Known as the Queen of Minimalism in fashion, Jil Sander has created high-end designer shoes for the career-minded and ambitious corporate woman. Internationally acclaimed for her practical and clean designs, Sander’s inspirational work is sought from Paris to Tokyo and of course, New York. Classic, understated, and yet enticing, Sander’s collections are timeless.
The Jil Sander GmbH fashion house began with a little girl who dreamed in fabric. Jil Sander who graduated as a textile engineer, was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. She studied in Los Angeles, California and worked as a fashion editor for one Germany’s most prominent magazine. Greatly inspired by her own country’s culture and sense of practicality; Ms. Sander opened her own boutique in Hamburg at the tender age of 24. Initially, she mostly sold other designers in her boutique including Thierry Mugler and Sonia Rykiel, but she started to add a few of her designs into her inventory. Then, after a year of hits and misses, Ms. Sander officially opened her the Jil Sander GmbH fashion house.
Jil Sander’s greatest and most notable creation revolves around revamping the classic pantsuit. Sander’s attention to fabric and precision fitting was something that the fashion world was not ready for. Although her collection did not receive immediate approval, Sander’s designs were seen as undeniably strong, contemporary, and yet, ultra feminine. Sander was known for focusing her quality and vision on the utilization of the finest material and most refined tailoring. Her cuts were immediately striking; her look was centered around quality, not quantity giving her the nickname: Queen of Less ( Petra Kappl (May 26, 2002), Designer In Reticence New York Times).
Sticking to a palette of neutrals, navy, and blues with effortlessly coordinated pieces; Sander developed an exclusive and loyal international following.
That was just the beginning for the Sander brand. The late 70s found the fashion mogul expanding into perfumes and cosmetics, then further broadening its reach in leather accessories. In the 1990s, Ms. Sander’s minimalist design gained its greatest notoriety; this lead to opening flagship stores in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Taipei. In 1999, The Prada group gained leadership of the brand by purchasing 75% of the company. While the brand continued to expand its international reach, there were conflicts in vision and design.
In 2006, the brand regained its independent label and under the creative directorship of the widely renown Belgian designer Raf Simons, the Jil Sander fashion house was revamped. In the 2007 Fall/Winter collection, Simons sought to return to the original vision of Ms. Sander’s and create exceptional looks especially in the realm of footwear and leather accessories. Today, the brand continues to exude the refinement and elegance that Ms. Sander’s has been internationally recognized for. Clients of the Jil Sander brand include Victoria Beckham, Ashley Olsen, Drew Barrymore, Camilla Belle, and Olivia Wilde.