MILAN — Lucie and Luke Meier want to look at the future with positivity and optimism, two elements that will define the mood of their Jil Sander women’s collection, which will be unveiled with a physical runway show during Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday at 7 p.m. local time.
As they admitted during a meeting at the Jil Sander showroom a few days ahead of the show, the fact that they just had a baby — a beautiful girl born in June — is certainly influencing their vision.
“We see this future ahead that has to be written and we feel so excited about the idea of introducing her to the people we love, and show her the place and the things we like,” said Lucie Meier.
“She will have to learn everything and, at the same time, we have this opportunity to experience things that we already know like it’s the first time for us, too,” said Luke Meier.
The miracle of life happening in front of their eyes is having a significant impact on the overall approach of the Jil Sander creative directors, two individuals who, while appearing reserved and almost shy compared with their more flamboyant and eccentric peers, actually stand out from the crowd with their sensitive, graceful personalities.
And, amid this celebration of life, Jil Sander with its runway show will bring life to an abandoned real estate development in Milan, which in the mind of its developers was expected to become a high-end residential area with a lot of facilities, but was never really completed.
This will the first physical runway show staged by the brand since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
“We don’t want to become repetitive talking about the pandemic, but really I cannot think about something similar that hit the whole world in the near past,” said Luke Meier. “In a way, we have to adapt to this, which doesn’t mean that we don’t have to care anymore, but since this is the new reality, we are all asked to deal with it and possibly look ahead with hope.”
Fashion-wise, the designers translated this desire for optimism into a collection that combines the brand’s signature more rigid silhouettes with a new sense of fluidity. “It’s very much about the contrasts between rigid and fluid, hard and soft, masculine and feminine,” said Lucie Meier.
In addition, Luke Meier revealed that this season they employed mainly natural fabrics and many of them were manipulated with dyeing processes and surface treatments for an artisanal approach.
In terms of colors, the designers continued to explore a wider palette, which this season will include several sorbets. “It’s not about bright shades, it’s more about conveying a message of freshness and lightness,” Lucie Meier explained.
Jil Sander, which last March was sold to Renzo Rosso’s OTB fashion group, is opening a temporary shop on New York’s Green Street in SoHo. The pop-up will change its setup three times to host different men’s and women’s seasonal collections. The shop, debuting with the fall 2021 lineup, opens its doors showing monochrome sunshine yellow flooring, chairs and cabinets matched with off-white plaster walls.
“We designed it with the goal of looking very artistic, and, again, fresh and positive,” said Luke Meier. “It’s a sort of unique environment, very different from a permanent store, it’s a space to be enjoyed at the moment.”
The opening of the pop-up marks a comeback for the brand to New York, where Jil Sander in the past operated a flagship on Madison Avenue, which was closed “since it was not reflecting our vision for the brand,” Lucie Meier explained, adding that it’s definitely in the company’s pipeline to open a new permanent unit in Manhattan.
Asked about their first thoughts on the collaboration with OTB, which recently named Ubaldo Minelli as chief executive officer of the Jil Sander brand, Luke Meir praised the fact that the group’s management is studying the company to develop a thoughtful growth strategy. “What we really like about the group is that they respect the individual identity of each brand [within OTB], defining customized solutions,” he added. “Which for us means, ‘so far, so good.'”