JIL SANDER, fash­ion de­signer “THE OP­PO­SITE OF SEXISM”

Bulletin - - Contents -

“What was your most vi­sion­ary idea?” – “My de­sign is rooted not so much in an idea as in an attitude. It’s al­ways been about de­cid­ing what to leave out rather than what to add. I’ve cho­sen to go in the op­po­site di­rec­tion from the sexism of post-war fash­ion, which was pre­oc­cu­pied with or­na­ment­ing women’s cloth­ing. I wanted to give my de­signs a dy­namic qual­ity and make it eas­ier for women to move, also in the sense of their ca­reer. In the past, fash­ion of­ten re­duced women to ob­jects to be looked at. The bot­tle for my first fra­grance, ‘ Woman Pure,’ was em­blem­atic of my ap­proach.”

“Would you say that one of your early goals was to make fash­ion more demo­cratic?” – “Yes. That also led me to ac­cept an of­fer from the Ja­panese cloth­ing chain Uniqlo – although I had other op­tions – to de­sign a line in­tended to make high-qual­ity fash­ion af­ford­able to a broader range of cus­tomers. The vi­sion was to pro­vide a sense of moder­nity and an ap­peal that was in­de­pen­dent of the cus­tomer’s in­come level and would be uni­ver­sally un­der­stood and re­spected.”

“The way you achieved that vi­sion was quite rev­o­lu­tion­ary.” – “My quilted down jacket cre­ated an in­ter­na­tional trend. At the time when I in­cluded it in my +J col­lec­tion for Uniqlo, such jack­ets were found only in spe­cialty shops for moun­tain climbers. But their out­door-in­spired fea­tures are ideal for ev­ery­day life. These jack­ets are light­weight, they keep you warm with­out over­heat­ing, and with the right cut, they cre­ate a dy­namic sil­hou­ette.”

Jil Sander, 74, is an in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized Ger­man fash­ion de­signer. She was awarded Ger­many’s Fed­eral Cross of Merit (1995), is an hon­orary mem­ber of the Deutscher De­signer Club (2012) and has re­ceived count­less other awards and hon­ors.

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