After a noticeable absence from the fashion scene for several years, celebrated German fashion designer Jil Sander has finally dropped a new +J collection in collaboration with Uniqlo. Uniqlo had joined hands with Jil Sander in March 2009, and the fall 2011 collection was Sander’s last work in collaboration with Uniqlo. It has been more than 10 years since then, and here’s why designers are still going gaga over the Uniqlo Jill Sander 2020 collection.
Jil Sander started her own fashion house, Jil Sander, in Hamburg, Germany, in 1968. She began her career in fashion with her mother’s sewing machine, creating her first collection for Hoechst, a chemical company, using their trevira fabric. Finally, in 1973, she launched a collection under her own brand name.
The last collection launched by Uniqlo and Jil Sander over a decade ago challenged conventional clothing ideas and introduced concepts of accessibility and thoughtfulness through high-quality products.
Jil Sander announced the foundation of her own fashion consultancy back in March 2009. Her first client was Japanese Fast Retailing, for whom Sander oversaw the design of womenswear and menswear collections. She called this collection +J. Sander’s first +J collection was released on 1 October 2009. In Jil Sander’s own words, it consisted of “about 40 pieces for men and 100 for women, including coats, jackets, T-shirts, knitwear and accessories.” All of these featured Jil Sander’s signature demure colors and minimalist aesthetic.
The second +J line was launched in December 2009 for Spring and Summer wear throughout Asia. After three very prosperous years, Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing and Jil Sander declared that their partnership deal would not be renewed at the end of 2011. This marked the end of +J at that time. The split between the parties was mutual, and their last collection was for the Winter 2011 season.
After taking a sabbatical from the fashion world and exiting her namesake brands twice in early August, designers were excited when Sander finally returned with a new collection. This collection seems to showcase her experience in working with women’s clothes, including multi-stripe shirts, band collars, a small puffer jacket with fluted sleeves, and delightful merino wool cardigans.
The new collection includes wool-blend cardigans and turtlenecks, woolen trousers, cozy jackets and mid-length down jackets with large pockets and decorative ties, silk blouses and cashmere jumpers, amongst other things. Sander also remarked that the pandemic greatly inspired her new collection. The men’s wardrobe includes a down-filled blouson, sleek chinos and an oversized work jacket.
The Uniqlo Jill Sander 2020 collaboration released in all Uniqlo stores. It was a long-awaited release that marked a strong comeback in the fashion industry.
The Uniqlo Jill Sander 2020 collection revolves around disposable fashion. Sander believes her work resonates with her Japanese collaborator’s logistics and buying power.
In conversation with WWD about her work, she says, “I looked for larger shapes that can shelter us, for more softness and kindness...But my general approach hasn’t changed. I tried to advance my idea of sophisticated 3-D designs that underline the personality of the wearer. So, I took care to fit the volumes in a way that defines the body.”
She suggested buyers adorn themselves with an entire look/outfit rather than singling out individual pieces. She speaks of her joy at designing the Chesterfield coat, which is a must lookout from her collection. She says, “A coat is always shifting in proportions; it has lots of details I want to adjust according to a contemporary sensibility.”
The Uniqlo Jill Sander’s 2020 comeback got designers going gaga over the minimalist winter collection, which is a true Sander hallmark. The release contains utilitarian parkas, cashmere sweaters and wool trousers, along with casual pieces like easy suits and shirts. They all reflect an enlightened understatement.
The post-pandemic world has been drowned in various crises. It has challenged economies in multiple industries, including fashion. The Uniqlo Jill Sander 2020 collection is set to revive the company’s assets with the tie-up. The massively successful collaboration already has fashion lovers excited.
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