Jil Sander is to return to the Jil Sander label next week as creative director, replacing Raf Simons.
The designer, who founded the label in 1968, will make her third comeback to the eponymous brand.
The Jil Sander Group hailed the move as “an important step to foster a long term growth development that was part of the strategic plan” which led to the brand acquisition in 2008.
Chief executive, Alessandro Cremonesi, said it was a “moving moment” to welcome Sander back. He added: “Jil Sander’s human passion and visionary strength are a priceless force for the future of our company. Her entrepreneurial attitude will be highly benefical to all aspects of the Jil Sander Group. It’s almost too good to be true.”
Unsurprisingly, Sander said in a statement she was “happy” and “excited” to be back. She added: “It will be a great challenge and a greater joy to design Jil Sander’s contemporary identity. I am convinced that the moment is as favorable as could be wished. The fashion world needs original voices and genuine signatures. I will do my best to, once again, join the choir.”
Sander’s stop-start relationship with the label had been prompted by disagreements with Patrizio Bertelli, chief executive of Prada Group, which took a 75% in Jil Sander in 1999. Disagreements led to her departure in 2000 and Sander’s design and production team followed. She made a surprise return again in 2003 but stayed only for two collections. Prada sold its stake in Jil Sander to private equity firm Change Capital Partners in 2006.
Simons, who joined Jil Sander in 2005, will show his last collection at Milan Fashion Week on Saturday (February 25).
Speculation is mounting that the Belgian designer will emerge as creative director at fashion house Dior - a role that was vacated by disgraced designer John Galliano last year.