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Sander to Meet on Production Move

MILAN — Management and German workers’ representatives at Prada-owned Jil Sander AG are meeting today to discuss a plan to move the remainder of the brand’s apparel manufacturing to Italy and out of Germany, WWD has...

MILAN — Management and German workers’ representatives at Prada-owned Jil Sander AG are meeting today to discuss a plan to move the remainder of the brand’s apparel manufacturing to Italy and out of Germany, WWD has learned.

Italian subcontractors already manufacture nearly all of Jil Sander’s apparel, but a small portion of the women’s clothing is still produced in Germany. Prada has been working to centralize all production in Italy to better exploit synergies between its brands, which include Prada and Miu Miu as well as Jil Sander and Helmut Lang.

The Italian luxury group is working to bring Jil Sander back into the black after a series of losses. Jil Sander chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris told WWD earlier this year that one of the brand’s priorities is leveraging Prada’s leather goods know-how to grow Jil Sander’s accessories business. He forecast a profit on the operating EBITDA level, which includes some onetime items, for fiscal 2006.

Jil Sander has not yet released fiscal 2004 numbers, but Ferraris said in January that sales should rise about 13.8 percent in full-year 2004 after revenue lost nearly 10 percent in 2003.

A team of designers is overseeing creative direction of the house in the absence of Jil Sander herself, who in November left the company that bears her name for the second time. Recently, the first women’s collection since her exit earned positive reviews.