Mit Höhen und Tiefen hatte das Unternehmen mit Sitz in Ratingen zu kämpfen. Doch seit wenigen Jahren weht ein neuer Wind bei Esprit: Juan Antonio Chaparro wurde ins Boot geholt, um die Menswear zu strukturieren und eine neue Esprit-DNA zu kreieren. Zukünftig wird zwischen drei Menswear-Konzepten unterschieden: modische Workwear unter dem Namen Esprit 1968, Wardrobe Essentials und die Kategorie Smart Casual. Wie immer stehen dabei Alltags-Basics im Vordergrund, die den ganz normalen Typen von nebenan einkleiden sollen. Demokratisch, nachhaltig und sicher ist dabei die Philosophie des Konzerns. Simon Rooney, Head of Design bei Esprit, ist dabei der kreative Kopf, der lässige Workwear, Denim-Looks und Alltagsbasics neu interpretiert. Wir haben uns mit Simon zum Interview getroffen, um über die Herbst/Winter 2017/18 Kollektion zu sprechen:
In an interview with Textilwirtschaft Juan Antonio Chaparro said you’re targeting the “normal guy” who likes to dress casual and basic. Sub-cultures are about to die and we’re almost all looking the same. How do you think we can separate from each other when we’re all dressed the same?
At Esprit Menswear we have three lines and we work with creating capsules as well (our latest is very exciting, more information to come soon). edc is our young trend driven line. Men Casual focuses on comfort and everyday individual style and our Smart Casual collection focuses on occasional wear, for instance business attire or party/celebration outfits. With these three lines we cover a wide collection base and offer every guy the opportunity to look and style individually. We offer updated basic styles as well as trend led styles. Having the correct product for the look or occasion is key. We strive to keep moving forward and keep offering cool styles.
The future of Esprit menswear is defined as democratic, sustainable and secure. Sustainability plays thereby an important role for today’s consumer. How do you guarantee a fair, sustainable and transparent production? Is Esprit finding new technologies and materials to produce its clothes?
We understand that our consumer is more aware and conscious of sustainability and expects this from us. We continuously offer organic and recycled products and our never out of stock basics are also made using organic cotton. Moreover, sustainability has been a core part of Esprit’s corporate culture since the company’s founding in 1968. The sustainability program at Esprit has three main pillars: Sustainable Materials, Social Sustainability and Environmental Sustainability and is supported by a social compliance strategy, aiming to ensure that we operate in compliance with international and local standards on labor rights in order to maintain responsible business practices across our entire supply chain. To achieve systematic change in the industry and to increase the impact of our work, we recognize the importance of partnering with our industry peers and participate in a number of multi-stakeholder and industry initiatives. Our suppliers and partners offer sustainable services and together we are always looking for new ways to improve.
Talking about fashion in Germany. What is a typical German-style and are there any major differences to other countries?
The ‘typical style’ is not as relevant for us today – we dress a certain customer and his attitude. The internet and social media have played a massive role in reinventing these ideals. There are global trends that we follow and location specific trends too. Wether looking at Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Asia or America we consider style from street to catwalks. But in part there are some general styles and tastes from different countries – the London style at the moment is reduced, clean and smart with a Scandinavian twist and there is still a big 90s sports trend and the 80s skater looks. Seoul and Tokyo is focused more on Athleisurewear which I expect to be a major influence coming to Europe soon. The urban youth trends with the sports utilitarian and functional pockets will be a key trend to look at.
Is there something distinctive about Esprit and what separates you from other Retailers?
We offer a high level of quality (in terms of fabrics and workmanship), sustainable products in our basic NOOS as well as our special sustainable program. Plus a large variety of products from trend driven to casual; to occasion wear. Then there is our shopping experience and understanding of our consumer’s needs. With an Esprit Friends database of over 6 million we know our customers pretty well and are able to cater to their needs and wishes.
The #ImPerfect campaign from 2015 went viral and is a great way to embrace individuality. Are you planning more unique campaigns in the future?
Yes, we’re currently in the planning stages of a new brand campaign that will be launched in March 2018.
Are there any designers you look up to and where do you find your inspiration?
We get our Inspiration from all over the world – we take a global approach. Travelling the world and having an understanding of these markets is key. We create our own direction. We also use specialized trend websites and their tailored services. Using Blogs websites from highsnobiety to hypebeast as well as B.O.F to the sartorialist. Following trend influencers such as A$AP Rocky or Kanye to collabs from all sectors. We look at Street trends as well as the catwalk shows and key designers: Raf Simons, MSGM, Phillip Lim and Gosha Rubchinskiy. We also visit and show at trade shows in Europe like PV and Bread and Butter. For us timing is the key and when to show the trends we want to focus on.
Esprit has a long history. How do you translate this into today’s world?
The core values of Esprit are still relevant today. Quality, comfort and sustainability. The use of colour, fabrication and modern styling are key. The aim is to be a leader not a follower and to take our core values and always reinvent while staying true.
What’s the next big thing in fashion? Is the industry about to die out?
The industry is far from dying out and there have been many discussions over this topic. Of course there are major changes going on from how to identify with your consumer. The role of millennials and the speed in which they need newness and innovation. What is the expectation of the consumer and how we deliver this information from product to market. The role of street trends and the upwards influence as well as the traditional designer dictates. This is all relevant but the key will be from the hundreds of trends going on globally how will each company choose what to focus on.
For the fall/winter 2017-18 season is industrial workwear a big topic in your collection. What else is important for this season?
The big key drivers for us will be Athleisurewear, from ‘Lifestyle’ wear to active and functional wear.
Utilitarian, meaning new forms of uniform, relaxed fits, new shapes and urban functionality. The Re-wilding trend: disconnecting and reconnecting with nature. Using tactile fabrics made to be felt and touched. Obviously Sustainability: thinking about a conscious consumer and decelerated values and emotions.
How do you define the term “fashion trend”? Is it relevant for Esprit to be trendy?
Very much so. Every fashion company has to have the latest trends for their customer, sector or relevant markets. The success will depend on how this is translated and what the consumer will accept. We define the direction and understand to what degree we can push the trends and how we communicate this in our products.
Dieser Beitrag ist in Kooperation mit Esprit entstanden.