So said Jil Sander at the press conference here Tuesday confirming her much-awaited comeback to the fashion world as a design consultant to Japan fast-fashion giant Uniqlo. The German designer will oversee the brand’s women’s and men’s apparel collections, as reported exclusively in WWD Tuesday.
“Some of you [have known] me since I have been engaged in fashion, but I’m not interested in the past,” said Sander, who left her namesake label for the second time in 2004. “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.”
The stock market welcomed the news, lifting Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing Co. Ltd.’s shares up 8.6 percent to close at 11,020 yen, or $111.76, against a 3.2 percent rise for the blue chip Nikkei index.
As reported, Sander will not receive an official title at the company, but she will take over the creative control for all the retailer’s products, excluding accessories and children’s wear. The Japanese brand and Sander are also working to develop a special Uniqlo collection set to bow for the fall season. Details regarding the line — including its name — have not been disclosed. Obviously, Fast Retailing will need to find a creative detour around the fact that fellow Japanese fashion firm Onward Holdings Co. Ltd. owns the designer’s former fashion house and retains commercial rights to her full name.
Fast Retailing chairman Tadashi Yanai described Sander as “top of the top” and said he didn’t have any other candidates for the role. The executive credited the designer for developing the “modern basic.” During a press conference at the Four Seasons hotel here, he also mentioned the designer’s cachet could justify some price increases for Uniqlo.
Fast Retailing executives declined to specify the duration of Sander’s contract. The designer, clad in a black knee-length coat, stated she had received “a lot of offers from many companies” since leaving the fashion world, but she ultimately decided to try something “completely different” and work exclusively for the Japanese label.
“My passion has always been quality and pureness. Now I am looking forward to establishing a new value in the world,” said Sander, known for her minimalist and highly controlled aesthetic. Although the reclusive designer appeared slightly nervous at the press conference, she appeared to warm up during the subsequent photo session — to the point of giving Yanai a small peck on the cheek.
A short while later, Yanai and Sander mingled at a cocktail party with Japanese fashion editors and executives including Ricky C. Sasaki, president and chief executive officer of Fast Retailing subsidiary Link Theory Holdings Co. Ltd. At the event, Fast Retailing vice president Yukihiro Katsuta recalled how the company’s initial contact with Sander went back as far as last June. The deal was a long one in the making, but it wasn’t difficult establishing that first contact, he shared.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)