TOKYO — Jil Sander may have retired from the fashion game but the German minimalist designer’s creations are about to hit Uniqlo shelves once again.
Uniqlo said Wednesday it will launch a special collection of “the greatest designs” from the +J collection Sander crafted for the retailer over five seasons from fall-winter 2009. Sander’s name was not mentioned anywhere in the brand’s press release and a Uniqlo spokesman confirmed that Sander is not involved in the revival.
The Japanese brand, part of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., said it will reissue “carefully selected garments” such as button-down shirts, down jackets and wool sweaters. The re-launch will consist of 42 products, 27 for men and 15 for women.
The collection will launch in 15 of Uniqlo’s 16 geographic markets including Japan, the United States and China, the spokesman said. In other words, +J products will hit every country where Uniqlo is present except for Russia. The rollout will start this month in key flagships and major stores.
The company spokesman said Uniqlo has not yet decided whether this project will continue beyond the fall-winter 2014 season.
“Loved for its timeless yet forward-looking style and affordable quality…+J grew to one of the most successful fashion collaborations of all time-elevating basic garments for functional, minimalist elegance, to suit any lifestyle,” Uniqlo said.
Uniqlo and Sander joined forces in 2009 with much fanfare. She designed the collection, with an emphasis on wardrobe staples and outerwear, out of her atelier in Hamburg. The two parties ended their collaboration in 2011.
Sander, known for her comings and goings as much as her meticulous tailoring, founded her namesake brand in 1968. Over the past 15 years, the brand’s ownership has changed hands from Sander herself to Prada Group, to investment fund Change Capital Partners, and on to its current owner Onward Holdings. Sander worked three stints before she left her brand for the third time in October 2013. In April, Onward tapped former Vionnet designer Rodolfo Paglialunga to design the Jil Sander brand.