>> Jil Sander is moving on from her +J partnership with Uniqlo, but not before one more collection hits limited Uniqlo stores in early September. A first look at the Fall 2011 offering, photographed by David Sims on Arizona Muse.
>> After a three-year run with Uniqlo, Jil Sander's Fall 2011 +J collection will be her last, the company announced today in a release: "With the recent completion of the design of the . . . Fall and Winter collection, Ms. Sander and [Uniqlo] agreed that they had fully explored the possibilities of their creative collaboration and accomplished what they had set out to do. Consequently, the two parties have decided to wrap up their design consulting agreement with this collection."
Uniqlo has never disclosed revenue for the +J line, and although Sander is notoriously difficult to work with, her relations with the company seemed to be going well as recently as February. According to an interview dated Feb. 1 with Tadashi Yanai, CEO and founder of Uniqlo parent company Fast Retailing, Yanai said: “Jil’s attitude towards clothing creation is truly incredible. She is particularly masterful when it comes to garment shape and style. She will recreate and refresh her designs until she is completely satisfied — even when it comes to the minutest detail. That is why customers feel so satisfied with the fit of collection clothes the instant they try them on. Uniqlo must embrace this fundamental attitude, as well as the passion and attention to detail that Jil brings to creating clothes.”
A Fast Retailing spokesman confirmed today that the company's team of 100 designers “learned a lot” while working with Sander, including her famed attention to detail in selection of raw materials.
>> Jil Sander's Spring 2011 +J Collection for Uniqlo hits stores in less than two weeks — on Jan. 26 — and we've got a preview of what to expect. The mantra for the collection is "basics that aren't monotonous," and the color scheme for the season is inspired by "desert breeze" and "nomads." Translation: jackets in sands, creams, and whites, cool blues, and pops of red on a dress or top here and there. The collection — more of which can be seen here, with price information — runs $19.90 for a tank to $229.90 for outerwear.
>> Jil Sander's third and most comprehensive +J collection for Uniqlo — 169 pieces — hits stores on Oct. 7, one year to the day after the premiere collection's launch.
Sander, who has signed on to do the collection through 2013, introduced her Fall 2010 offering to Hilary Alexander. The palette runs black, navy, white, silver-grey, beige, and all shades of blue — "Storm to sky," Sander says. There's a silvery down jacket with little leggings ("almost couture," Sander notes); a midnight felt coat, with detachable gilet and hood ("the most expensive felt, and real buttons, NOT plastic, which we hate"); a black wool and cashmere jacket ("very Jil Sander"); duffle coats in pewter wool, tight-fitted, and high-waisted ("they could be £2,000 at designer level"). The collection ranges from $15.90 for cut-and-sewn to $229.90 for outerwear.
>> Jil Sander's Contract with Uniqlo Runs Three More Years —It was reported in April that Jil Sander, whose first collection dropped for Uniqlo last October, would be designing for the chain indefinitely. Now, it comes out that Sander's contractual obligations are shorter than forever — in April, she signed up for three more years with Uniqlo, bringing her to age 70. Sander currently takes trips to Tokyo almost every month, but hopes that she can develop her former showroom and in-town office in Hamburg to cut down on travel. Her upcoming Fall collection for the brand will go on sale in September and includes "a shapely ginger coat with pockets curving over the hips; or a stylish cornflower blue parka teamed with a blue coat — both set to retail at under €120, or $150," Suzy Menkes reports. [IHT]
>> Jil Sander Has Book in the Works —Last month, Uniqlo announced that Jil Sander would be designing for the company indefinitely, and the designer is currently working on her third +J collection for the brand, but she's also got another, independent project in the works. She wants to produce a book: “[It’s] going to be some kind of resume of my work in the past and the ideals that stand behind it.” [WWD]
Uniqlo previewed the second +J collection from Jil Sander yesterday in Tokyo, and the 120-piece lineup will go on sale today across Japan and other Asian countries. Much of the new designs were made of tech-satin blend and differ from Sander's first collection in the use of color—namely pale shades of blue, lilac, olive and ivory.
The new styles include a shiny stand collar women's coat ($165), basic blazers ($45), and classic menswear shirts ($108). The collection hits U.S. stores next March.
>> Those already clamoring for another dose of Jil Sander's +J collaboration with Uniqlo won't have long to wait — drop dates for the Spring 2010 collection start Dec. 23 for Japan and Asia, Jan. 7 for the UK, Jan. 14 for the US, and Jan. 20 for France, with two further deliveries for each later on.
The new campaign features Iselin Steiro, shot in black and white by David Sims, and the collection's palette focuses on white, ivory, pastels, and "chalked out acids" in a range of fabrics — waterproof ultrafine cottons, high-tech satins and “sumptuous wools” included.
“The season introduces fresh perspectives on volume, teamed with perfect harmony in fiber, color, optics and touch. Experimentation is essential, but subtle, leading to new interplays of material and motion,” Uniqlo said. Prices run $10.50 to $149.50 for outerwear — more details here.
>> Jil Sander Going for Uniqlo Round Two —Neither Jil Sander nor Uniqlo ever spoke about the terms or length of their contract, but it sounds like Sander's +J collection will get a Spring edition. Word is the Spring 2010 offerings will be expanded compared to the initial Fall 2009 collection, and Sander is currently in New York to photograph next season's campaign. [FWD]
>> Uniqlo has just set up a website for Jil Sander's +J line, with a list of individual price points and a few more of those David Sims-lensed promotional photos featuring Isabeli Fontana than we've seen before. There have been plenty of photos of the line — which runs $19.50-$149.50 and is out Oct. 1 — lying flat, but it's always nice to see how they lay on the body. The site also features the mantra: "Open the future / Luxury will be simplicity. / Purity in design, beauty, and comfort for all. / Quality for the people. / Basics are the common language. / The future is here: +J."