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Jil Sander's new accessories

Jil Sander designer Raf Simons has created a new accessories line for the brand, which is undergoing changes since its sale by Prada Group last year. In September of last year, Giuseppe di Nuccio joined the company from Burberry to act as manager of the accessories department. Since then a team of 15, soon to become 20, has been hard at work creating a collection of bags and shoes for both men and women. "I want to make the accessories fashion-driven and edgy because they should be the perfect counterpart to a beautiful and longer-lasting cashmere coat," Simons told WWD.

The brand will also open its first accessories-only store in Moscow by the end of this year. In 2005, accessories represented about 15 percent or $23.4 million of the brand's total sales. Chief executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris aims to double the amount to 30 percent of sales. Footwear prices will range from $364 for a pair of ballerina flats to as much as $10,000 for a pair of handcrafted boots, while bags prices will range from $377 to $1,950 for a large leather bag.
5 February 2007


Jil Sander appoints US executive

Jil Sander has appointed Michele Sodi to be president of Jil Sander America, a newly created position. Sodi was previously the executive at Balenciaga. According to Womenswear Daily, Sodi will oversee the brand's wholesale and retail business in North America and will be based in New York . He starts on Monday and will report to Jil Sander chief executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris, who was a colleague when they worked at Gucci Group.

Sodi's priorities will be to balance out the brand's wholesale and retail presence and help the company double the size of its U.S. business to 50 million euros, or $63 million at current exchange, in five years, Ferraris said in an interview. "I could see [Sodi's] experience on the American market ... and how he could build a strong relationship with clients and develop the market," Ferraris said.

Sodi replaces Tina Goldberg, who left the brand about two months ago for personal reasons. She oversaw the North American business, but her title was vice president and managing director. Ferraris stressed that he will fully delegate strategic and organizational responsibilities to Sodi. "This is the real change," he said. U.K.-based investment fund Change Capital Partners bought Jil Sander from Prada Holding N.V. in February and is working to restore the brand to profitability. Ferraris said the U.S. and Far East markets will generate the bulk of growth.

14 June 2006


Jil Sander to open London store

Jil Sander, the German label now designed by Raf Simons, is to open a new London flagship after it closed its Burlington store amid losses.
Losses for the luxury brand plummeted from £20 to £25 million for the year ended 31 January and sales were below the £93m target at £86m.
However, losses were due in part to one-off restructuring costs, including the transfer of some operations from Germany to Italy. Change Capital acquired the label from Prada for an undisclosed sum earlier this year.

6 June 2006


Jil Sander on track despite losses

Despite increased losses and declining sales last year, chief executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris says Jil Sander AG will be able to post a positive operating profit this year.
Consolidated net losses dropped to €37.3 million from €29.6 million in 2004. The company blamed one-time restructuring costs, however it did not manage to cut losses the following year. This year, however, it is confident it will reach its target.
Sales in 2005 fell 5.2 percent to €130.4 million, although the company said sales were strong in the Far East and the US.
According to Ferraris the restructuring initiatives at Jil Sander, which include transferring operations from Germany to Italy, have taken longer than he had hoped. However, he is very optimistic about creative director Raf Simons’ debut collections and is confident about the future, which includes a new London store opening in September.
30 May 2006


Big plans for Jil Sander

Private equity group Change Capital Partners has acquired Jil Sander from Prada for an undisclosed amount. Now the new owners have set an whirlwind expansion plan into motion which includes the immediate opening of three boutiques in Japan , a replacement location in London and a boost of Jil Sander's US operation. Change Capital, which is based in London and is headed by former Marks & Spencer chairman and current Carrefour chairman Luc Vandevelde, told WWD that it will continue to acquire more brands as part of its future strategy.

Change Capital managing director Steven Petrow said in a telephone interview with WWD that the turnaround of the Sander brand - which Prada had restructured - was now "largely complete and now we're planning for growth. We think significant growth is possible for this brand and it will continue to compete against the biggest names in the fashion business." He estimated that Sander should break even in 2006 on expected revenues of €140 million, thanks to the Prada group's restructuring initiatives. He would not, however, comment on the price paid for the brand.

Petrow maintained that Change Capital would preserve Sander's positioning in the market as "super premium, very high-quality, conservative designs." He also said that the company was "gearing up for a three-to five-year investment horizon". Possibilities after that include an IPO, a trade sale or passing the company to another financial group. Petrow spoke of his confidence in creative designer Raf Simon's ability to create "a clear fashion vision for the company". He added that good press review and wholesale reaction to his debut men's and women's collections emphasized the group's belief in him.

Meanwhile, in a written statement, a spokesman for Sander said: "(Simons) feels very confident in the new owner, who will continue to support his work to give back to Jil Sander a strong creative position in the fashion world. He is looking forward to collaborate with the new owner of Jil Sander." Neither Petrow nor Vandevelde are expected to take an executive role in Jil Sander, where chief executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris and CFO Armin Mueller continue to wield the sceptres. "We are financial sponsors; we are active owners," said Petrow. "We'll take an active role as a sounding board." There are currently 16 directly operated Sander stores and approximately 50 franchised stores worldwide. The brand also has wholesale distribution in Asia , Europe and North America .
24 February 2006


Jil Sander axes 130 jobs

Luxury fashion label Jil Sander AG is cutting 130 jobs in Hamburg, Germany, in a shift of operations to Italy, writes financial newspaper Boersen-Zeitung. Jil Sander is said to be closing down its last German manufacturing base and is thought to be in discussions with the labour unions to establish a redundancy scheme for employees. With this restructuring plan Jil Sander - which was bought by Italian fashion house Prada in 1999/2000 - hopes the business will return to profit.

12 October 2005


Jil Sander in cost-saving re-structure

Prada owned German fashion label Jil Sander said it is closing its last remaining German production site, a women's wear production facility in Ellerau, Northern Germany, as part of an ongoing restructuring programme. Following an agreement with the works council in Ellerau, all production capacities from the site will be transferred to subcontractors in Italy, where the majority of the company's production is already located, it said.

The company also said it is currently in talks with the works council to restructure its Hamburg-based headquarters. A spokesman for the company said there are currently 235 employees at the Hamburg headquarters, which includes the design division, the atelier, brand management, top management and some other functions. Prada has been struggling to return its Jil Sander and Helmut Lang brands to profitability and posted a full year net loss last year of EUR 62m as losses and devaluations at the two labels came to EUR 73m. Prada acquired Jil Sander in 1999-2000.

19 July 2005



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.
26 May 2005


Sander reports loss

German luxury brand Jil Sander AG has reported a net loss of EUR34.6 million (GBP 23.5 million) for 2004. Sander, which is owned by the Prada Group, has been adversely affected by poor exchange rates, store operating costs and expenses from product development.

Full year sales climbed 10 per cent to EUR137.5 million, up from EUR124.9 million in 2003. This was mainly due to expansion in outlets in Eastern Europe.

Chief Executive Officer of Jil Sander, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, said that the company would take the necessary action to turn the situation around. The plan is to launch an "aggressive restructuring plan" to stimulate efficiency throughout the firm and reverse its fortunes.
5 May 2005


New Sander fragrances

German designer Jil Sander - who left the Prada-owned label last November - has been working on developing a new men's and women's fragrance. These scents will target the younger 18-to-25-year-old audience. This signifies quite a turn-around for the brand that has always appealed to and been associated with a more mature audience.

"We want to talk to a young target for Jil Sander. So we had the idea of using flashy colours and a sports concept," said Francoise Maries, senior vice president of marketing, fragrances at the Lancaster Group, which is responsible for the launch of the new fragrances. Men's fragrances will be in neon orange bottles, whereas women's will be in hot pink.

The new scents will be available in stores from April.
31 January 2005


Sonja Nuttall To Front Jil Sander

After the recent departure of Jil Sander, the Prada Group owned brand is to be designed by its in-house design team fronted by Sonja Nuttall.

Nuttall, who enjoyed a high profile fashion career in the nineties, currently consults to companies Marks & Spencer and Furla, and provides creative direction in the fields of fashion and product design.
29 November 2004


Jil Sander quits again

The German designer Jil Sander has left her label for the second time. Sander founded the label in 1973 and sold it to Prada in 2000. She left shortly after the sale. According to rumours she was not getting along with Prada boss Patrizio Bertelli.

Sander returned to the company in 2003 and enjoyed a triumphant spring/summer 2005 collection, which was hailed as her best collection yet. However, peace had not returned in Prada headquarters in Milan. The Group announced the departure of Sander yesterday, but did not give further details. Sander herself once told Women's Wear Daily that she had miscalculated whom she was getting involved with when she sold her label to Prada. She admitted that she and Bertelli are both entrepreneurs and had learned to respect eachother. Now, however, it appears that respect was not the ingredient the duo needed for a succesful collaboration.
17 November 2004


New Fragrance Jil Sander

This autumn will see the launch of the new Jil Sander fragrance, Pure, as unveiled by the Lancaster Group. The scent will be in tune with Sander's minimalist tradition and has been described as "a scent pared down the purest essence."

Geneva based Fragrance and flavour developers Firmenich composed the fresh floral, which contains notes of jasmine, white musk and sandalwood. The bottle was designed by Fabian Baron, and is a simple, slim glass rectangle, frosted on one side.

Pure is expected to be a vehicle for international expansion of the Jil Sander brand and will contribute to broadening markets in Europe, namely Italy and France. "It will allow us to become more pan-European," comments Lancaster Group president Michele Scannavini.

Pure will be available in the UK this September in select stores.

10 June 2003


Jil Sander Returns

Jil Sander is rejoining the eponymous fashion label she founded. She sold the company to Prada in 1999 and then left amid speculation there had been disagreements with Prada chief executive Patrizio Bertelli.

Sander has been reappointed as head designer and will sit on Prada's strategic committee.

29 May 2003


Deeper losses for Jill Sander

Jill Sander AG, the German fashion house owned by Prada, revealed it has widened its losses in the first half of 2002 to € 13.6m from € 10.7m as it was hit by poor trading in Europe and North America. High costs related to the opening of flagship stores in London and New York also affected business in the period.

The company, which posted a slight increase in sales to € 66.9m from € 68m, said it did not expect business to improve much in the second half of the year, but is confident to reduce its losses over the first half. Jill Sander also warned it was unlikely to return to profit next year. At the company's general meeting in June, CEO Patrizio Bertelli merely spoke of "better results" for 2003 compared to 2001 and 2002.


Jil Sander flagship opening in London postponed

For the second time now, the opening of the Jil Sander flagship store in London has been postponed. The store, which was to be inaugurated in Mayfair in Burlington Gardens these months is now expected to open in February 2002 due to construction delays.

The store will look like Jil Sander's Paris flagship store and is designed by architect Michael Ganellini who in London works together with British architect Hosker Moore Kent. The opening of the flagship store planned in New York on 57th is not expected before the end of 2002.