Jil Sander: The Queen of German Fashion

DALLAS, Feb 5, 2000  / FW/ — Nicknamed the Queen of German Fashion, Jil Sander was born Heidemarie Jiline Sander in Wesselburen, Germany in 1943. She studied at Krefeld School of Textiles (Class 1963) and was a foreign exchange student at the University of Los Angeles (1963-64).After her stint in UCLA, Jil Sander joined McCall’s (L.A.), writing about fashion, while at the same time she was also doing freelance designing until 1973.

She showed her first women’s collection in 1973, and eventually founded Jil Sander GmbH in 1978. In 1989, Jil Sander GmbH became Jil Sander AG, and was publicly traded at Frankfurt Exchange.

Ten years later, Jil Sander forged a partnership with Prada. After 5 months, both companies announced a split and Jil Sander resigned as Chairman of her own company.

Often described as the Queen of German Fashion, Jil Sander’s style and vision is definitely international. Corporate headquarters for Jil Sander AG is in Germany, while clothes are manufactured in Milan.

Her clothes stand out as post modern good taste, a sanity in fashion.

Jil Sander does most of her business in women’s clothing, although she has accessories and perfume lines. The designer is known for her the use of wildly expensive fabrics and manufacturing methods that leave items like simply cut lightweight sweaters costing much higher than other designer collection. Her style has been described as “luxurious minimalism.”

In August 1999, Prada took the controlling interest in her company. Eight months after the merger, Jil Sander resigned from her own company with a highly publicized quarrel with Patrizio Bertelli.

After Jil Sander left, Milan Vukmirovic was hired as Creative Director for the Jil Sander line.

In May 2003, after three years of being away, Jil Sander returned to the fashion house she founded.

After only 18 months, the German-born designer resigned once again from her eponymous fashion house.

Raf Simons was appointed Creative Director for both menswear and womenswear line in Jun 2005.

On Mar 18, 2009, designer Jil Sander returned to fashion when she accepted the position to oversee Uniqlo’s global product line for both menswear and womenswear.