Jil Sander appoints new designer

Belgian designer Raf Simons is the new creative director for fashion label Jil Sander, owner Prada confirmed today. He will begin his new job on 1 July 2005. Simons will be responsible for the womens and menswear collection and will begin by designing the autumn/winter 2006/7 collections, which will be unveiled in Milan in February 2006.

“I couldn’t be happier to work for a brand as pure and clean as Jil Sander,” said Simons. “I am eager to carry forward the simple, pristine design that the Jil Sander name has come to represent. There is a strong affinity between how I perceive my own design and the core values that the Jil Sander brand embraces.”

Simons was born in Neerpelt, Belgium, and began his career as furniture designer in 1968 after studying industrial design. In 1995 he launched his own collection and went on to win a range of accolades. He was also appointed head professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna in 2000.

“We are excited about this decision, which we made together with the Prada Group,” said Gian Giacomo Ferraris, Jil Sander’s CEO. “Working with Raf Simons will ensure strong continuity in the product that has distinguished the Jil Sander brand throughout the world.” Jil Sander founded the brand in 1973, but left the label when it was bought by Prada in 2000. She returned in May 2003, only to leave a second time in November 2004. According to the rumour mill, she and Prada boss, Patrizio Bertelli, did not get along.

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