collection SC.475 - Esprit catalogs, 1979-1990

Identity area

Reference code



Esprit catalogs, 1979-1990


  • 1979 - 1990 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

25 paper catalogs, .25 linear feet

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

In 1968, Susie and Doug Tompkins began selling clothes out of the back of their station wagon and the Esprit brand was officially incorporated as Esprit de corp in 1971. The brand expaned to Asia the same year, whch the couple took on a business partner, Michael Yang, in Hong Kong. By 1978, the company was earning more than $100 million in sales worldwide. The company is known for their political activism which is frequently incorporated into their advertising campaigns. In the mid 1990s, the brand exapnded their product range to include eyewear, tights, socks, timepieces and bed and bath linens. Many of the store concepts were designed by Ettore Sottsass, creator of the Memphis style, which whom the company has collaborated since 1982. In 2009 and 2010, the Esprit expanded its retail reach, opening flagship retail stores in Hong Kong, New York and Frankfurt.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

donation of Alain Capretz, December 2021

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection is comprised of 25 paper catalogs for the fashion brand Esprit, 1979-1990

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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access is open to researchers by appointment at the Fashion Institute of Technology Library, Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives.

Conditions governing reproduction

The Department of Special Collections and College Archives does not own copyright for all material held in its physical custody. It is the researcher's obligation to abide by and satisfy copyright law ( when copying or using materials (including digital materials) found in or made available from the department. When possible, the department will inform a researcher about the copyright status of material, the researcher's obligations with regard to such material, and, wherever possible, the owner or owners of the copyrights. Any and all reproduction of originals is at the archivist's discretion.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

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