“We love the versatility, the ease – it’s really about embracing the California ease and the bold sensibility,” Carol Lim, co-founder of Opening Ceremony tells Yahoo Style on describing the brand’s newest collection with Esprit. This will be Opening Ceremony’s second collaboration with the San Francisco-bred company known for its pastel color palette showcased in their bold logo tees, hoodies, and sweats that were so iconic during the 1980s.
Although Esprit no longer has its own storefronts in the U.S., the company has gone on to expand internationally, and truthfully, more fruitfully in Europe and Asia. However, the original spirt and vivacity that the brand brought forth during its heyday was something both Lim and her counterpart Humberto Leon were not only inspired by, but a sensibility that they wanted to revive to “tell the [Esprit] story,” as Lim puts it.
One of the pillars of the Esprit brand was the brazen nature of its logo. Now more than ever, logos are back in fashion, especially when it comes to newly revived American-built brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, who have capitalized on their namesake branding in recent collections. What does Lim have to say about all of this? It’s not so much about the logo, than what the logos represent. “When you wear a brand or a logo you’re signaling to people this is something I am a part of and I endorse,” says Lim. She sees the logo as representative of the “community” people are searching for and would like to be a part of. Especially, when it comes to a brand like Esprit which has such a long, rich history, it can create an “even deeper relationship” with the consumer.
But just as Esprit’s branding strategy was successful, its ad campaigns during the ’80s and ’90s were much ahead of their time — tapping into hotly debated themes like diversity and inclusivity. During this era, the brand was one of the “first to street-cast multiple groups of people,” a strategy often applauded today by trendsetting brands like Vetements and Gucci. Esprit “talked about stances that were important to them, making their views known,” says Lim.
The new campaign for the collection stars a diverse cast, including two new breakout models with famous lineage — Coco Gordon (daughter of husband-wife duo behind the band, Sonic Youth) and Arsun Sorrenti (son of legendary fashion photographer, Mario Sorrenti).
The collection includes men’s, women’s, and kid’s clothing, but it is considered to be unisex, as the first collection has also been. You will find bright, bold tees in nautical stripes, mint green hoodies, baby blue pigmented sweats, and covet-worthy summer accessories like beach tote bags and baseball caps emblazoned with the iconic, colorful Esprit logo.
The collaboration was a natural partnership between Esprit and Opening Ceremony, you might even say—meant to be.
“[Esprit] was inspired by culture and story telling and when they traveled, they discovered along the way. A lot of that process is very similar to how Humberto and I thought when we started Opening Ceremony.”
The Esprit by Opening Ceremony collection, affordably starts at just $30 and goes up to a max of $250. You can shop it today on openingceremony.com, in Opening Ceremony boutiques as well as hypebeast favorite, kith.com.
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