JIL SANDER is leaving her house. State the obvious—this time is the third occurrence. She’s stepping down as creative director for personal reasons, and as expected per her strength, Jil is purely about necessity. Here we discuss her brand, the company, and what we’d like to see for the future of the Kingdom of Less.
Iris: JIL IS LEAVING AGAIN!
Daniel: Are you for real? I’m not shocked… but I AM SHOCKED.
Iris: I’m pissed cuz I’m doing a project on her in school right now and it’s all about how her return can help in her marketing and stuff. God, Jil.
Daniel: I very much understand her POV and reason, like IDK if it is, but I assume it’s for retirement? Hey. Like chilling out, and I can respect.
Daniel: Oops. We totally skipped Milan Vukmirovic in the timeline “who did sporty disco flash until Sander returned in May 2003, only to split again 18 months later.” Lmfao.
Iris: Yeah, I love her she’s one of my favorite designers. I think I like Raf and Jil equally at the brand. I don’t know who I like more, but I think I usually like whoever is currently working there.
Daniel: Yeah I feel like in my mind, they are compartmentalized. I love them both but they supply me with different things. Like when I want my office basics and I need a wardrobe in practice, then I want Jil. When I want a wardrobe theorized, I want Raf.
Iris: “…split 18 months later.”
Daniel: I think like a lot of people call her MINIMALIST, obviously for good reason, but imo I think the term minimalist in fashion is kinda like totally loaded. Literal minimalism could not be producing so much excessive repeat of product every single season, it just doesn’t connect. Still, I think Jil does represent a very important sect of fashion that really bridges necessity and ideal.
Iris: Yeah, with her use of really high quality materials and fabrics. She is very rigid and strict about her work, and that comes through. Retailers often say that Jil is pricey in comparison to her counterparts because of her HQ fabrics. I’ve read that she was also like really strict on placements of stuff and how employees should be in her stores. Not that I can afford them but they don’t seem that much.
Daniel: I think it’s in comparison to the demographic she serves, it’s a lot for what it is. For example, I’d say her brand is very much like Margaret Howell and other “perfect basics” brands like that. But while they are both high end, Jil Sander prices are much closer to collectors luxury. So it doesn’t look that expensive next to like Alaïa and stuff, but it occupies a different space.
Iris: I see it now, it makes sense. I want her stuff to go on, like, mega-sale. I need Jil’s Jil. Margaret Howell prices for a men’s jacket is around $995, and a comparable Jil jacket is at $2,280. So I see what you mean.
Daniel: What other brands are in that realm? I think, not wholly, but some parts of Prada are like that and their basic basics are at a lower price point definitely.
Iris: The only brick and mortar stores in the US are in San Francisco, Chicago and like New York. Two-thirds are on the East Coast and Jil is rarely in like Nordstroms or Barney’s.
Daniel: I know right, yeah like the only time I see Jil is when it’s on sale and it’s random. Like it doesn’t hold a section in the store year round. And the accessories, forget about it here.
Iris: Yeah, I’ve only seen Jil on sale and there’s usually like only a few pieces. It’s easier to find it online.
Daniel: Her team is doing it next season, so like, it means that they weren’t prepared for this.
Iris: Why did she come back?
Daniel: If it was like only gonna be a year but it was prob not planned but like omg. I feel like it’s good though because imagine any other designer going in there after Raf. Disaster no matter what. No one would let them live.
Iris: What if Raf came back lmao.
Daniel: He wants to be a Global Girl now, he’s doing that.
Iris: He’s so weird. I would come back to Jil and leave Dior if I was me as him.
Daniel: He wouldn’t though yeah. Like management issues or whatever.
Iris: I wonder who’s gonna be there like I’m scared the brand is going to become irrelevant and it could be such a waste of the brand. Like how that happens to so many brands.
Daniel: I really hope they hire a new dude to take over, I don’t want to see someone established or whatever. Like can you believe people are bringing up Marc and Ghesquiere? That makes no sense at all to me. The brand’s purity and strength really lends itself well to interpretation from a young, possibly inexperienced designer. Like, obvious from how Raf blossomed there.
Iris: I see it actually, like they’ve gone through it before and so it can happen again. I hope if they choose a new person they’re like cute or something lol. I hope it’s a girl designer!
Iris: Yeah I see those happening.
Daniel: I have no idea who I’d place there of current working designers but if from anywhere, London or Tokyo or something.
Daniel: During these past three to four seasons, Jil has really developed a restrained color palette with pops of brights and bold graphic prints through using a similar, very rounded silhouette. She’s consistently doing this flat, slim upper body with a higher waistline and generous hip. I think it’s a cool silhouette that not many people explore enough, and it feels realistic and easy to wear.
Iris: I like the round silhouettes she’s been doing and I like the colors, but I’m not too sure about the print because they can get a lil too my-first-Photoshop-creation. I usually like the color palette she does but I kinda wanna see her (well, I can’t now) like do an even more restricted color scheme in neutrals and no print. In those same silhouettes, I’d wear, that’s me.
Daniel: I feel like she does no color, no print each season but it’s like when that’s the majority, we must talk about what’s in the margins and that’s the colorful print stuff. She’s having fun but I agree, she’s not harnessing the print fully.
Iris: But her shoes and bags r like an A+. I love her accessories like I even considered using my check for financial aid to buy a SS13 bag.
Daniel: Whats your enduring relationship with Jil? What do you LOVE about her and why is she unique and essential in your life?
Iris: Omg, this part is so important to me.
Iris: I hope she is leaving for “all the right reasons” (lmao) and finally decides it’s final but if she wants to come back, you know. Anways, like I hope she gets a wonderful rest of her life and does everything on her bucket list lol and like I guess I sorta love her because when I looked more into the brand and its origins and read about her like I felt like it was really relevant to me. I love her and Jil will alwaiz be my #1 saved search on ebay.
Daniel: I feel like her place and what she’s contributed to like fashion etc is very important and cannot be overshadowed by Raf’s also great work or her tumultuous relationship with her brand. She really defined an era’s career wardrobe and continues to like provide for that market and build those ideas in different ways. Her like relationship with her brand really reflects fashion’s issues and problems overall, but unlike most, she still rises.