Esprit de Corp

In the exploration and creation of a brand, identity moves beyond just logos and into a realm of highly-considered and orchestrated sets of elements and nuances to reach an audience, not just visually, but emotionally, as well. The idea behind this project was to consider a dead, dying, or defunct brand that could benefit from a facelift; a re-envisioning that has conceptual potential for expansion into new territories. Once selected, a strategy was developed to help re-invigorate the brand. Through intensive research of the brand's history, mission, audience, and aesthetic, a new visual identity was created, including logo mark, brand extensions, and complete manual of visual standards and best practices for proper implementation.
Esprit was one such brand that still retained strong brand equity but languished from a long history of internal strife and mismanagement. Long-considered a bouncy, youthful, fresh, trendsetting clothier, Esprit paved the way for environmentally sensitive “Green Marketing.” As a brand, Esprit garnered attention from its unique mix of high-spirited fashion photography and social awareness. It was the purveyor of an internationalist, progressive, casual-high-style sensibility that, for some people, defined a certain time period, and a certain type of California. In its quest to inform and provoke thought, if not action, Esprit was one of the first major labels to publicly confront the growing AIDS epidemic, challenge overconsumption and research and promote sustainable fashion practices. Though ahead of their time with such a philosophy, their collection of enviromentally and socially conscious fashion could not secure itself as a financially viable business, ultimately leading to its discontinuation in North America. Through this project, I proposed Esprit reestablish itself as a savvy leader in the movement towards conscientious global citizenship and tap into the core ideas that positioned them early on as an ethical ambassador.

As a champion of both social and environmental responsibility, Esprit’s rebranding strategy revolved around creating a non-profit organization that advocates “giving back”; selling social responsibility as well as fashion. This would be achieved through the creation of highly ethical standards in fashion production, widespread awareness campaigns, and the education and application of labor rights and fair trade agreements for all parties involved in the manufacture of materials. In effect, Esprit would become a regulatory advisor for the fashion industry, applying its highly-regarded and sought after stamp of approval for products and labels that meet the standards they put forth.