Jil Sander Signs Innerwear License

Firm to launch innerwear and beachwear.

MILAN — While speculation continues to mount about a possible sale of the brand, Jil Sander AG on Wednesday unveiled the signing of an innerwear and beachwear license with Italian manufacturer Albisetti SpA.

This story first appeared in the August 28, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The first innerwear collection will bow in September 2009, while the first beachwear line will be launched in February 2010.

“Jil Sander is a brand that boasts the aesthetic competence necessary to create a total look,” said Sander’s creative director, Raf Simons. “I am happy to complete the image of Jil Sander with an innovative line of innerwear and beachwear that enhance the body.”

Gian Giacomo Ferraris, Sander’s chief executive officer, said the new license “is a strategic step in the growth of our company’s business in new sectors and in luxury accessories that complete the Jil Sander world.”

Albisetti, based in Vertemate, outside Como, lists partnerships with designers and brands such as Roberto Cavalli, John Galliano, Burberry, Chloé, Vivienne Westwood, Ralph Lauren, Guess, Pucci and Balenciaga. “Albisetti is always looking for collaborations with the most innovative and prestigious maisons and designers at an international level, and Jil Sander for me represents the synthesis between tradition, modernity, quality and purity of style,” said Antonio Bianchi, president and ceo of the company.

Both collections will be available at Jil Sander boutiques worldwide, department stores and specialized stores.

As reported, London-based private equity fund Change Capital Partners, which controls Sander, is said to be considering exiting its investment. According to sources, the fund, which acquired the company from Prada SpA in February 2006, has received a nonbinding offer of interest from “Chinese investors.” For the year ended Jan. 31, Sander registered operating profits of 6 million euros, or $8.3 million at average exchange, on sales of 131 million euros, or $181.4 million.