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Jil Sander Autumn/Winter 2023
Jil Sander Autumn/Winter 2023Courtesy of Jil Sander

Four People on Why They Love Wearing Jil Sander’s Clothes

As Lucie and Luke Meier debut their Jil Sander Autumn/Winter 2023 collection, Dan Thawley, Kelsey Lu, Olympia Scarry and Benji B talk about their enduring love of the quietly subversive brand

Lead ImageJil Sander Autumn/Winter 2023Courtesy of Jil Sander

When Jil Sander launched her eponymous brand in Germany five decades ago, she set the tone for the label’s sleek, neutral and refined aesthetic. Over time, the brand has ushered in several new eras with a few different creative directors, but one thing has remained constant: minimalism. 

Since taking the helm as joint creative directors of Jil Sander in 2017, Lucie and Luke Meier have been determined to offer a renewed perspective on minimalism and demonstrate how simplicity can be simultaneously intricate and full of life. Giving the Milan-based fashion house a modern twist, the husband-and-wife duo have been steadily creating their own brand codes.

Presented in Milan on Friday night, the Meiers’ Autumn/Winter 2023 co-ed collection took a personal approach, with the pair looking back to their lives during the 1990s and 2000s as a key source of inspiration. Soundtracked with a remixed version of All Neon Like by Björk, the show opened with a black-and-white motorcycle leather jacket and saw the Meiers bring to life a new vision. Lime green mohair coat and pops of bold, bright primary colours detailing key pieces throughout gave the collection a spark of optimism. While some of the streetwear influences in the collection were unexpected, the level of master craftsmanship and sophisticated construction did not stray, with colourful, impeccably tailored jackets and trouser sets proving why the Meiers’ modern take on minimalism is a breath of fresh air. 

To celebrate the release of the duo’s A/W23 collection, we spoke to four dedicated wearers – musicians, editors, writers and artists – on their love for Jil Sander. 

Dan Thawley, Editor-in-Chief of A Magazine Curated By

“I think I first discovered Jil Sander alongside Helmut Lang’s designs as a teenager in Sydney. Their minimalist pieces weren’t so well appreciated in Australia back then, so sometimes I was able to find them on sale. I was drawn to the materials and the cuts – in the early 2000s we were less able to immerse ourselves in the worlds of designers from afar as we are now, so it was more visceral and instinctual. 

“To me, Jil Sander stands for a certain rigour that goes beyond garments and represents a purity of lifestyle and taste that is much quieter than fashion today. It is an emotional subversion of classicism. As a worldview, it takes the quieter, more natural approach – the road less travelled, with an appreciation for time, industry and the touch of the human hand. I think Lucie and Luke’s own Canadian and Swiss roots have fed into their collections as much as the brand’s heritage of late, which has made it feel richer and more radical. Other designers have done that at Jil too, notably Raf Simons and of course its founder’s own vision was radical in the beginning too. Each made sense in their time. I think it has appealed to different customers over the decades, but [it has] always [appealed to] an intellectual and emotional customer who buys fashion for themselves and not for other people. To keep.

“[My favourite is] their Birkenstocks in olive suede, a tooled yellow leather bag. I find that Lucie and Luke’s take on Jil Sander has shown that minimalism doesn’t have to be either cold nor dark.”

“Jil Sander stands for a certain rigour that goes beyond garments and represents a purity of lifestyle and taste that is much quieter than fashion today” – Dan Thawley

Olympia Scarry, Artist

“What I love most about Jil Sander is Lucie and Luke! I first came across the brand when they invited me to their show, which was a jolt to the senses. The pastels juxtaposed with strong primary colours, the feathers, the sequins, silver, gold, and copper trekking through black sand and rain amongst a garden of wild vegetation under fluorescent lights ...

“My favourite piece is a brown men’s cut coat that I wore to the opening of my first solo institutional exhibition, which was at the Fondazione ICA in Milan. I have great memories from that opening and the coat felt right. It makes me feel strong.

“Jil Sander is confident. It’s minimal, functional, delicate, lush and intricate, in all the right tones.”

Kelsey Lu, Musician (and Former AnOther Magazine Cover Star)

“My earliest memory of Jil Sander was at a fancy boutique my mum would bring me too when I was a child. She would go there to peruse once or twice a year, fantastically imagining things she wish she could afford trying them on for me with deep sighs, and I would climb the interiors of the racks, imagining them as tree limbs with the clothing dangling like the leaves of a willow tree. Within that I found the thrill of touch, the sensation of fabrics, luxury and Jil Sander. I felt a softness in fabric that I hadn’t experienced up to that point, because as a 7-year-old kid why would I? But it stood out enough that I checked the tag and the iconic bold label burned enough of a memory in my brain that when I returned to it as an adult, the sensation hadn’t shifted.

“I love how, no matter where fashion has evolved, the brand has always stuck to the importance of craft, design and quality. Trends can come and go, but being able to find consistency in quality can be rare. The idea that buying something that is a statement piece, not speaking solely in an aesthetic sense, but symbolically, is exciting to me when surrounded by the world of fast fashion. If I’m going to pay good money for something, I’d expect the quality to match and this is something the brand provides. They are pieces you can continue to use, archive, and pass down. People are jumping on the bandwagon of ‘sustainability’, but this is something the brand has long since valued.

“It’s difficult to say which pieces I own are my favourite because I feel like they all hold a distinct meaning. Each time I wear them, I feel a movement of sophistication and powerful ease. I travel all the time, and so since I can’t bring my entire wardrobe I have to be very selective about the things that I do bring. Sometimes when I’m gone for long periods of time I get so sick of what I have, so I make sure to bring at least one Jil Sander piece that I know will elevate my spirits.”

Benji B, DJ 

“The first time I started buying Jil Sander for myself was in the mid-2000s. It was on trips visiting New York when I’d do the rounds of all the usual downtown spots and then finish by going uptown to Barneys – the men's contemporary floor there had an excellent curation at that time, and they had this section of Jil Sander that I’d always end up buying from. The first item I bought was a Raf Simons-era Jil Sander tailored suit which I still have, from around 2005/2006. It’s all credit to the people that worked on that floor who persuaded me to try Jil – the silhouette worked for me, so I ended up getting a lot of staple menswear pieces on the more formal and tailoring side of the wardrobe – shirts, suits, trousers – from that era.

“I still love the same things I loved when I first came across the brand – the clean lines, modern tailoring and contemporary design, and what I love most is that throughout the different eras, it is clear that Jil Sander has retained a clear identity and brand DNA.

“All of those Raf Simons era pieces are my favourite, as well as three new items I received recently – an overshirt, jacket and coat from Lucie and Luke’s most recent collection. I never used to have much outerwear from the brand but now I’m wearing these coats and jackets every day and I love what Lucie and Luke are creating. How do I feel when I wear the brand? I feel Like I can walk into any situation, smart or relaxed, and the clothes will work. In other words, I’m comfortable … and I feel like me!”