Jil Sander: Sprachpanscher

Admiring the latest Jil Sander Collection I decided to find out more about the status of affairs of the bussines this fantastic creative gave life to. I found some good stuff (wikipedia).
"In 1999 Prada Group bought a 75% share in JIL SANDER company. Ms. Sander, remained creative designer and became chairwoman in the new joint venture. Six months later, in January 2000, Ms. Sander unexpectedly left after confrontations with Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli, a quick-tempered Italian businessman. She, an uncompromising perfectionist, refused in using cheaper materials and at bringing the traditionally slim fits in line with standard sizes. Mr. Bertelli had demanded of Jil, some very drastic cost cuts and a more affordable mainstream approach. Bertelli also insisted on giving up the contributary workshops in Germany in favor of the shops in Italy owned by Prada. Thus, for the first time in many years, Ms. Sander was able to indulge in extensive travelling, sailing, going to the opera and taking care of her gardens after her resignation but the fashion house, not surprisingly, plummeted without the designer who defined it.

Milan Vukmirovic, a former buyer from Colette and Gucci team designer, had been installed as Ms. Sander’s successor by Bertelli. He unsuccessfully tried to follow in her footsteps. Pressured by Prada to cater to a wider audience, Vukmirovic came up with mediocre but commercially viable sportswear collections in 2002 and 2003 that drove away longstanding Jil Sander patrons and failed to attract new customers. The company had been in the red since 2001. It was said that with rapidly sinking sales Prada Group had to go to huge expenses just to keep the house of Jil Sander going.

Comeback and Abandonment

To everyone’s surprise Ms. Sander, whose heart was probably bleeding when she looked at what Prada had made of her fashion house, returned to the company she had founded more than 30 years before as head designer and partner in May 2003, after her noncompete clause had expired. Supposedly, Bertelli had begged her to come back. Her sensational comeback was celebrated unanimously and with much fanfare by the international press. Her designs, bearing the unmistakable Jil Sander signature with a more feminine look, were loved by customers and critics alike. She re-invented herself. She designed two collections that were both shown in Milan, she altered Vukmirovic’s existing sketches for the men’s collection, she redesigned some of her boutiques and even sat down to go through the books herself. Everyone was certain that with the spirit of the company back in the house things would get well again. But in November 2004, Ms. Sander agreed to terminate cooperation with Prada and resigned from her post again after insurmountable differences with Mr. Bertelli.

It is rumored that it had been Bertelli’s turn to financially support the company, after Ms. Sander herself had made heavy investments, so that Jil Sander AG could be sold from Prada Group, already heavily indebted itself as the result of Mr. Bertelli's management. But apparently the banks refused Bertelli the necessary loans. Subsequently, the glamorous Jil Sander showroom in Hamburg was closed, production was entirely moved to Italy and of more than 300 jobs only about 50 remained. All that was left in Germany in early 2006 was an office for press, distribution and marketing personnel, the staff at the boutiques as well as the Hamburg atelier for the women’s collection. The corporation was supposed be transformed into a holding company with the Italian subsidiaries taking over administrative and business duties. Prada Group still held a 98% stake in the company which generated losses of €10 million after taxes in the first half-year of 2005. The losses in 2004 had been almost €30 million.

For the time after Ms. Sander’s departure an in-house design team was formed to take care of the collections. The slim fits, so typical of Jil Sander, had meanwhile been adjusted to mainstream sizes.

Designers at JIL SANDER

In May 2005, it was announced that Raf Simons, a Belgian industrial designer who also has his own men’s label (Link) and is a professor at Vienna's University of Applied Arts, had become creative director for the women’s and men’s collection."
" * Ms. Sander was known for both her shy appearances in public and her power mania trying to bring everything under her control behind the scenes. She would rarely give interviews and not talk about her private life, a trait that only cultivated the myth about her person, and at the same time she would buy the rights to pictures about her in order to be able to control her public image and meticulously plan all the steps in her company where she was used to being the boss.

* For her notorious (and sometimes ridiculous) habit of mixing German and English words into gibberish sentences when being interviewed in German in the 1990s she was awarded the title of Sprachpanscher ( Sprache = language, panschen = to adulterate) by the Association of German Language (Verein Deutsche Sprache) in 1997."


My photo
Compilation of aesthetic manifestations beyond compliance, bring us emancipation.