Jil Sander on Replacing Raf Simons: 'It feels like coming home'

24 February 2012

Raf Simons to Leave Jil Sander, Designer Jil Sander to Return: UPDATE


Designer Jil Sander has just released a statement on returning to her namesake brand as Creative Director. 'I am very happy and excited to be back. It feels like coming home after a brief journey,' she says. '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 favorable as could be wished. The fashion world needs original voices and genuine signatures. I will do my best to, once again, join the choir."

Meanwhile, Alessandro Cremonesi, JIL SANDER Group CEO, has this to say: '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 benefical to all aspects of the JIL SANDER Group. It’s almost too good to be true.'

What do you make of the switch around?

UPDATED: Designer Jil Sander Returns to Her Brand!

News has reached Grazia HQ that designer Jil Sander will be reinstated as the brand's Creative Director once Raf Simons steps down from the position on Monday. Suzy Menkes reports that Sander, 68, is 'happy to return to the company that bears her name and would take up her role immediately.'

Sander founded the brand in 1968 and, after Prada Group acquired a 75 percent stake in the brand in 1999, resigned in 2000 following a dispute with Patrizio Bertelli, Prada CEO. She returned in 2003 and then resigned again two years later, when Simons was appointed. Since Prada sold its stake in the brand to British private equity firm Change Capital Partners in 2006, Sander can return without the threat of more quarrels.

So with Sander coming back, where does that leave Simons? Place your bets now, folks...

24/02/12 BREAKING NEWS: Raf Simons to leave Jil Sander

Milan Fashion Week is abuzz thanks to the breaking news that Raf Simons is leaving his position as Creative Director of Jil Sander after seven years. The design house has announced that Simons will step down next Monday, the 27th February 2012. They also say they will announce his successor in the next few days.

The surprising move – 48 hours before the Jil Sander show in Milan – has left the fashion crowd speculating as to where Simons is headed. There have long been rumours he was one option to replace John Galliano at Dior, but some in Milan are speculating Simons is actually going to replace Stefano Pilati at YSL.

Last September the International Herald Tribune’s Suzy Menkes suggested that Simons was heading to YSL. They denied it and Jil Sander announced they’d confirmed Simons’s contract for another four seasons. Today, that’s obviously been severed leaving the fashion world playing a guessing game.

‘Personally I can’t really see him at Dior,’ Grazia’s Style Director Paula Reed told us from Milan. ‘The Dior lady is a particular type of French woman. A  Jolie Madame, if you will, with that tiny waist and shoulders, Bar jacket and stiletto heels. Whereas with YSL’s minimal heritage, all about powerful elegance underpinned by the practical priorities of the working woman and that understated but unmistakable sex appeal... Simons would be a much more a natural inheritor.’

As for who will replace Simons at Jil Sander? Well, rumour has it Jil Sander herself is heading back...

More on the news – and fashion musical chairs this will create – as we hear it…


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