When we say 1990s minimalism – we mean Jil Sander. In 2020, this name sounded with refreshed energy through the family duo Lucy and Luke Meyer’s efforts, who managed to translate its values into the language of modern fashion.
Jil Sander and the creator are known for creating high-end, sleek, chic, and minimalistic styles. Clean lines are preferred by the fashion house, which modernizes luxury and elegant ideas. All of the art directors who came after her tried adopting that style.
The Founding of Jil Sander Brand
Jil Sander was created by a German designer who has defined women’s fashion for over four decades. Jil founded her business in 1968. She is a purist and perfectionist, always wanting to show precision and clarity. The fashion designer is called the first feminist of fashion. Whether the credit is attributed to Coco Chanel in the 1930s or to Yves Saint Laurent’s launch of the women’s trouser suit in the 1960s, Sander has always had strong claims to empower women.
The first men’s collection was presented in 1997. Two years later, Jil sold 75 percent of her company to the Italian fashion house of Prada. She resigned almost immediately due to creative differences with the new leadership. Milan Vukmirovic was appointed Creative Director.
Despite attempts to bring the brand back to popularity, Milan has not pursued Jil’s vision. In early 2003, Prada had to spend a significant amount to get Jil Sander back and continue to operate amid rumors of brand problems.
The next designer to lead the brand was Belgian designer, Raf Simons. For nearly seven years, he continued Jil Sander’s tradition of simplicity and craftsmanship, expanding the use of bold colors and bold prints. He presented wide shorts, colorful T-shirts, and sweatshirts. The crisp cotton dresses were equally attractive, but the great designer’s spark was gone as Jil herself was no longer there.
In 2017, Luke and Lucie Meier duo took over Jil Sander as creative directors and brought the brand back into popularity.
The Current Masters
Swiss Lucie and Canadian Luke Meyer are quite different, and yet they are together. The reason for this is the mutual passion for fashion that leads them through life. Lucy and Luke met in 2001 while attending Polimoda Fashion School in Florence. After that, they went their own professional way: Lucie worked in Paris for Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga and then got into Dior under Raf Simons’ wing. Meanwhile, Luke flew to New York, where he worked for the glorious name of the streetwear brand Supreme for several years. In 2014, he set out on an independent voyage and moved to Paris to found his own brand, OAMC. Lucy, meanwhile, has also stepped out of the shadows, replacing her boss Serge Rufier as the designer of Dior women’s collections. But the most exciting phase was ahead of them.
In 2017, the couple took Jil Sander’s helm to restore the legendary minimalist brand to its former glory.
The Jil Sander collection is characterized by purity of design and technology. Designers recall their childhood spent in nature: Lucy was born and raised at the foot of the Swiss Alps, Luke – in Vancouver’s Canadian port city. Their stuff is an example of design thinking: nothing more, just a function.
“One of our approaches to the brand is functionality, the idea of clothing that really works,” says Luke. “It doesn’t matter if you go to a meeting, on a hike, or to the beach; you always want the same comfortable clothing.” The designers themselves, who now live outside the city, also needed it. “Spending time in nature, being surrounded by mountains, trees or the sea is becoming an important part of our life. Nature is our main source of inspiration and energy,” they explain.
An essential part of the brand’s heritage is the relationship between masculine and feminine. At the same time, we are not talking about gender-neutral fashion in its modern sense.