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Jil Sander -- the brand, not the designer -- launches diffusion line

April 12, 2010 |  5:37 pm

Sander In yet another sign of the times, Jil Sander -- the brand, this time,not the designer -- is launching a lower-priced clothing line called Jil Sander Navy.

The German-born Sander became famous in the 1980s, catering to the new female executive class with slim-line minimalist suits in the most luxurious fabrications costing well into the four figures. She left the label bearing her name in 2004 for good, after several years of turmoil with parent company Prada Group.

Belgian designer Raf Simons is creative director of Jil Sander now, and will also oversee the Navy collection. “I will continue to open up the Jil Sander brand by pushing its boundaries and introducing new elements to reinforce and widen the attraction to the house,” Simons said in a statement.

“Jil Sander Navy incorporates the values of purity, simplicity and ease. Adding and developing the aspect of casual luxe to the brand’s DNA of highest quality and forward innovation will enhance the reach of the brand. Reflecting the nature of casual sportswear, its light and unconstructed fit as well as the attractive price points, the line will provide the opportunity to address additional clients," said Alessandro Cremonesi, CEO of the Jil Sander Group. 

Jil Sander Navy, which launches for spring 2011, will be priced 30% to 40% lower than the Jil Sander collection. (Sander herself joined the cheap-chic revolution last year, when she announced she was consulting for Japanese fast fashion giant Uniqlo.).

The Navy collection will include less-structured, more casual styles. Think T-shirts, knit dresses, jackets and jeans. And the timing couldn't be better, now that fashion is turning toward minimalism again.

-- Booth Moore

Photo:  A look from Raf Simons' fall/winter 2010-2011 runway collection for Jil Sander. Credit: Giuseppe Cacace / AFP/Getty Images.