Esprit, that iconic '90s fashion house and purveyor of once-hot logo totebags and chic casualwear, has been financially treading water for months. We're worried.
Esprit de Corps first opened its doors in San Francisco in the 1970s, before soaring to fame in the '80s as one of the most popular brands of that decade; in 1978 they reported a $100 million company turnover. In the '90s, however, the company settled into tougher times with a rotating staff of execs and dwindling profits that marred its development for decades. In September of 2011, Esprit pulled out of Canada and the United States -- not a stellar sign.
And it gets worse: the retailer, now based in Hong Kong, said back then that its earnings for fiscal 2011 dropped 98 percent. On Thursday, news broke that Esprit's CEO Ronald van de Vis was resigning for "personal reasons," just two days after the company's chairman Hans Joachim Korber quit; Esprit's stock plunged when the news broke.
It's always sad to see such a style stalwart start to crumble, especially one that's brought us some stunning campaigns, including as recently as this spring, one from Gisele. As our team discussed the news, we realized that perhaps some of the problem was that Esprit simply stopped making memorable clothes, losing its hold on the "young and exciting" basics market to stores like H&M and Zara. While many of us begged our moms to buy us Esprit dresses in the '90s, most of us hadn't purchased an item from the brand in close to a decade.
We got to thinking: what other stores did we previously shop at where now, we rarely darken a door? We weighed in below; read through and join our Esprit prayer circle.
"Everyone in my high school bought flared black pants and satin button-downs there (it was the '90s), but I haven't bought anything there since 2001." - Jessica Misener, HuffPost Style editor (Getty photo)
"I used to get all of my baby tees there in 1995." - Shana Ecker, Stylelist Home editor (Getty photo)
"Benetton in the 90s! Big sweaters for everyone... Diesel for a regrettable moment in the early 00s, then realized I looked like a European tourist everywhere I went, so that was shelved. And I used to stock up on tanks at American Apparel in 2004-5, and now the store looks like the wardrobe department for A Different World." - Brie Dyas, Stylelist/Stylelist Home senior editor (Getty photo)
"I used to loooove Limited Too, until I realized that not everything is made better with "LTD2" logos strewn all over it. Also, I grew." - Ellie Krupnick, HuffPost Style associate editor (Courtesy photo)
Abercrombie & Hollister
"In high school my friends and I were all about Hollister and Abercrombie. If you didn't wear it you might as well have crawled in a hole and died. So I was pretty much stocked up on seagull and moose donned polo shirts, plaid shorts and skirts." - Nicole Guzzardi, Stylelist Home intern
"I used to shop at French Connection until I realized that all of the clothes are cut for American Girl Dolls." - Rebecca Adams, HuffPost Style associate editor
"I loved it then, but I haven't set foot in a Wet Seal in over a decade." - Christina Anderson, Stylelist senior fashion editor