Jil Sander has spoken out about her plans for her label, after announcing her return to the brand she left in 2004 to Prada group

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Since 1973, when Jil Sander—who had worked as a fashion editor and freelance designer in her native Germany—launched her line with a series of monochrome jackets and trousers, her name has been synonymous of minimalism (she opened her first boutique in Hamburg in 1968). Early on, Sander mastered the basics (the perfect cashmere V-neck, the ultimate white shirt, the go-to pantsuit) and established a clientele that was fiercely loyal to her look: verging on austere, it was always enlivened by intriguing cuts or experimental fabrics. Born in 1943, Sander opened her first store in Hamburg in 1968 and began selling her own designs on the floor alongside major French labels. Famously private, she developed a reputation over the years as a perfectionist who needed to control the minutiae of her company, even dictating where sales personnel should stand in the boutiques.
That perfectionism, perhaps, partly accounts for her fashion firm being one of the most successful ever to emerge from Germany. Sander branched out into cosmetics and fragrance (with huge success) in 1979. In 1989, perfectly poised to ride the nineties wave of minimalism also exemplified by the Austrian Helmut Lang, she took the company public. Menswear was added in 1997. In 2000, however, Sander sold her label to Prada in hopes, she said, of expanding her shoe and accessories businesses. But—perhaps unsurprisingly—she and Prada chief Patrizio Bertelli clashed, and Sander left after only four months. Then, in a turnaround that stunned the fashion world, she returned to the runway (under Prada's watch) in 2003; three highly successful collections later, she again departed, citing irreconcilable differences with Bertelli over the brand's financial future. In 2005, the Belgian designer Raf Simons was appointed creative director, while Sander moved on to work at Uniqlo. Prada Group sold the label in 2006 to London-based private equity firm Change Capital Partners, and in 2008 it was acquired by Japanese multi-brand fashion conglomerate Onward Holdings, which still owns the business. Simons presented his first men's and women's collections for Fall 2006, staying true to the brand's core values and making the show a must-see on the Milan fashion week calendar until Jil Sander returned to the label as creative director in February 2012.
"I am very happy and excited to be back. It feels like coming home after a brief journey," 

Said the designer in a statement today. She continued:

"The Jil Sander brand is ingrained in my very being, naturally, my vision of sophisticated, truly modern design stayed with me, as vivid as on the first day. Paradigms change and evolve from season to season, but the heart of a brand doesn't alter. It will be a great challenge and a greater joy to design Jil Sander's contemporary identity. I am convinced that the moment is as favourable as could be wished. The fashion world needs original voices and genuine signatures. I will do my best to, once again, join the choir. At the moment, there seems to be a craving for authenticity and clear visions. I am confident that this is the time for modern sophistication, for attractive, wearable fashion which is true to the new century, I do have strong convictions which evolved but never radically changed over time. I never tried to be provocative, but I never indulged in nostalgia, either. Fashion is experimentation, and if you keep the sophistication, it can also be eccentric. You have to break rules, if there is a good reason. And now is the right time to be daring, there are few new ideas."

Sander said also that, although "many parameters" of the industry have changed since she last worked for the fashion house, she is thrilled to be back. The designer was first contacted about it a while ago, but - because of her role as creative director at Uniqlo, which she left in June 2011 - she was unable to do it immediately.

"It feels very natural, even though it is like a miracle... My head is already there. I feel that things happen for a reason and open up new opportunities. Life is full of challenges and surprises."

For Jil Sander, however, a new chapter awaits. Of the reinstatement of Sander, the label's ceo Alessandro Cremonesi said: 

"Over the past years, the Jil Sander brand never lost its strong identity. I believe that this was made possible through the affirmation of its core values and the incessant exploration of new contemporary edges and future trends. It is a moving moment to welcome Jil Sander back, who created this unique fashion house and then shaped its rise into a highly estimated global brand. Jil Sander's human passion and visionary strength are a priceless force for the future of our company. Her entrepreneurial attitude will be highly beneficial to all aspects of the Jil Sander Group. It's almost too good to be true."
Photo credit: Style.com
Scritto da: Ric