You may remember the once popular household fashion brand ESPRIT. It was started in the 1960s by couple Susie and Doug Tompkins (also founders of The North Face). While the company was successful, going global in the 70s and becoming quite the household name in the 80s and 90s, its growth eventually started waning in the US. But its sales in its Asian unit grew, and a Hong Kong firm eventually bought it.
Now, after suffering years of losses and closing all 56 of its stores in the Asia region at the start of the COVID pandemic, the company has shared its plans to roar back. Speaking to Bloomberg, ESPRIT’s CEO William Pak has said that the company is now going to focus on sustainability, with better-quality clothes that are more expensive than fast fashion. It will now have four fashion cycles instead of the previous 12, coupled with limited-edition collections. For the sake of operation ease, the company is moving its headquarters back to Hong Kong. While it will focus mainly on e-commerce, ESPRIT will have a physical presence in key Asian markets, like Seoul and Hong Kong. With this pivot, the company turned a profit last year, the first in five years, reporting a profit of US$48.5 million.
“We are really targeting exponential growth of revenue,” Pak said. “ESPRIT is not fast fashion, and it took a long time for this to be realized in the company.”