Esprit Holdings
Esprit Holdings Limited is a publicly owned
Public company
This is not the same as a Government-owned corporation.A public company or publicly traded company is a limited liability company that offers its securities for sale to the general public, typically through a stock exchange, or through market makers operating in over the counter markets...

 manufacturer of apparel, footwear, accessories, jewellery and housewares under the Esprit label. The company is headquartered in Kowloon
Kowloon is an urban area in Hong Kong comprising the Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon. It is bordered by the Lei Yue Mun strait in the east, Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Stonecutter's Island in the west, Tate's Cairn and Lion Rock in the north, and Victoria Harbour in the south. It had a population of...

, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, and Ratingen
Ratingen is a town in the district of Mettmann, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, in the northwestern part of Berg - about 12 km northeast of Düsseldorf...

 (near Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

), Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. In the 2007–2008 business year, Esprit Holdings Limited generated a worldwide sales of around EUR 3.25 billion (as of 30.06.2008). Esprit operates more than 770 retail stores worldwide and distributes products to more than 15,150 wholesale locations around the globe. Esprit has more than 1.1 million square meters of retail space in 40 countries.

The ESPRIT brand name is licensed to other manufacturers. In addition, the group owns the Red Earth cosmetics brand.

The Esprit flagship stores feature both current Esprit fashion lines and licensee products under one roof. Esprit has an architecture department that is responsible for the worldwide design of its stores.

In September 27, 2011 Esprit Holdings Ltd. valued at just $1.4 billion or loss more than 90 percent from a $20 billion company 4 years ago, but according to Credit Suisse, Esprit's brand is valued at $3.4 billion.


The first joint fashion line established by Susie and Doug Tompkins was sold from a VW bus and their headquarters was the Tompkins’ apartment in San Francisco. Susie assumed the creative and Doug Tompkins the financial role in the business.

In 1979, the Esprit logo was developed by John Casado.

The 1980s saw the introduction of the “Real People Campaign”, which was shot by photographer Oliviero Toscani
Oliviero Toscani
Oliviero Toscani is an Italian photographer, best-known worldwide for designing controversial advertising campaigns for Italian brand Benetton, from 1982 to 2000...

. Esprit was able to recruit architects and designers for its projects, starting with Italian Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass
Ettore Sottsass was an Italian architect and designer of the late 20th century. His body of designs included furniture, jewellery, glass, lighting and office machine design.-Early career:...

, who developed the first Esprit Europe Headquarters in Düsseldorf. He established the overall concept of the stores in the style of the Memphis design movement
Memphis Group
The Memphis Group was an Italian design and architecture group started by Ettore Sottsass that designed Post Modern furniture, fabrics, ceramics, glass and metal objects from 1981-1987.-Origins:...


Additional architects and designers include Aldo Cibic, Antonio Citterio
Antonio Citterio
Antonio Citterio is an Italian furniture designer and industrial designer who lives and works in Milan.Citterio graduated in architecture at the Politecnico di Milano and since 1972 has worked for many leading manufacturers such as Ansorg, B&B Italia, Flexform, Flos, Hackman, Iittala, Hansgrohe,...

, Norman Foster
Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank
Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, OM is a British architect whose company maintains an international design practice, Foster + Partners....

 and Shigeru Uchida, who designed flagship stores in various countries, from the architecture to the interior design. In 2006, the Esprit Academy, an initiative for the promotion of creative young design talent, held an architecture competition for the design of a new global look for all Esprit stores.

Michael Ying
Michael Ying
Michael Ying or Ying Lee Yuen was chairman and chief executive officer of Esprit Holdings Limited. His spouse is Taiwanese former actress Lin Ching Hsia , and has two daughters, born in 1996 and 2001, with her.-External links:*...

, stepped down as executive director in 2002 and resigned as the chairman in 2006.

Product lines

Esprit splits its products into organizational divisions, which act as independent business units.
  • Women Casual – sporty and fashionable indoor and outdoor styles
  • Men Casual – uncomplicated sportswear with a high wearing comfort
  • Women Collection – high-quality, feminine business looks
  • Men Collection – elegant, trend-oriented business fashion
  • de.corp Esprit Urban Casual – young, urban and feminine, addresses 18 to 25-year-old female customers who are in search of a casual, urban look
  • Esprit Kids – current, child-oriented trends (0 to 7 years old)
  • Esprit Sports – skiwear, fitness fashion and streetwear for women, men and kids that harmoniously combines fashion and function
  • Accessories – bags, leather and textile accessories for men and women
  • Shoes – women’s, men’s and children’s shoes from fashionable to classic, from leather to nylon
  • Bodywear – day and night underwear, as well as swimwear for men, women and kids

In 1998, the young range edc by Esprit was founded. The range for girls from 14 to 24 years brings out 12 monthly basis new product lines a year.
Based on the success and growth of edc by Esprit, edc men was established in 2002. The edc portfolio is completed by its own shoes, accessories and bodywear ranges, as well as edc licensed products.
  • edc by Esprit – very trendy instant range for 14 to 24-year-old girls
  • edc men – cosmopolitan trends for young, fashion-conscious boys
  • edc accessories – trendy bags, leather and textile accessories for girls and boys
  • edc shoes – shoes that match the trends of edc by Esprit and edc men
  • edc bodywear – trendy underwear for an individual look
  • edc youth by Esprit – brand new styles for little rebels between 8 and 14

Since 2007, edc by Esprit has been an independent brand with its own team.

Since 1990, Esprit has emphasized expansion through licensees. More than 30 license holders include Coty/Lancaster (scents) and Falke (socks and stockings). Under the name “Esprit timewear + jewel”, Egana Holdings Ltd. produces watches and jewelery. There are plans to further expand the license business worldwide.

Esprit has focused on two sectors: Esprit home with a selection of furniture, carpets, wallpaper, lighting, living accessories, home textiles and exclusive bathrooms; and the kids’ world that ranges from maternity wear to toys and buggies to nursery furniture.


In the 2007/2008 business year, Esprit Holdings Limited reported worldwide sales of EUR 3.25 billion. Shares of Esprit Holdings Limited are traded on the Hong Kong stock market and are included in the Hang Seng Index, in the MCSI Index Hong Kong, as well as in the FTSE All World Index for Hong Kong, S&P/HKEx LargeCap Index and S&P Asia 50 Index.

The Group operates more than 835 directly managed retail stores worldwide and distributes its products via more than 15,150 wholesale locations around the globe. The company has more than 1.1 million square metres of sales area in more than 40 countries.

Its shares are a component of the following stock market indices
Stock market index
A stock market index is a method of measuring a section of the stock market. Many indices are cited by news or financial services firms and are used as benchmarks, to measure the performance of portfolios such as mutual funds....

  • Hang Seng Index
    Hang Seng Index
    The Hang Seng Index is a freefloat-adjusted market capitalization-weighted stock market index in Hong Kong. It is used to record and monitor daily changes of the largest companies of the Hong Kong stock market and is the main indicator of the overall market performance in Hong Kong...

  • Morgan Stanley
    Morgan Stanley
    Morgan Stanley is a global financial services firm headquartered in New York City serving a diversified group of corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals. Morgan Stanley also operates in 36 countries around the world, with over 600 offices and a workforce of over 60,000....

    's MSCI
    Morgan Stanley Capital International
    MSCI Inc. is a provider of investment decision support tools to investment institutions. Products include indices, portfolio risk and performance analytics - for use in managing equity, fixed income and multi-asset class portfolios - and governance tools....

     Hong Kong
  • FTSE
    FTSE may refer to:* The FTSE Group* Stock market indices published by the FTSE Group, particularly the FTSE 100 Index on the London Stock Exchange* The Fundamental theorem of software engineering...

     All World Index for Hong Kong
  • S&P/HKEx LargeCap Index
  • S&P Asia 50
    S&P Asia 50
    The S&P Asia 50 Index is a stock index of Asian stocks.It is a part of the S&P Global 1200.The index includes companies listed on the stock exchanges in Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan....


The 1960s
  • 1968, San Francisco: Susie and Doug Tompkins begin to sell the first fashion line from the trunk of their estate car

The 1970s
  • 1971, Hong Kong: The Esprit Far East Group is born when Susie and Doug Tompkins meet Michael Ying, the former Group Chairman and Shareholder of Esprit
  • San Francisco: The company is founded and registered under the name of Esprit de Corp.
  • 1976, Düsseldorf: Esprit starts out in Germany under the name Esprit de Corp. with young sportswear. CEO Jürgen Friedrich establishes the Esprit European Headquarters in Düsseldorf
  • 1978, San Francisco: For the first time, company turnover exceeds 100 million US dollars. Independent Esprit companies are founded in Germany and Hong Kong
  • New York: John Casado designs the present Esprit logo with the stencil lettering

The 1980s
  • 1986, Cologne: Esprit opens its first German store in Cologne.
  • 1989, San Francisco: The Japanese art publisher Robundo publishes “Esprit, the Comprehensive Design Principle”, the corporate design manual

The 1990s
  • 1993, Hong Kong: Esprit Holdings Ltd is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange
  • 1995, New York: The Esprit licences Esprit eyewear, timewear, bath+bed, socks+tights
  • 1998, Düsseldorf: Launch of the young line edc by Esprit

2000 to date
  • 2000, Hong Kong: Esprit Holdings Ltd is among the shares listed in the Morgan Stanley MSCI Hong Kong Index
  • 2003, New York: Esprit Holdings Ltd completely buys back the American brand rights and holds 100 per cent worldwide ownership of their brand
  • Düsseldorf: Heinz Krogner is appointed Deputy Chairman and Group CEO of Esprit Holdings Ltd. A global strategy for Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, USA and Canada is passed – the bundling of global functions in wholesale, retail, licenses, visual, image and design.
  • Ratingen: The company moves into the Global Business Headquarters Ratingen
  • 2004, Ratingen: An exhibition is held in honour of Ettore Sottsass at the Global Business Headquarters. The designer and founder of the Memphis style shaped the design and the architecture of the Esprit stores and showrooms worldwide
  • 2005, London: Esprit establishes the first Esprit Academy for the promotion of young junior talents from various fields. This is kicked off by a cooperation with the London School of Fashion
  • Hong Kong: Esprit appoints Thomas Grote President Esprit Brand
  • 2007, Hong Kong: Heinz Krogner is appointed Chairman and Group CEO
  • Ratingen: edc by Esprit becomes an independent brand with an independent team and its own strategy. edc by Esprit mono-brand stores present the complete edc product range
  • Berlin/Ratingen: MTV Networks International and edc by Esprit announce the extensive partnership with MTV Europe Music Awards 2007
  • Berlin: Esprit sponsors the United Nations photo exhibitions “Chasing the dream”
  • 2008, Ratingen: Esprit launches the new label de.corp Esprit Urban Casual young, urban and feminine
  • From 2008, India: Esprit is supporting a family education project in India for SOS Children's Village

External links

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