaunch

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Nandika Chand