Thursday, 20 January 2011

Fashion - Jil Sander

A minimalist German fashion designer

classic - elegant - and....timeless

My favorite Fashion Designer
- since she started with her shop in Hamburg 
just around the corner from where I lived -
is certainly....


Heidemarie Jiline 'Jil' Sander, born in Wesselburen, Schleswig-Holstein,
grew up with her mother and later studied textile design in Krefeld
from where she graduated as a textile engineer in 1963.
Having spent two years as an exchange student
at University of California at Los Angeles,
she worked as a fashion editor at German women's magazine Petra
before opening her first boutique in Hamburg 1967, being 24 years old.

She started out selling fashion designed by Thierry Mugler and Sonia Rykiel
and also a few of her own designs.
And, with few ups and downs, she founded her eponymous fashion house,
Jil Sander GmbH in 1968.

 Showing her collection in Paris in 1975 proved a complete failure, though.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s,
when the fashion world was dominated by lavish,
colorful and glitzy Dynasty-style designs by the likes of
Claude Montana with his broad-shouldered leather look,
Jil Sander's minimalist collections,
with a focus on fabric quality came close to a revolution in the fashion world
and were not accepted next to the Parisian catwalks.
Here style only started gaining attention in the 1990s.


During the 1980s
we customers were sent twice a year a 'Fashion Folder'
to give us a first impression of the forthcoming collection.

Luckily I kept a few
from where I scanned some pictures to share.....

Jil Sander's trademark look, a contemporary, somewhat odd, New Look
-originally intended for women conquering executive positions in the 1980s-
was that of a precisely cut pantsuit...

..a slim blouse..

...and a form-fitting coat..

...made of luxurious fabrics... beige... plain grey... blue... black or white.


Jil Sander enjoyed almost cult-like followings for her fashions
that could all be easily coordinated
and have always ranged in the top price segment.

For her single-minded focus on understated elegance..

...high-end materials...

...and refined tailoring,

Jil Sander has been described as the...


...the Queen of Less...

...Master of Minimalism



Remark:  All pictures from the FALL/WINTER COLLECTIONS 1987 and 1988 be continued


  1. Hello! I love all the information and background that you give on the beautiful Jill Sander- also love her perfume. I have to tell you that by coincidence, the model in the 7th, 10 and 11th image- is actually Josie Borain- ex model from South Africa , back after her modeling days and now turned photographer who loves here in Cape Town..
    thank you for sharing, looking forward to the rest. xo Colette ~Afrique du Sud

  2. Great post, love classical pieces and these are all my style. Those pantsuits, they're back!

  3. Thank you for sharing this information and the pictures, Karin. Love Linda Evangelista in that camel color cashmere coat. I admire Jill Sander, love the quality of her clothes. I have a couple of shoes by her and they don't disappoint either. I keep wondering how a person (me) that loves antique and rococo style in particular, prefers minimal style of Jill Sander, no ruffles on clothes for me :)

  4. Dear Karin,

    what lovely work you did with your text and photos about the fashion designer JIL SANDER.

    Interesting sory of my favourite woman designer alive.

    All the best