THE SANDER SAGA
PARIS — Don’t rule out a Jil Sander-Patrizio Bertelli reconciliation.
Although the Prada chief said last month that he “hasn’t really thought about asking her to come back,” speculation is building among some of her friends and former colleagues that Sander may in fact rejoin the company that bears her name.
Sander abruptly exited the business in January 2000, five months after Prada Group bought a majority stake in her fashion house. At the time, both parties made it clear that reconciliation was not in the cards. But sources said that Sander is loath to lose control over her name and is eager to get back into the fashion game. Bertelli replaced Sander with former Colette buyer Milan Vukmirovic, naming him creative director in November 2000. His women’s wear collections have received mixed reviews so far.
Sander’s contract with Prada bars her from working in fashion until January 2003, a fact which came to light during the ready-to-wear shows here last March, when the rumor du jour was that the designer might join Hermes. All parties denied that possibility.
Sander could not be reached for comment. A Prada spokeswoman reiterated Sunday that a reunion with Sander was unlikely.