Jil Sander, the iconic fashion designer known for her minimalist style, has left an indelible mark on the industry throughout her illustrious five-decade-long career. With her refined designs, subtle details, and use of luxurious yet tactile fabrics, Sander has firmly established herself as one of the greatest minimalist designers of all time. Her most recent endeavor is a collaboration with Uniqlo called +J, which revisits the partnership she first embarked on with the Japanese retailer in 2010.

Born in the tranquil town of Wesselburen, near the North Sea, Jil Sander launched her eponymous fashion house in Hamburg in 1968, starting with her mother’s humble sewing machine. She quickly gained recognition for dressing sophisticated women in an understated, yet undeniably elegant, style. In 1989, Sander successfully took her company public, and by 1999, it had surpassed $200 million in annual revenue. Throughout her career, she temporarily stepped away from her brand on two occasions before seemingly retiring for good in 2013. However, Uniqlo’s offer for another collaboration proved too enticing to resist.

The 2020 +J collection provides customers with the opportunity to acquire sophisticated and intellectually stimulating clothing at affordable prices. This curated collection features an array of dark down parkas, mannish shirts, blazers, cardigans, work shirts, and topcoats that embody Sander’s signature style. The designer’s ultimate goal is to create contemporary uniforms that cater to individuals from all walks of life, regardless of social class or ethnic background.

FashionNetwork.com recently caught up with Jil Sander to delve deeper into her thoughts on the collaboration and the fashion industry as a whole. Sander expressed her profound admiration for Uniqlo’s unrivaled buying power, impeccable logistics, and extensive global distribution network. She appreciates the opportunity to reach individuals worldwide and promote her vision of sophisticated, modern uniforms for all.

When asked about the differences between her previous collaboration with Uniqlo and the current one, Sander revealed that the mood this time around was distinct, resulting in more generous and protective silhouettes. She also highlighted the creative challenge of creating a cohesive collection while reducing content.

Despite her retirement from the fashion industry, Jil Sander’s influence remains undeniable. The long queues of people outside Uniqlo stores in Berlin, patiently waiting to get their hands on the +J collection, serve as a testament to the lasting impact of her work. Sander feels encouraged that her designs, which strive for purity and contemporaneity, strike a chord with consumers.

In addition to her collaboration with Uniqlo, Jil Sander is currently working on a book project that aims to showcase her life’s work and the consistent attitude and vision behind her creations. She also commented on the evolving nature of fashion shows, expressing her openness to different presentation formats. Sander firmly believes in designing clothes that not only enhance the individual but also harmonize with their body, dignity, and the ethos of the times.

Reflecting on her contribution to the world of fashion, Jil Sander hopes to be remembered for her overarching vision. Her approach to fashion mirrors her approach to life — embracing positive change and eliminating anything that is no longer relevant. Sander aspires for her work to remain relevant and play a role in shaping the future.

Looking ahead, Jil Sander expresses her desire for her museum exhibition to embark on a worldwide tour, though current circumstances due to the global pandemic have put such plans on hold. When discussing her newfound passion for gardening, Sander draws parallels between designing gardens and designing fashion, emphasizing the need to adapt to changing conditions and create harmonious environments.

As for the current designers at the helm of the Jil Sander brand, Luke and Lucie Meier, Jil Sander expresses her utmost confidence in their abilities and is delighted to see the brand continue to thrive under their creative direction. Finally, when asked about other designers she admires, Sander prefers not to single out individuals but rather expresses her general interest in the diverse pool of talents within the industry.

Jil Sander’s impact on the fashion industry is indisputable, with her minimalist aesthetic and visionary approach serving as an everlasting source of inspiration for generations of designers. Through her collaboration with Uniqlo and her ongoing projects, Sander continues to push boundaries and leave an indelible mark on the fashion world.

Useful links:
Jil Sander +J Collection by Uniqlo
Official Jil Sander Website