As part of its Transformation Plan, Esprit is pulling together all its product development, design and licensing activities in order to ensure brand consistency and product efficiency. To lead this new role, Esprit has appointed Melody Harris-Jensbach as Chief Product & Design Officer.
In this capacity she will report directly to the Group CEO, Ronald van der Vis, and be part of the Group’s Board of Management. Melody Harris-Jensbach will start her new assignment on 9 January 2012. In her role as Chief Product & Design Officer, Ms Harris-Jensbach will be responsible for managing the product creation and design of all product divisions and Esprit’s global license business. This includes the full P&L accountability for all products and license businesses, design and product management.
Melody Harris–Jensbach will be joining Esprit from Puma AG, Germany, where she acted as Deputy CEO & Chief Product Officer since January 2008. In that role, she was responsible for Puma´s category development, license partnerships, research and product development, design, and worldwide merchandising for the retail organization. Prior to this, from 1998 until 2007, Ms. Harris-Jensbach, held various senior management positions within Esprit. In her last position as International Product Director and Global Business Manager of the Women’s Casual division, she was responsible for the successful growth of Esprit’s women’s business and the global product and design activities.
Ronald van der Vis, CEO of Esprit, said: „We are delighted to see Melody Harris-Jensbach returning to Esprit and to strengthen our Board of Management. Melody’s product and design strategy has been instrumental to Esprit’s successful development until 2007. She is widely recognized for her outstanding, international expertise and track record in the fields of products, design and licensing in the fashion & lifestyle industry and she has the clear advantage to know the Esprit brand and organization very well. I am very confident that Melody will make great contributions to achieving our objective of re-establishing Esprit as a leading, inspiring fashion brand and creating a recognizable Esprit handwriting in our collections.“
Melody Harris-Jensbach, said: ”I am pleased to be continually associated to the success of Esprit and look forward to the opportunity to implement my expertise and vision for the brand in the coming years. With a clear point of view for the product strategy and innovation development, I am excited to assist Esprit on moving the brand and products forward. By engaging the consumer in new and different ways I am confident that Esprit will develop in the future towards its full brand potential.”
After graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York, Melody Harris-Jensbach worked three years on 7th Avenue, in New York. In 1986, she came to Germany and worked in the industry as Creative Director for several German labels, gaining recognition in 1989 as Head Designer Viventy for Bernd Berger, a German fashion brand.In 1993, Melody joined the Escada group as Chief Design Director for the brand Laurel for four years and then took over responsibility as Chief Design & Product Manager at Fink in Darmstadt. From 1998 until 2007, Melody held various senior product management functions within Esprit, as Design Director Womenswear, in 2003, as International Product Director Women with global responsibility for products, and in parallel as of 2005 gaining the responsibility for the global business management of the Women Casual division.
Esprit Holdings Limited (www.espritholdings.com) is a constituent stock of the Hang Seng Index, MSCI Hong Kong Small Cap Index, FTSE All-World Index for Hong Kong. Its subsidiaries are engaged in the retail and wholesale distribution of quality lifestyle products designed under its globally recognized Esprit and edc brands. The Group operates over 1,100 directly managed retail stores worldwide and distributes through more than 11,000 controlled-space wholesale points-of-sale internationally, occupying total selling space of over 1,000,000m2 in more than 40 countries.