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17-03-2009
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Jil Sander for Uniqlo
Quote:
TOKYO - Jil Sander is making her long-awaited comeback - but in a fast-fashion way.

The German designer is on the brink of signing a "design consulting agreement" to oversee the men's and women's apparel at Japanese retail giant Uniqlo, according to a well-placed source. Sander and executives from Uniqlo's parent company Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., have called a press conference here Tuesday to outline the terms of the deal.

Although Sander will not receive an official title at the company, the designer will take over the creative reins for all the retailer’s products excluding accessories and children’s wear, the source said. It is understood the Japanese brand and Sander are also working to develop a special Uniqlo collection, bearing the designer’s minimalist look, set to bow for the fall season.

As reported in WWD last week, Sander was spotted at the Première Vision textile trade show in Paris in February, which reignited ongoing speculation she planned to return to the fashion world. Sander famously left her namesake label for the second time in 2004 after clashing with the brand’s former owner, Prada Group, and its chief executive officer, Patrizio Bertelli, over creative and control issues.

While Uniqlo has collaborated with a number of designers such as Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang and Alice Roi through its Designers Invitation Project, this is the first time the company has established a continuous relationship with a marquee name. The company’s design team has lived a relatively anonymous existence churning out colorful basics. Like Sander, Uniqlo has always put a strong emphasis on fabric innovation in its products, such as machine-washable sweaters that keep their shape and hooded sweatshirts that retain heat.

Uniqlo is one of the few retailers succeeding in recessionary Japan. The brand’s affordable line up of fashion basics has propelled months of same-store sales growth and earned chairman Tadashi Yanai the honor of Japan’s richest man, according to Forbes magazine, with a fortune estimated at $6.1 billion.

Uniqlo said earlier this month that February’s same-store sales were up 4.2 percent, advancing for the fourth consecutive month. However, the February figures represented a slowdown from the double-digit sales growth the retailer saw at the end of 2008. The retailer has been experimenting with formats in recent months, recently opening its first concept store targeting young female shoppers in their late teens and early 20s. It also has opened a concept store in Selfridges in London.

While at a fast-fashion price point, Uniqlo’s aesthetic mirrors Sander’s signature minimalism. Talk of when the designer would return to fashion began almost the moment she left Prada five years ago — with the rumor mill speculating she was consulting to Gap in Europe, looking to introduce a home furnishings collection, or simply leading a quiet life in her native Hamburg and working on her garden.
wwd / march 17, 2009

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Last edited by kimair; 17-03-2009 at 12:47 AM.
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17-03-2009
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i was getting excited because naturally when i saw the title of the thread i though of jil sander the brand, and not the actual person. since i'm not familiar with her work i guess giving my opinion is pointless now.

well best of luck to her.

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17-03-2009
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so, it's indeed been her...!! i saw a woman very similarly looking to jil walking around the tradeshow and i thought the similarities were just so striking! good to have the real jil back on track with such an exciting new project!

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17-03-2009
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I can't wait to see the results, it's a perfect match.
Is Uniqlo available anywhere in Europe?

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17-03-2009
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Bidwell.. you can get Uniqlo in France.. http://www.uniqlo.com/fr/store/index.html#france

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17-03-2009
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What a surprise! Uniqlo?!

I'm sensing an awesome comeback!

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17-03-2009
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This is interesting and a bit peculiar since I always thought it was compromises in quality that led Sander to head out of Prada Group. Although, Uniqlo does have unusually nice fabrics for its price point, they work out long term contracts with Italian mills. Looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.

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17-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bidwell View Post
I can't wait to see the results, it's a perfect match.
Is Uniqlo available anywhere in Europe?
There is a shop @ La Défense ... in a centre commercial ... terrible travel to get there ...
I know they had opened some corner shops during last summer to see if it would take in Paris' heart ... I don't know what's going on since then ...

Just hope they will open more 'corners' in province or even in paris ...
because travelling to La Défense (from paris' heart) isn't great ... the thing is like non-end !

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17-03-2009
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ironic but probably better for them how things turn out, fast retailing was in pursuit of jil sander the brand before it being acquired by onward holdings, and now they have the designer herself.
prices aside, uniqlo for basics is fine, but the quality is still a few notches away.

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17-03-2009
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what? omg! yay!

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17-03-2009
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"Some of you [have known] me since I have been engaged in fashion but I'm not interested in the past. Let us talk today about the future" the designer, clad in a black knee-length coat, told journalists assembled at the Four Seasons Hotel. "I'm here in Tokyo for something completely different. The challenge for me is to establish a premium quality in a democratically-priced range."


(WWD)

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17-03-2009
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oh this is exciting...


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17-03-2009
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jil is so cute!
this sounds like a cool partnership

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Last edited by fashion.fashoff; 17-03-2009 at 04:14 PM.
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17-03-2009
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from the telegraph:
Quote:


German designer Jil Sander (left) with president Tadashi Yanai of Fast Retailing, at the press conference announcing the agreement with Uniqlo Photo: AFP

Models display creations from the Jil Sander autumn/winter 04/05 show, one of the last collections Sander (centre) designed before departing from the label. Photo: HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY/ STEPHEN LOCK


Models display creations from the latest Jil Sander autumn/winter 09/10 collection designed by Raf Simons (centre) Photo: EPA/ HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY

The reclusive German designer, Jil Sander, is to make a remarkable fashion comeback, with a mass market, men’s and women’s collection for Uniqlo, the Japanese casualwear brand which has a chain of 765 stores around the world.

The first collection will be available for next autumn/winter and can safely be assumed to sell for a fraction of the price Sander’s designs under her name once commanded.

The extraordinary deal follows a design agreement between Fast Retailing, which owns Uniqlo, and the Hamburg-based Ms Sander’s consultancy company.

Jil Sander is one of Planet Fashion’s more enigmatic and private figures – and one of few designers to have made two debuts under her own label: Once when she founded the brand in 1973, and the second during a dramatic return, after a three-year-hiatus, when her label was owned by the Italian luxury brand, Prada.

Sander developed a global cult following among moneyed minalists in the late 1980s and 1990s for her rigorous and de luxe, considered chic.
Her design aesthetic was based on classic, luxury of cloth, determined absence of decoration, clean lines and a subdued colour palette, generally in beiges, creams, navy and black, which rarely strayed within a mile of a print. But still, her intellectual curiosity led to experimentation with highly technical fabrications from Japan and she would often surprise with a splash of bold colour.

The brand became a subsidiary of Prada in 1999, but just six months later, Sander left, in January, 2000, after reported confrontations with the Prada boss, Patrizio Bertelli, husband of Miuccia Prada.

Sander’s perfectionist approach and insistence on total control of every aspect from choice of fabric to choice of models was bound to create tensions with the volatile Bertelli, who, it was said, wanted a scaling-back on costs and a more mainstream approach.

However, after her non-compete clause had expired, Sander made a surprise return to the brand which bore her name, to the delight of international press and buyers, only to leave a second time, a year later – this time for good.
Since 2005, the Jil Sander collection has been designed by the Belgian avant-gardist, Raf Simons, whose most recent collection – for autumn/winter 09/10 – was one of the standout shows of Milan Fashion Week.

In the meantime, the Jil Sander brand was sold, in September 2008, to Onward Holdings, one of the largest Japanese multi-brand fashion conglomerates, for about US $244 million, according to Japan Marketing News. Onward Holdings, based in Tokyo, made the acquisition through its European unit, GIBO, according to the International Herald Tribune.

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18-03-2009
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oh heavens.

this is truly TRULY exciting!!!

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