JIL SANDER, fashion designer “THE OPPOSITE OF SEXISM”
“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.