WAITING ROOM: Anyone hoping for a Jil Sander comeback is going to have to wait — until 2003. The management board of Jil Sander AG issued a statement on Tuesday saying Sander cannot, under contract, work in fashion until January 2003. The board said that it drafted the statement in response to “recently published articles in the press [reporting] rumors about a possible agreement between Mrs. Sander and a high-level fashion company to design their collection.”
On Monday, WWD reported that speculation about Sander replacing Martin Margiela as the ready-to-wear designer at Hermes was reaching a fever pitch. While Hermes has repeatedly said that it is standing by Margiela — who has been designing the collection since 1997 — the rumors won’t die. Sander, who sold her company to Prada Group in 1999, and left the company five months later after a falling-out with group chief Patrizio Bertelli, could not be reached for comment.
The statement said Sander “is bound by an agreement with Jil Sander AG not to enter into activities which may directly or indirectly compete with the business operations of the Jil Sander Group. This agreement is valid until January 2003, and we do not have any indications according to which Mrs. Sander might not respect her contractual obligations.” The Jil Sander collection is currently designed by Milan Vukmirovic, formerly of Gucci Group and the Paris-based retailer Colette.

LOWDOWN ON LOEWE: Still nothing official yet, but Narciso Rodriguez and Loewe are expected to jointly announce the end of their association soon. Rodriguez’s contract at the LVMH-owned house runs through October and he is expected to complete one more collection after the one he is slated to show today. The designer declined to comment.

TOMMY FLURRY: Quelle surprise guest! Tommy Hilfiger turned up in the front row at the Celine show on Tuesday night, prompting a flurry of paparazzi flashes — and questions galore, given today’s deal-a-minute business climate. “I was in Paris, and a friend invited me,” he said. “I’m here for one day and one show and in my opinion, Michael Kors’s is the best show.” Hilfiger said he was doing a city a day in Europe, having just come from London. After Paris, he was headed to Florence to look at the location where he’s opening a new Tommy Hilfiger store.

FIGHT CLUB: Don’t talk to Chloe Sevigny about the looming actors’ strike. “It’s messing up all my prospects,” she lamented as she sat front-row at Christian Dior. “And I haven’t done a movie in two years.” Sevigny came to Paris at Dior’s invitation and planned to meet with a few directors while in Paris. Maybe she should pitch the idea of a female version of “Rocky.” After seeing John Galliano’s rock’em, sock’em collection, she said: “The boxing bit was my favorite. Girls with bruises, I like that.” Also catching attention in the front row were actress Rebecca Romjin-Stamos and Kate Moss.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: “I’m a little too young to work in fashion,” confessed Bernard Arnault’s son Antoine, 23. “To be honest, I don’t think I have the fiber for it yet.” But he’s getting his feet wet anyway and attended his first Dior show on Tuesday. The young Arnault recently launched an Internet business, where users can register domain names, called “It’s quite technical. It’s probably the only business on the Internet that still works,” he joked. “And it’s not as sexy as fashion. I love fashion and especially men’s fashion.” And so what does he wear? “I wear Dior, I wear Celine; mostly things from the group,” he said. “And I recently started to wear Louis Vuitton. It’s a little expensive, but it’s nice.”