Since stepping down from her namesake label, many devoted Jil Sander followers have been hoping that the designer would step back into the role of designer. The rumors were re-fueled when it was reported that Sander was spotted at the Premiere Vision textile trade show in Paris last February.
Now comes the news that Sander has inked a deal to hold a position as a design consultant for Uniqlo. Sander will oversee the men’s and women’s apparel for the Japanese retail giant whose prices are somewhere in between H & M and Topshop.
In a press conference, the German designer said, “Some of you [have known] me since I have been engaged in fashion, but I’m not interested in the past. Let us talk today about the future. I’m here in Tokyo for something completely different. The challenge for me is to establish a premium quality in a democratically-priced range.”
Reportedly, Sander will oversee all of Uniqlo’s products except for accessories and children’s wear.
Uniqlo has been known to collaborate with designers in the past such as Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang and Alice Roi through their Designers Invitation Project so it’s fitting that they’re also working on a capsule collection that featured Sander’s signature minimalist look (Uniqlo is also known for their minimalism). The collection is set to launch for the Fall 2009 season.
The affordably priced Uniqlo is one of the few retailers succeeding in recessionary Japan – February’s same-store sales were up 4.2 percent.