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Jil Sander

Since 1973, when Jil Sander—who had worked as a fashion editor and freelance designer in her native Germany—launched her line with a series of monochrome jackets and trousers, her name has been synonymous with minimalism. Early on, Sander mastered the basics (the perfect cashmere V-neck, the ultimate white shirt, the go-to pantsuit) and established a clientele that was fiercely loyal to her look: Verging on austere, it was always enlivened by intriguing cuts or experimental fabrics.

Born in 1943, Sander opened her first store in Hamburg in 1968 and began selling her own designs on the floor alongside major French labels. Famously private, she developed a reputation over the years as a perfectionist who needed to control the minutiae of her company, even dictating where sales personnel should stand in the boutiques.

That perfectionism, perhaps, partly accounts for her fashion firm being one of the most successful ever to emerge from Germany. Sander branched out into cosmetics and fragrance (with huge success) in 1979. In 1989, perfectly poised to ride the nineties wave of minimalism also exemplified by the Austrian Helmut Lang, she took the company public. Menswear was added in 1997.

In 2000, however, Sander sold her label to Prada in hopes, she said, of expanding her shoe and accessories businesses. But—perhaps unsurprisingly—she and Prada chief Patrizio Bertelli clashed, and Sander left after only four months. Then, in a turnaround that stunned the fashion world, she returned to the runway (under Prada's watch) in 2003; three highly successful collections later, she again departed, citing irreconcilable differences with Bertelli over the brand's financial future.

In 2005, the Belgian designer Raf Simons was appointed creative director, while Sander moved on to work at Uniqlo. Simons presented his first men's and women's collections for Fall 2006, staying true to the brand's core values and making the show a must-see on the Milan fashion week calendar until Jil Sander returned to the label as creative director in February 2012.

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FASHION SHOWS (52)

  1. All Seasons

  2. Ready-to-wear

  3. Resort

  4. Pre-Fall

  5. Menswear

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  1. Spring 2015 Menswear
  2. Resort 2015
  3. Fall 2014 RTW
  4. Fall 2014 Menswear
  5. Spring 2014 RTW
  6. Spring 2014 Menswear
  7. Fall 2013 RTW
  8. Fall 2013 Menswear
  9. Spring 2013 RTW
  10. Spring 2013 Menswear
  11. Fall 2012 RTW
  12. Fall 2012 Menswear
  13. Pre-Fall 2012
  14. Spring 2012 RTW
  15. Spring 2012 Menswear
  16. Fall 2011 RTW
  17. Fall 2011 Menswear
  18. Pre-Fall 2011
  19. Spring 2011 RTW
  20. Spring 2011 Menswear
  21. Fall 2010 RTW
  22. Fall 2010 Menswear
  23. Spring 2010 RTW
  24. Spring 2010 Menswear
  25. Fall 2009 RTW
  26. Spring 2009 RTW
  27. Spring 2009 Menswear
  28. Fall 2008 RTW
  29. Fall 2008 Menswear
  30. Spring 2008 RTW
  31. Spring 2008 Menswear
  32. Fall 2007 RTW
  33. Fall 2007 Menswear
  34. Spring 2007 RTW
  35. Spring 2007 Menswear
  36. Fall 2006 RTW
  37. Fall 2006 Menswear
  38. Spring 2006 RTW
  39. Spring 2006 Menswear
  40. Fall 2005 RTW
  41. Fall 2005 Menswear
  42. Spring 2005 RTW
  43. Spring 2005 Menswear
  44. Fall 2004 RTW
  45. Spring 2004 RTW
  46. Fall 2003 RTW
  47. Spring 2003 RTW
  48. Fall 2002 RTW
  49. Spring 2002 RTW
  50. Fall 2001 RTW
  51. Spring 2001 RTW
  52. Spring 2000 RTW
  1. Fall 2014 RTW
  2. Spring 2014 RTW
  3. Fall 2013 RTW
  4. Spring 2013 RTW
  5. Fall 2012 RTW
  6. Spring 2012 RTW
  7. Fall 2011 RTW
  8. Spring 2011 RTW
  9. Fall 2010 RTW
  10. Spring 2010 RTW
  11. Fall 2009 RTW
  12. Spring 2009 RTW
  13. Fall 2008 RTW
  14. Spring 2008 RTW
  15. Fall 2007 RTW
  16. Spring 2007 RTW
  17. Fall 2006 RTW
  18. Spring 2006 RTW
  19. Fall 2005 RTW
  20. Spring 2005 RTW
  21. Fall 2004 RTW
  22. Spring 2004 RTW
  23. Fall 2003 RTW
  24. Spring 2003 RTW
  25. Fall 2002 RTW
  26. Spring 2002 RTW
  27. Fall 2001 RTW
  28. Spring 2001 RTW
  29. Spring 2000 RTW
  1. Resort 2015
  1. Pre-Fall 2012
  2. Pre-Fall 2011
  1. Spring 2015 Menswear
  2. Fall 2014 Menswear
  3. Spring 2014 Menswear
  4. Fall 2013 Menswear
  5. Spring 2013 Menswear
  6. Fall 2012 Menswear
  7. Spring 2012 Menswear
  8. Fall 2011 Menswear
  9. Spring 2011 Menswear
  10. Fall 2010 Menswear
  11. Spring 2010 Menswear
  12. Spring 2009 Menswear
  13. Fall 2008 Menswear
  14. Spring 2008 Menswear
  15. Fall 2007 Menswear
  16. Spring 2007 Menswear
  17. Fall 2006 Menswear
  18. Spring 2006 Menswear
  19. Fall 2005 Menswear
  20. Spring 2005 Menswear

RELATED ARTICLES (6)

ABOUT THE DESIGNER

Jil Sander

Jil Sander

Born in Wesselburen, Germany, in 1943, designer Jil Sander founded her eponymous fashion house in 1968 following a short stint as a fashion editor at a German women's magazine entitled Petra. In 1968 she opened her first store in Hamburg, and just five years later launched her first women's collection of contemporary clothing for a new generation of businesswomen. She became known as a master of the basics with a minimalist aesthetic. more >

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