Jil Sander in Japan, 2010 (Getty)
So, the rumours were true: Jil Sander the woman is returning, for a third time, to Jil Sander the brand. I find this so mind-boggling — does no one learn from history? — I am going to let them explain the situation, kind of, themselves. Here’s the official announcement, with some comments from the sidelines:
“JIL SANDER SpA herewith announces the appointment of Ms. Jil Sander as Creative Director of the JIL SANDER Group, effective on the 28th of February 2012.”
That is, three days after the next collection, designed by current creative director Raf Simons; that’s going to be a hard sell to retailers, but guess they decided it was worth swallowing the loss.
Maybe we should have expected this from someone who has built their business on cashmere and other super-soft, swaddling fabrics, but I was still somewhat taken aback when Brunello Cucinelli, the Italian luxury lifestyle entrepreneur who began his €250m business hand-dyeing sweaters, told me yesterday that he was excited about his planned IPO in May because he wanted “investors who would help take care of the company into the future.”
He had children, he continued as we were looking at his A/W collection, and he was in his late 50s, and soon they would need partners that would walk alongside them and help them nurture their brand.This is, in my experience, not the view most brand executives take on the benefits of going to market. They usually get excited about opening multiple stores in Asia or something.