Friday, August 1, 2008

With the recent news that Jil Sander is on the auction block, again, I can't help but to shake my head a bit and cluck. Jil Sander's a very rare story in design. Its one of the very few that includes a narrative about a designer who actually knows how to succeed in the business of fashion. And then when the money comes rolling in, the multinational corporation makes a bit of a mess of the brand.

Okay, okay, it took Sander decades to make the bucks. But she kind of revolutionized fashion, using her own face to launch campaigns, brokering licensing deals to bring in revenues, and oh yes, who could forget those ingeniously clean cuts that have become synonymous with the brand? Imagine all this in the heydey of the eighties, among a sea of big shoulders and pleated pants.

Not that the label's current creative team isn't talented, especially under Raf Simons. But it certainly seems to have lost a bit of its luster. I remember when Sander, herself, came back, despite all those publicized blow-ups with Prada bigwigs. Oh, the hopes and expectations! Of course it was all quite a rollercoaster ride when she left again a short year later, no doubt remembering the old reasons why she quite her own house in the first place.

If a company like Prada can't make a go of it without Jil, who can? It seems the label's current owners have wizened up to this, since they're trying to find the highest bidders after owning the label for just a couple of years. If Sander weren't so happy enjoying all her money...well, they do say that the third time's a charm.


Blogger said...

I probably was paying more attention to shoulders and pleats, but, like Ferre, did Americans ever go crazy over Jil Sanders?

David said...

I quite like jil sander under the direction of Raf, to bad the whole situation is so messy.

Victorya Hong said...

I always thought Jil Sander was like Dries, or CDG, or Demeulemeester. They have a sort of cool, cultish following of devoted customers. Ferre, not really so much. Not even in Europe, other than in Italy. I'm sure his men's colognes have brought in a lot of revenue, though.

Blogger said...

Ferre received press all the time. Whether people were buying his stuff or not. He was always in Vogue, Town and Country with the other top designers.