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ESPRIT NAMES FOLKMAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER; NEW LEADERSHIP LOOKS TO 90S WITH OPTIMISM

 SAN FRANCISCO, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Esprit de Corp. today announced the appointment of David Folkman as president and chief executive officer. Folkman assumes the post effective immediately, replacing Fritz Ammann who is leaving the company.
 Prior to this appointment, Folkman was a member of the board of directors and a principal of Regent Pacific Management Corp., an international management and advisory firm based in Cupertino, Calif., where he headed retail, distribution and consumer product activities.
 In his three-decade retailing career, Folkman has successfully developed concepts in department stores, worked with start-up companies in the growth of new specialty store chains and maintained ties to key retailers and wholesalers throughout the United States.
 In announcing Folkman's appointment today, founder and co-owner Susie Tompkins said, "We're optimistic about the 90s. We feel it is a time needing greater focus on Esprit's traditional customer who is looking for value in their clothing and is looking for a company that listens to their needs. We believe that David has the right background and leadership skills to guide Esprit to even greater success in this changing environment."
 Speaking from Esprit's San Francisco headquarters, Folkman said, "I've spent my career listening to the customer in the American marketplace. Esprit's corporate values and Northern California style relate very well to the emerging retail trends of the 90s. I am very excited about this opportunity to work with Esprit's talented team. Together, our goal is to keep the spirit of Esprit on top in the coming decade."
 Folkman began his retail career with Foley's in Houston, where he rose to divisional merchandise manager of .? He then became vice president at Famous Barr, a department store division of May Co. in St. Louis. From 1974 through 1982, he was a senior vice president for merchandising with Macy's California, based in the Bay Area. Folkman then became president and chief executive officer of The Emporium, a 22- store division of Carter Hawley Hale in Northern California. He is credited with a significant and successful repositioning of The Emporuium from 1982 to 1987.
 In 1987, Folkman joined U.S. Venture Partners, a Menlo Park, Calif., venture capital firm. There his work centered on the start-up of new retail concepts, such as Natural Wonders, Fresh Choice, Imaginarium and Gymboree. He joined Regent Pacific Management Corp. in 1991. Folkman will retain his seat on the company's board of directors.
 Ammann joined Esprit in April 1992 as president and chief executive
officer. In December 1992, Ammann was appointed chairman. No successor as chairman has been named.
 In the past year, Esprit has expanded its product offering to now include Susie Tompkins, a bridge category women's collection and Esprit Boys, an infant and toddler label. This spring, the company also launched a national mail-order effort for Esprit's environmentally responsible clothing, Ecollection.
 Esprit is one of the most successful better junior sportswear firms in the world and is a privately held company owned by Susie Tompkins and an investor group.
 -0- 3/31/93
 /CONTACT: Cassie Hughes Ederer of Esprit, 415-550-3736/


CO: Esprit de Corp. ST: California IN: TEX REA SU: PER

SG-GT -- SF009 -- 1608 03/31/93 15:16 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1993
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