NEW YORK — Esprit is still trying to find its way home.
The company, which began in San Francisco almost 35 years ago, has since made a name for itself in Europe and Asia, while losing ground in recent years in the U.S. as it struggled to find the right American formula.
Esprit said earlier this year that it planned to completely revamp its U.S. strategy by creating shop-in-shops in department stores across the country and opening Esprit megastores, similar to those in Europe.
Heinz Krogner, chief executive officer and chairman for Europe and ceo of Esprit International in New York, said he still plans to achieve these plans, but added that he has learned a lot this year about American retail, which has pushed him to slow things down a bit.
"Our own retail is on hold for now," he said. "Esprit has always been known in America as a department store brand, so we are working on developing our relationships with the department stores, which is going very well, so far, and I think our concept will help to bring people back to the department stores."
Since February, when Krogner announced the re-entrance of the brand in the U.S. — the company wound down operations for a short time — a lot has been accomplished. The company set up its U.S. headquarters at 1370 Broadway in Manhattan and hired a staff to head up operations. Macy’s West is testing the brand in shop-in-shops in 17 of its stores, and Esprit has signed several licenses throughout the year: shoes and accessories with Jones Apparel Group’s Nine West division; outerwear through The Levy Group; children’s wear by Adjmi; swimwear with Beach Patrol, and loungewear by Carol Hochman.
"If this works out well, I have every reason to believe we can open stores here and be successful with them," he said. "But first, we are working with our wholesale partners to make sure that they make money, and make sure they know that we are here to help them. If they need visuals in the store, we will provide that for them."
Krogner said he expects between $50 million and $70 million in wholesale volume in 2003 in the U.S.While the Esprit brand offers a variety of clothing segments, including men’s, misses’, junior and children’s sportswear, American shoppers know the brand primarily as a junior brand. In this case, Macy’s West has opened junior shop-in-shops that offer some of the misses’ collection, as well. Men’s wear has yet to enter the U.S. In Europe, department stores have six or seven Esprit shop-in-shops within one store for the different categories.
"I hope we can eventually do this in America, too," he said. "But we have to build up to that. That takes time."
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews