No-Frill Thrills: Jil Sander is Back

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Published March 17, 2009

Ever since leaving her eponymous line for good in 2004, Jil Sander has kept a low profile. But today marks the Second Coming of Jil Sander—or is it the third, or the fourth?—as this morning she announced she’s going cheap and chic with Japanese budget retailer UNIQLO. (PHOTO LEFT: APF)

Sander said the offer from UNIQLO was a surprise, but, “Nevertheless, it came at the right time. All this time, I was waiting for something radically new, for something that would be a completely fresh start.” Given UNIQLO’s reputation as the hip fast fashion retailer to beat and the economic downturn, Sander’s sage design ethos, “unnecessary excess,” strikes a relevant chord. Sander agrees that the Japanese, more than most, get the value of the understatement: “I am convinced that there can be luxury in simplicity. One glass of water doesn’t equal another. One may just appease the thirst, the other you may enjoy thoroughly. In Japan, people know about this difference.”

What inspires Jil Sander on a budget in 2009? She isn’t revealing much, except that, naturally, she’ll be pioneering “new and modern forms” for both men and women will be a key focus. Elements of Kabuki theatre and Japanese ceramics might also appear as design motifs, as will “gift-wrapping.” We always knew she had a knack for pintucking!