In an unexpected announcement this morning, Jil Sander has appointed husband-and-wife duo Lucie and Luke Meier as co-creative directors of the house.
“We feel proud and honored to join this beautiful brand. To be able to work on this side by side makes this opportunity even more special to us,” they said in a joint statement. “We hope to show the affection we have for this brand through our work, as Jil Sander has had such a profound influence on our paths.”
The brand’s former creative director, Rodolfo Paglialunga, left last month, and at the time the company was rumored to be looking to bring on Simon Porte Jacquemus to fill the vacancy (hence the unexpected nature of who they hired). That being said, the Meiers each have an interesting background that could develop into a whole new Jil Sander.
Lucie has previously worked for Louis Vuitton under Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga under Nicolas Ghesquière, and Dior under Raf Simons (who, it’s worth noting, helmed Jil Sander for seven years, between the founder’s second departure in 2004, and brief return in 2012). When Simons left, she and Serge Ruffieux took over the house to complete collections before Maria Grazia Chiuri was appointed. They were fairly successful, and even produced a well-reviewed couture collection for the house.
Balancing out Lucie’s high-fashion pedigree, Luke is a graduate of FIT in New York, and spent eight years as the head designer for Supreme before co-founding his own menswear line, OAMC.
Jil Sander has long been associated with minimalism, but the brand also straddles the fine line between high fashion and mid-tier luxury. With mid-tier brands having trouble in the current retail climate, it would be wise to lean in to the (or up) to the label’s higher-fashion history. This is clearly where Lucie will excel. However, since the early 2000s, there have been an abundance of high-fashion brands that deal with minimalism. And this is where Luke becomes a very interesting hire—will he be able to bring some street-style excitement, and breath new life into the fashion category?
We will have to wait until September to find out. The Meiers’ first collection for the brand will be Spring 2018, presumably to be shown during Milan fashion week.