An Esprit store.

HONG KONG–Tommy Hilfiger veteran Mia Ouakim has been hired as Esprit’s chief product officer to help revamp the troubled business for its new neutrals-focused, back to casual basics strategy.

The company, which just revealed a plan to nix 40 percent of non-retail store staff last week, said Ouakim will begin the role on Feb. 1 next year, reporting to group chief executive officer Anders Kristiansen.

“Ms. Ouakim will be responsible for managing the product creation and design of all product divisions, as well as the consistent execution of the brand strategy across all product divisions and consumer touch points,” the announcement said.

It did not specify where Ouakim will be based. Esprit is in the midst of merging its five German offices into one, and trimming the size of its Hong Kong office.

Esprit by its own ceo’s admission has “lost touch” with consumers and intends to pivot to neutral colors and casual basics in the future.

Most recently, Ouakim had been in charge of the Tommy Hilfiger menswear business as senior vice president, and between 2014 and 2017 oversaw the company’s denim division globally. Ouakim also spent time at Burberry where she held various senior positions in product, merchandising and design for Burberry childrenswear between 2006 and 2014.

Ms Ouakim graduated with a bachelor degree in fine arts, interior design, from the Academy of Fine Arts (Académie des Beaux-Arts) in Paris, France.

Related: Esprit Sets New Direction, Simplifying Brand, Cutting Staff >> 

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