Esprit has signed a lease for 38,000 square feet at 160 Varick Street in Manhattan to establish a “global creative headquarters.”
The two-level space will be the base for Esprit’s global design, branding, creative and marketing teams, housing a total of 100 to 120 employees including Ana Andjelic, the chief brand officer, and Tom Cawson, senior vice president of design.
Esprit’s factory, sourcing and financial operations remain in Hong Kong, where the company is listed on the stock exchange.
“New York City is the cultural epicenter of the world, a diverse city full of incredible talent,” said William Pak, chief executive officer of Esprit. “From a creative and design perspective, the next evolution of Esprit, like New York, will be sleek, aspirational and timeless. Our intention is for the brand to resonate with a global audience.”
The team is currently working out of a small office in the Garment District, but Esprit’s expansion and rebranding strategies require much larger space and additional personnel. An interior design firm is being sought for the new site.
Pak said Esprit will relaunch in mid-2023 “a focus on modernizing the brand heritage and values for today’s consumer in a way that resonates across generations. The refreshed Esprit embodies an ode to ’80s and ‘Nineties’90s nostalgia — luxury apparel with an attainable price point.”
In a recent interview, Pak said Esprit is developing a “global flagship” that, if all goes well, would open on Fifth Avenue next year or 2024. Additional “regional” flagships are seen opening next year in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Toronto and Vancouver, which would be followed by smaller stores around the U.S., he said. “Our flagships are going to be different from traditional retail stores. The flagships are going to be intricately linked to the online channel.”
Esprit was founded in California by Susie and Doug Tompkins in 1968.