Wow! What a turn up for the fashion books. Jil Sander, the minimalist designer who is considered the godmother of modern working women's and men's style, and one of fashion's living greats, has signed a deal to consult for the Japanese chain Uniqlo. Ever since she left her own label five years ago to take early retirement (after Prada bought her company), people have wondered if Ms Sander, a quality-obsessed perfectionist, would make a comeback. Or would she rather enjoy her money and fade into fashion history? Then it was reported she had been spotted buying material at a fabric fair. What could it all mean? Well, it meant Uniqlo! This can only be good news for what is arguably the fastest-growing fashion chain in the world. Uniqlo is about good design, as the excellent cut of its jeans, shirts and knitwear continually prove. So who better than Jil Sander to head up quality control and design? As well they know: ‘Her ability to design and create pure, simple silhouettes that shed unnecessary excess, her stringent material selection, exquisite tailoring and use of materials are unique features that have a strong affinity with Uniqlo's "fashion basic" orientation to date,' the company says. We think this can only be good for the chain. And let's face it, all of us old enough to know who Jil Sander is have always wanted one of her cashmere sweaters. Well, come autumn, we will be able to afford one!
PS: Find out which other designers Uniqlo has collaborated with this season – and how to get a piece of the action for less than £30 – in this week's issue.
- Melanie Rickey