Jil Sander return sets off Dior buzz over Raf Simons

Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:55am EST
 
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By Antonella Ciancio

MILAN (Reuters) - German designer Jil Sander confirmed on Friday that she is returning to the label she created 40 years ago, fuelling industry speculation about the possibility that outgoing creative director Raf Simons could wind up at Dior.

"I am very happy and excited to be back. It feels like coming home after a brief journey," minimalist Sander said in a statement called "Jil Sander is back."

Known for her innovative looks in the 70s, Sander left the label after Prada took control in 1999. She briefly returned under Prada but eventually left for Uniqlo, a street fashion brand. Sander's appointment will start on February 28.

"The Jil Sander brand is ingrained in my very being, naturally, my vision of sophisticated, truly modern design stayed with me, as vivid as on the first day," Sander said.

Simons has frequently been mentioned as a candidate to replace disgraced designer John Galliano as creative director at Christian Dior. Gallliano departed after he was caught on a widely distributed videotape drunkenly proclaiming his affection for Hitler and hurling racist insults at patrons in a Paris bar.

LVMH, the world's biggest luxury goods group which owns Dior, has so far declined to comment on the timing of Simons's departure from Jil Sander.

DIOR CHALLENGE

Simons, emerged as an innovative Belgian menswear designer and joined Jil Sander in 2005. If he took over at Dior, industry insiders speculated that Simons would be responsible for its ready-to-wear and haute couture collections.   Continued...

 
Belgian designer Raf Simons acknowledges the applauses at the end of the Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2012 women's collection during Milan Fashion Week September 24, 2011. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo