Rumor: Husband & Wife Duo Take Over Jil Sander

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Illustration by Hilton Dresden

The fashion Ferris wheel is back in motion. This time around, German house Jil Sander is gearing up for a new turn. With creative director Rodolfo Paglialunga supposedly set to hop off following his latest Womenswear collection, Jil Sander has reportedly tapped not one, but two designers to steer in his stead. Husband and wife Luke and Lucie Meier have apparently been appointed as joint creative directors of the label, and will design both men’s and women’s collections in tandem.

Following seasons of critically mixed reviews and faltering commercial success, it seems due time for the brand to shake things up. With Paglialunga out, however, the brand just might be poised for a serious comeback. The married team has impressive resumes, covering everything from streetwear to couture. Mr. Meier, once creative director of Supreme, currently designs the highly technical and much lauded menswear line OAMC (formerly Over All Master Cloth). Mrs. Meier most recently oversaw Ready-to-Wear and Couture at Dior underneath Creative Direction of Raf Simons—a Jil Sander alumnus himself. Following his departure, she and design partner Serge Ruffieux took center stage and lead the Dior design team. After Maria Grazia Chiuri was named creative director last summer, Mrs. Meier and Ruffieux—now creative director at Carven—departed.

If appointed, this couple could very well elevate the brand to levels not seen since Simons was the helm in the mid 2000’s. The collaborative efforts of two designers who together understand clothing on all levels, from street to Atelier, could be something quite special. Stay tuned for any developments.

Shop the Hottest Designer Collaborations of All Time

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It seems like when our favorites designers release collaborations, the good stuff is swooped up within hours. Everyone wants a piece, and rightfully so — when else are you gonna get a piece of fashion history for pennies on the usual dollar? For all the shoes and jackets we couldn’t buy then, we’ll forever have reverse buyer’s remorse… which is why we’re on a mission to find it all again now. Lucky you.

 

Alexander Wang x H&M

The Alexander Wang x H&M collaboration was one of the most hyped we’ve seen — and totally worth it. City-ready athletic wear you can and will want to wear out at night? Hell yeah, that scuba dress is perfection! Didn’t we see Rihanna in that sports bra? And come fall, you won’t want to be without that cool parka.

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JW Anderson x TOPSHOP

Designer JW Anderson’s stock has risen since this TOPSHOP collab came out in 2013. Now he’s helming Loewe, too, and the fashion world can’t get enough. That’s why this back-to-school argyle skirt and cool leather boots are must-haves. We’re scooping them up if you don’t.

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+J (Jil Sander x UNIQLO)

+J was perfect while it lasted. (We still mourn the loss.) Jil Sander’s then-ongoing collaboration with UNIQLO was everything we wanted for staples in our closet — especially the jackets.

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Missoni for Target

Legit you can’t tell the difference — might as well be real deal, main line Missoni. And this is the perfect dress for summer.

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Maison Martin Margiela x H&M

For its H&M collab, Margiela pulled out the archives and remade the highlights. These Perspex-heeled boots are quintessentially Margiela. You could wear them forever.

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Adidas x Kanye West

These Yeezy kicks are HOT. They might defy that pennies on the dollar rule, but can you put a price on love?

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Raf Simons x Adidas Stan Smiths

Here we have a classic, slightly retooled by one of the chicest designers in the world.

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Marques’Almeida x H&M

Don’t you love it when the collaboration looks just like the designer stuff? The high rise ripped jeans are a staple from May to September (but you could break the rules and wear ‘em whenever). The fray on the denim jacket makes it Marques’Almeida and unique.

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Isabel Marant x H&M

A critically lauded collection full of must-haves. We’re particularly partial to the wear-anywhere chiffon dress and über-chic tuxedo jacket.

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Marni x H&M

Marni is art-mom-chic in the best possible way, and this patent leather jacket and knit has us feeling creative.

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Shop all of these looks in our curated collection on ebay.

 

Margiela Changes Its Name + 5 Fashion Meltdowns to Remember

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Maison Margiela Artisinal Spring 2015, Courtesy of Maison Margiela

With regard to everything except the clothes, John Galliano‘s much-talked about return, the debut collection for Maison Margiela was a drama free affair. The location? The 4th floor of a new London office tower. As Vanessa Friedman put it for the New York Times, In case you missed it: new building, new businesslike beginning.” All of this quiet professionalism is intentional. The clothes will speak for themselves, giving Galliano a chance to cement his status of “in recovery” from the infamous drunken, anti Semitic rant of 2011. 

Something else happened too, almost silently. What’s been “Maison Martin Margiela” since 1988 became “Maison Margiela.” It seems a wise choice to make this move with little-to-no fanfare–after all the noise surrounding the Saint Laurent rebranding was louder than anything else, for quite some time.

The name change has avoided controversy, perhaps because Galliano himself is already enshrouded in it. With the demands of a countlessly expanding seasonal schedule (spring, fall, resort, pre-fall, couture, and so on,) immense financial pressure, and fierce competition, fashion can break one down and chew one up ’til there’s nothing much to do but pitch a fit. Here’s a look back at a few designers who did:

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1. John Galliano’s Anti-Semitic Rant

First up in our short history of fashion tantrums, let’s revisit the incidents that led to Galliano’s firing from Dior. In 2011, Galliano went on a drunk tirade, one he later said he remembered nothing of, verbally attacking a couple in Paris, starting with ethnic slurs and moving on to criticize the woman’s clothes, thighs, and more.

At trial, he cited the immense pressures he felt on the job and said he was addicted to alcohol, sleeping pills, and valium. The judges disagreed, deeming him to have had “sufficient awareness of his act despite his addiction and his fragile state.” 

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2. The Saint Laurent vs. YSL Debacle

This infamous name change must have had public relations professionals everywhere shaking in their boots, and probably paved the path for Margiela’s approach to rebranding — a what not to do.

Hedi Slimane’s entrance at the house formerly known as YSL was shaky on many grounds. Around 2012, it was a straight-up disaster though. Business of Fashion‘s founder and Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed wrote extensively about the ongoing interactions with the communications team after they were asked to edit a tweet (as BlackBook’s social media manager, I know very well that this is impossible) and ultimately neglected invitations to Slimane’s debut collection “because they were unhappy with the ‘tone of voice’ that we have used when writing about YSL.” There was also mass confusion over the name and to how the company would be referred. A lengthy press release was concocted to divvy up appropriate nomenclature.

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3. Christophe Decarnin Ordered to Stay in Bed

The crowd was confused when the 2011 Balmain show closed and then-designer Decarnin was nowhere to be found to take a bow. Immediately, conflicting reports emerged. Had the designer suffered a mental breakdown, was his absence due to drugs, or had he simply stayed up too late the night before, putting finishing touches on the collection?

Reps for Balmain cited “Doctor’s Orders” to account for his absence. Decarnin was reportedly recovering from nervous exhaustion, reigniting a frequent discussion about the potentially dangerous pace of the fashion industry today.

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4. Cathy Horyn Calls Oscar de la Renta a “hot dog”

After a harsh review with a colorful if misunderstood quasi-insult from Cathy Horyn (“far more a hot dog than an éminence grise of American fashion,”) the late ODLR wasted no words nor money to address his response, which he issued vis-à-vis a full page ad in WWD, entitled “An Open Letter to Cathy Horyn from Oscar De La Renta.”

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5. Is Jil Sander at Jil Sander?

Jil Sander founded her eponymous house in 1968. Since then, she’s exited and re-entered so many times that her comings and goings are both hard to keep track of, and met with incredulity.

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Meet Jil Sander’s New Creative Director

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Rodolfo Paglialunga photographed by Pierpaolo Ferrari, Jil Sander photographed by Peter Lindbergh

After wandering the fashion landscape without a leader since Jil Sander (the designer) left her own label (for the third time) in October, Jil Sander (the label) has a new creative director. Meet Rodolfo Paglialunga, formerly of Prada and Vionnet. Paglialunga told WWD, “I’m deeply honored to have the opportunity to take on this role. I have boundless admiration for the brand as I strongly believe in its pure vision and values. My aim is to carry forward the fusion between sophistication, luxury and innovation and bring the house [to] the next level.”

Jil Sander’s CEO Alessandro Cremonesi plans to focus the house’s development in the U.S. with Paglialunga. We’ll see the new creative director’s first collection for Jil Sander in September when showing spring 2015.

Raf Simons’ Jil Sander Replacement is Jil Sander

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Well, this is interesting. Today WWD reports that, hot off the heels of Jil Sander creative director Raf Simons’ exit, the real Jil Sander will be returning to the brand she founded in 1968 to reclaim her managing role. This would be Sander’s third comeback, following two phases of step downs in 2000 and 2004. Is she here to stay?

Although Jil Sander the brand is celebrated in the cult high-fashion realm, Sander the designer does have her work cut out for her. WWD talked to a few retailers who had very specific opinions about the brand’s direction. One retailer said that although a comeback makes sense now, “times have changed so much,” hinting that it may be time to update the brand’s aesthetic to appeal to a more commercial audience. Another retailer said that the brand’s knitwear works well, but the very slim cut of the suits cater to a younger demographic and "there are other brands that are not as expensive" that could deliver the same.

We’re curious to see what Sander will bring to the table and even more curious to see where Simons ends up. 

Say It Ain’t So: Raf Simons to Leave Jil Sander

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Our favorite minimalist fashion label Jil Sander has just announced that their creative director Raf Simons will say farewell to his position next Monday, February 27. This seriously saddens us because the Belgian designer really made Jil Sander what it is today. As we all metaphorically light a candy for this news, we’re simulataneously beginning the familar guessing game: Where will Simons go next?

Jil Sander says that his replacement will be announced in a few days, which uncovers a whole new layer of speculation. As for Simons’ next chapter, we wonder whether he’ll head to any of the rumored design houses (Yves Saint Laurent, Dior) or start his own thing. Our hope is that wherever he goes, he continues to deliver that signature highly-structural aesthetic we know and love.

Simons will show his final Jil Sander collection in Milan this Saturday, February 25.

Fall 2012 Couture: Dior Reborn

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This isn’t your mother’s Dior—or couture. The Dior that Raf Simons presented in Paris yesterday was infused with an innovative perspective that haute couture has long been waiting for. Equally intriguing was the spectacle surrounding the show: fashion powerhouses (Vogue‘s Anne Wintour, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Donatella Versace), A-listers (Sharon Stone, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence) and even royalty (Princess Charlene of Monaco) were all on-hand to witness the new artistic director’s remarkable debut. 

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Unlike the androgynous SS13 menswear that Simons presented just days before for his namesake label, the designer surprised the crowd with an ultra-feminine range that encourages women to veer from the ever-present minimalist trend and unapologetically deck the heck out. Silhouettes were volumnous by way of peplum tops and elegant gowns with full skirts, which were all punctuated with either floral embellishments, geometric overlays or subtle cutouts. Simons’ Jil Sander roots appeared in the form of vibrant color, which was displayed in a red-hot belted coat, a long-sleeved canary yellow dress, and—something rarely seen in couture—tie-dye.

As with any Simons’ collection, there’s always one blaring takeway. The femininty of peplums and gowns were balanced by straight-legged tuxedo pants, which was an interesting touch and something I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of both on and off the runway. The brilliant hot pink number above with a front slit for placing hands in pockets is the perfect representation of Dior’s traditional past and Simons’ game-changing future. See the complete collection here

Photos: Style.com

SS13 Menswear: Before Dior, Raf Simons Showcases Artful Androgyny

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When Raf Simons left his post at Jil Sander back in February, the fashion world wondered if it was the end of an era or the start of something great. Although the designer’s signature structural aesthetic would be missed at Sander, speculations swirled as to whether he was heading to Dior, which would be a thrilling turn for the iconic French fashion house. The appointment was confirmed in April and since then everyone has been waiting with baited breath for the new artistic director’s debut haute couture collection, which is happening in just a few days. But first, Simons needs to do Simons.

For the designer’s namesake line, Simons crafted a collection of garments that represented his past, present and future. His bold salute to the trio of trends currently infiltrating both men’s and women’s racks—androgyny, sportswear and retro—didn’t go unnoticed, as he cleverly punctuated Sander-esq tailored suits with short shorts, sneakers and hints of grunge.

Art also plays a part in Simons’ spring, thanks to pops of sherbet, wallpaper-friendly florals and artsy tees designed by LA-based artist Brian Calvin. An additional nod to womenswear came in the form of front slits featured on the aforemented short shorts, balanced by masculine blazers and crisp white top-buttoned shirts with oversized collars. 

If this is a taste of what we can expect from Simons at Dior, the future looks bright.

Photos: Style.com

Hedi Slimane Heading to YSL?

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Raf Simmons stepping down from Jil Sanders to make way for the flesh and blood Jil Sanders isn’t the only fashion house shake up this week. There were rumors that Simmons would take the reins at YSL from Stefano Pilati, but they denied them.  Now, new reports are beginning to trickle out of the fashionsphere that Hedi Slimane, whose spent the last few years focusing on photography, will be taking over YSL.  It’s an amazing, but odd choice. 

Known for his revolutionary work creating skinny suits at Christain Dior, Slimane has only designed womenswear in limited quanities.  Compare some of the dresses and skirts you see coming down the runway to the shirts and pants at mens shows and you can clearly see, it’s a whole different world.

AFP reports that the Slimane has already signed a contract and that the official announcement will be made sometime in the next several days during Paris Fashion Week. "He is becoming the new director at Yves Saint Laurent," one industry insider told them.

It will be a big return for Slimane if this ends up coming to fruition.  He worked for YSL on their menswear from 1997 to 2000. Fingers crossed for him to bring something new and incredible to women’s clothing, and you know, create a line for Target or H&M so that normal people can afford the looks.