Jil Sander is a minimalist German fashion designer and the founder of the Jil Sander fashion house. Her style is intelligent, minimalist, and contemporary.


  1. The Origin: Jil Sander
  2. Jil sander Style
  3. First Boutique
  4. Jil Sander Acquired by Prada Group
  5. Raf Simons
  6. Uniqlo J+
  7. Navy Collection
  8. Current Situation

The Origin: Jil Sander

Jil Sander Designer Portrait in 1983
Jil Sander Portrait in 1983

German fashion designer and entrepreneur, Jil Sander, was born in 1943 in Wesselburen, near Hamburg. Jil is methodical and creative, reserved and determined, fragile and energetic. She has built an empire in just a few years that was quoted on the stock market in 1989. With a diploma in textile engineering from Germany, she went to Los Angeles at age 19, where she completed her studies and had her first experience as a journalist in the editorial office of McCalls. Returning to Hamburg, she became fashion editor for Costanze and Petra and took on management responsibilities. As a freelance designer, she worked with a number of firms, among them, Callaghan.

Jil Sander Style

Jil Sander Minimalist
Jil Sander Minimalist Style

The most important representative of German fashion and one of the biggest names in international fashion, she has succeeded in creating a style that is intelligent, minimalist, and decidedly contemporary. “Strong and pure” are the adjectives that are often used to describe her designs. Considered the German Armani, her clothes are characterized by her use of neutral colors, purified lines, and full-bodied materials. Also, her cuts “made by the knife”, as she herself describes them, to create a femininity deprived of any frivolity, but not without a certain seductive austerity.

First Boutique

Picture of Jil Sander in front of her Hamburg boutique 1968. Photographed By: Hans Rudolf Uthoff
Picture of Jil Sander in front of her Hamburg boutique 1968. Photographed By: Hans Rudolf Uthoff

In 1968 she opened an avantgarde boutique in Hamburg, the first of its type, where she sold clothes that she designed alongside garments bought in Paris and Italy. Strengthened by this experience and with an ambitious project in mind, she opened Jil Sander Moden and presented her first real collection in 1973, with all her pieces in varying tones of khaki. She had a difficult start as a fashion designer wanting to create top quality modern clothes, but of too great an elegance to be produced in Germany, where luxury ready-to-wear was still unheard of. It was only natural that she found the necessary materials, firms, and people in Italy.

In 1975 she was in Paris where she presented two collections in successive seasons. Too purist for French taste, her runway shows were a flop. As a result, she was forced to move to Milan, a city which is more austere and therefore more in tune with her own personality.

Spring/Summer 1977 Campaign Featuring Stella Tennant. Photographed By David Sims
Spring/Summer 1977 Campaign Featuring Stella Tennant. Photographed By David Sims

The first Italian presentations were quite affairs reserved for just a few people, but the important buyers took note and were soon fighting for an exclusive deal over her work. Her designs for intelligent, independent, business-like women were very popular:

“The women who I think about when I am designing are very self-aware and full of self-respect,” she says.

Success came quickly and the purity of her designs, her constant research into materials, and her obsession with quality were all prized. In 1979 she launched Woman Pure, her first perfume, with an advertising campaign built around her own serene, fair and delicate features, ensuring herself instantaneous fame and creating a new stereotype for German women.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Jil Sander Women Pure 1980 Campaign
Women Pure Perfume 1980 Campaign

Her international reputation was confirmed in the following years as her business activities developed and moved into cosmetics, eyewear, leatherwear, and menswear that she showed in Milan in 1996. She has received numerous awards and prizes for her fashions and perfumes. With a passionate interest in contemporary art, she is a discerning collector and a generous sponsor of exhibitions of leading German artists such as Georg Baselitz and Joseph Beuys.

Jil Sander Acquired By Prada Group

From Fall 1999, the Jil Sander label was part of the Prada Group. For 2001 the brand establish a record sales, with a 17% rise in profits. Unfortunately, in 2002 the brand lost 26 million euros, in part of the costs of adding retail stores in London and New York. The number of own-brand shops throughout the world rose to 20.

By May 2003 the Prada group thinks of saving the destiny of the company by calling back Jil Sander as head of the creative team. Bertelli “approached Ms. Sander and began negotiating a truce”. Rehired under a six-year consulting contract with an undisclosed stake in the company. Jil Sander returned to the company she founded, which had been controlled by the Prada Group since 1999.

Raf Simons

Raf Simons for Jil Sander Spring 2007 Advertisement
Raf Simons for Jil Sander Spring 2007 Advertisement

However in July 2005, the creative director Belgian designer, Raf Simons took over Jil Sander after the umpteenth split with the Prada group, Simons will come to the brand to give it a particular international touch, much less rigid, by means of patterns and colours, new shapes and details.

In 2006 Prada declares it has sold it shares to Change Capital that is a specialist private equity firm founded by Luc Vandevelde, focus on consumer related businesses. Then, two years later in September 2008, Change Capital sold Jil sander to Onward Holding Co., Ltd, A Tokyo-listed apparel group and its European subsidiary, GIBO’ Co. S.p.A for a equity value of €167 million.

Uniqlo J+

Jil Sander For Uniqlo J+ 2011 Fall/Winter
Jil Sander For Uniqlo J+ 2011 Fall/Winter

In 2009, Sander announced the creation of her own fashion consultancy having Uniqlo as their first client, where she overseeing the design for womenswear and menswear collection called J+. The line was launched throughout Asia including Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and China and on 7 January 2010 in the London stores. It is to be launched in Uniqlo’s sole US store in New York city on 14 January 2010.

Navy Collection

Jil Sander Jessica Burley FW15 Campaign
Jessica Burley Featured in Fall/Winter 2015 Campaign

In 2010 Sander decides to expand the brand and launch a new collection line called Jil Sander Navy, establishing a new branch for the a younger customers, completing the aesthetic world of the Jil Sander brand and its design philosophy of pure, essential and innovative luxury. This brand extension add a sophisticated casual and dynamic attitude to the house. A focus on innovative quality cotton, techno fabrics, jerseys and knitwear.

Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 Collection
Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 Collection. Designed by Raf Simons

After Raf Simons presented the Fall 2012 collection, he announced his departure from the Milan based company welcoming Rodolfo Paglialunga, who will arrive to give an Italian detailed accuracy to brand. A year later, in October 2013, 69 years old Jil Sander left her label for the third time. She presented her last spring/summer 2014 collection during Milan fashion Week.

The Spring/Summer 2015 Ready-to-Wear collection, designed by Rodolfo Paglialunga, according to Vogue Tim Blanks it was a “coalescence of genders. There were fit issues throughout. Clunk was probably the best word for the drop-crotch culottes with the out-of-reach pockets. Same with the apron/skirt wrapped over whatever was underneath it, meaning that there was odd bunching when what was underneath had an elasticized waistband.”

Current Situation

Jil Sander Resort 2018
Jil Sander Resort 2018

After almost four years Pagilalunga, creative director, announces his retirement from the brand in March 2017. In April 2017, Lucie and Luke Meier, a husband and wife duo who have designed everywhere from Dior Haute Couture to Supreme, are named the new creative directors of the brand. The designers possess an intimate connection and a deep understanding. Their first collection is Resort 2018, which is a steady solid start for the duo. The collection was full of their aesthetics including elegance and purity made for fast paced city living.

“They hold a vision that is modern, cohesive, and in touch with what is relevant now, and they beautifully combine it with a subtle sensibility” I expect the creation of very clever collections and a world to be inspired by,” said Jil Sander CEO Alessandra Bettari.


Paul Smith, English tailor and designer, inaugurated an unconventional style, constantly reworking. Read the story of the designer known for colored stripes and men’s formal suits.


  1. Style
  2. You Can Find Inspiration in Everything (and if you cannot, look again!)
  3. Paul Smith in Milan
  4. Boutiques and Iconic Stripes
  5. The Recent Year’s
  6. Current Situation


Paul Smith (1946) is an English tailor and designer. The first thing he sold was a pocket handkerchief with the British flag. Today, in the stores, everything is from robots to ties. He is always unconventional. It has transformed the tailoring into an explosion of colors, inventions, fashion trends combined with the oldest quality of fabrics. He still has the spirit of a twenty-something, cutting-edge designer, which is why he continues to ride the crest of the wave.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith Portrait of the Designer
Portrait of the Designer

His clothes are like his personality: amusing and serious at the same time, eccentric but wearable. He opened a multi-brand shop in Nottingham in 1970, and nine years later opened his first proper shop, revolutionizing the concept of selling space, which from then on was no longer just the space used for the display of goods, but a meeting point for anyone interested in style.

His first menswear fashion show was in 1976 in Paris. From that point on the label has grown from strength to strength. The brand’s reputation has never ceased to grow. He has also been asked to be a consultant to the Prime Minister Tony Blair.

You Can Find Inspiration in Everything (and if you cannot, look again!)

In February 2001, Paul Smith joined The Queen on the Birthday Honors List, an acknowledgment of his contribution to British fashion. Later, in November he published You can get inspiration from anything (and if you cannot, look again!). It is not a fashion monograph, nor a clothing catalog, but a collection of images where the author is portrayed in the most diverse situations. The volume, 288 pages, was edited by Alan Aboud who has co-authored the author as an art director for more than ten years. The project was also signed by Jonathan Ive (iMac designer). At the same time, he opened a shop in London at the Royal Exchange.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith Book "You Can Find Inspiration in Everything"
Paul Smith’s Book: “You Can Find Inspiration in Everything”

Paul Smith in Milan

In March 2002, Paul Smith opened his first single store in Italy, via Manzoni in Milan. The project is by Sophie Hicks. Then, the first men’s shoe store was opened in Paris. The following month, in collaboration with Cappellini, the Mondo furniture collection will be launched during the Milan Furniture Show.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith the Designer at the Salone Del Mobile in Collaboration with Gufram 2016
The Designer at the Salone Del Mobile in Collaboration with Gufram 2016

During the same period, the designer organized Great Brits, an exhibition that pays homage to the greatest British designers. The exhibition was held in his own studio in Milan at Viale Umbria 95. The designer chose four young names: D. Mathias Bengtsson, Tord Boontje, Daniel Brown, and Sam Buxton.

In 2003, after the enormous success achieved with the first collaboration, Reebok commissioned the designer to create a new collection of 80’s men-women shoes, named after Paul Smith, Reebok 2. The materials are mainly orange and blue nylon and real red and blue leather. Exclusively worldwide, only in the stores of Paul Smith (around 250 worldwide) you can buy the first book written by David Bowie at the “modest” sum of £ 295, Moonage Daydream: the truth behind Ziggy. Each of the 2500 numbered copies is autographed.

Boutiques and Iconic Stripes

In February 2005 he opened his first shop for the Pink line in the Daikanyama district of Tokyo. The flagship store measures 120 square meters and is entirely for womenswear and accessories. It is called Paul Smith Pink+. Then, in March he released the Black collection, following an earlier Blue version, the second official women’s line to be found in department stores such as Harvey Nichols, Harrods, and Selfridges.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith Striped Wallpaper Signed by Paul Smith for Maharam
Striped Wallpaper Signed by Paul Smith for Maharam

Paul Smith boutiques are known for a distinguished playful design. Every boutique is designed and decorated differently, but all are full of color and character, mirroring his personality. This concept reflects his unconventional design.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith LA Boutique
Paul Smith LA Boutique

In 2006, with the intention of using it only for a season, the stylist launches the iconic signature of Paul Smith Stripes. There are not many styles that can be worn either by a two year old girl, or a 35-year-old man. The stripes are perhaps the only candidate. The rows have the power to make a highly distinguishable surface, which, speaking of clothes, explains why they have never been kept in great care.

The Recent Year’s

In 2009 Paul Smith made a collection of bike clothes in association with Rapha. In this period, he opened stores in Dubai, Bangalore, Leeds, Antwerp, Los Angeles, and London.

In mid-November 2013 the company celebrated their 40th anniversary in the fashion world at the London Design Museum with the exhibition Hello, My Name is Paul Smith. The goal is to explore all aspects of the designer’s career, including future development. Accurate reproduction of Paul Smith’s studio, as well as an immersive installation, reveal some of his inspirations. The exhibition is a real journey through its collections, a day in the life of a parade and collaborations with other brands.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith Exhibition "Hello My Name is Paul Smith"
Exhibition “Hello My Name is Paul Smith”

Current Situation

In 2017, in Florence, Paul Smith lit a fluorescent light in his youth line, PS by Paul Smith, and re-launched with a focus on basic clothes. The designer argues that the cornerstone of his business is the basis:

“Well done, of good quality, simple cut, made with special fabrics and easy to wear.”

Paul Smith has not presented his collection to Pitti Man for 23 years, but has considered Pitti Uomo 91 the right occasion to present his new collection. The latter translates his attitudes towards classic and bizarre in terms related to the new generations.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith Presented at 91 Pitti Uomo
Paul Smith Presented at 91 Pitti Uomo


Studio Edelkoort

Consultancy firm founded in Paris at the end of the 1980s by Dutchman Lidewij Edelkoort. Through the work of the Trend Union team, he predicts trends, colors, and materials in fashion, cosmetics, and furnishings by analysing developments in society and consumer trends. He publishes books of trends and perfects his predictions by tailoring them to suit the requirements of each client. He also responds to enquiries deep into the future: looking 3 to 10 years ahead. In 1987, he predicted the fashion for cycling shorts in the female wardrobe, which happened in 1990, when the English designer Liza Bruce launched them. The Studio has a publishing house which prints the weekly View of Color and Interior View.

Sheath Dress

Especially famous was the classic black tapered sheath dress, introduced by Chanel and called the petit noir, an emblem of the 1920s. With straight lines, sleeveless, the sheath dress became a protagonist again in the early 1960s, indispensable for afternoon wear or for dinner invitations, but also as an all-purpose outfit for various occasions. Often worn with a coordinate jacket.


In 1800 it was observed that “fashion can be particularly recognized by its sleeves.” In the mid-twentieth century, it was reiterated that “the clothing revolution starts with sleeves.” This “part of male and female garments that covers the arm,” long, short, three-quarter length, fitted, full, raglan, kimono, bell-shaped, round, puffed, ruffled — whose “insertion” has always represented a challenge and a delight for tailors — has, without doubt, played a very important role in the history of clothing. Its most ungenerous reincarnation was the half-length variety, or rather the type of cloth sleeve that covered only the upper arm. The sleeve has inspired popular sayings such as “roll up your sleeves” or “an ace up your sleeve.” It went through particularly glorious periods in previous centuries, especially in male fashions. For example, consider the opulence, luxury, and originality of the sleeves of the various Henri and Louis (kings and emperors) to confirm its importance. However, with the end of the Napoleonic empire, men’s fashions — following the more sober and elegant English style and later adopting the straight cut jacket — became simpler. In fact, there have been very few “revolutions” or variations in coat and jacket sleeves (mostly round or raglan) during the twentieth century, with the exception of a few evening shirts, with simple or double cuffs, sometimes pleated or with lace, another example of returning fashions. In women’s fashions, sleeves have been made of fabric or fur, decorated with lace, embroidery, stones, or pearls, and enjoyed periods of particular prominence, for example when they were worn in the style of the Amadis, the Venetians, Louis XIII, nuns, priests, sailors, Turks, Bedouins, Persians, gardeners or shepherdess style (the “petite bergère”), in the Sévigné and Du Barry style, puff sleeves or ruffled sleeves, as seen in the portraits of girls and women at the coronation of Napoleon or the Empress Eugènie with her ladies-in-waiting, or women painted by Boldini. And they resurfaced in some collections, especially haute couture ones, in evening clothes or garments for all occasions, from the start of the twentieth century until today. At the end of the 1940s, for example, sleeves were long and close-fitting, with a high, turned back, double cuff or, “handkerchief” sleeves, particularly at the elbow, for Christian Dior; bell-shaped to the elbow, over long sleeves edged with fur for Balmain; with high lace cuffs for Fath; round and “falling” with a small double cuff for Rochas; draped from the shoulders and completed with small cuffs embroidered with stones for Grés; very full, puffed, with a ruffled cuff for Schiaparelli; and very large, cloak sleeves, cut in a single piece together with the bodice for the great Balenciaga. Subsequent generations of designers created sleeves that were attached down to the waistline, three-quarter length with incrustations of lace or velvet, with small buttons up to the elbow, with little cuffs with triple bands of ruffled lace or embroidered using the English stitch. These were sleeves that became more and more essential, apart from when they were omitted altogether or substituted by little shoulder straps, even when the arms revealed beneath were not always suitable.


Ferdinando (1912-1982). Italian fashion creator. He left an important job in the Vatican for a brief appearance in the world of cinema (in 1950, he was one of the three main actors — with Lucia Bosé and Massimo Girotti — in Antonioni’s Cronaca di un amore) and then concentrated on fashion at the insistent request of Elizabeth Arden, who by chance, having met him at a reception, heard him talking about clothes, accessories, and make-up. He began in New York. His name is associated with “the most beautiful evening dresses in the world,” as Diana Vreeland wrote. He won the Neiman Marcus prize.


The tsarina of furs. The Siberian people paid the iassak, the tax that ended up in the tsar’s personal coffers, in sable. The Monomachus’s crown, called a chapka and made of gold filigree over a gold base studded with precious stones and pearls, was trimmed with sable; sable also adorned the sumptuous jewel-encrusted cloak that the tsar wore for official ceremonies. Every possible eulogistic adjective or expression has been used to describe the magnificence of sable, and the French even compare it to a fluffy “mousse.” It has even been suggested that the Golden Fleece sought by Jason and the Argonauts in Greek mythology, which was guarded by a dragon in the depths of a forest in Kolchis (today the country of Georgia), was in fact sable. Long before the discovery of oil, it was universally considered black gold. Despite the presence of sable in Asia, North America, and Europe, the history of the fur runs hand-in-hand with that of Siberia. In that unbounded empty land it played the same role as gold in the Gold Fever in Canada and Alaska. The poor animals were the object of such indiscriminate hunting that at the beginning of the 20th century it had disappeared from vast regions of the Russian empire and the Tsarist and then the Soviet governments had to take protective measures. Russian sable (Martes zibellina) has thick, shiny, silky fur in a myriad of hues from brown to light beige, to almost white. It is undisputed that the best is the Barguzinsky, named after the region of Barguin, near Lake Baikal. Breeding, which started in the Soviet Union in 1931, focuses on dark colors, but Nature has created the Royal sable, by transforming an anomaly into a virtue: in the Royal sable, a lack of pigmentation in the tips of the fur creates an incredible silvery sheen that brings an extraordinary beauty to its appearance. Sable is as precious today as it was in the past, when it was part of the Tsars’ Great Treasure. When the Russian aristocracy fled the country, they took with them sable pelts, not money.