Jil Sander Back at Jil Sander?

Fashion Month is in full gear, which means the rumor mill is in overdrive. The latest scuttlebutt has German designer Jil Sander returning to Jil Sander, which would support an earlier report that Raf Simons, who currently occupies the helm, would succeed John Galliano at Dior or head to YSL. It’s been exactly one year since the English designer’s infamous “I love Hitler” remark and his near-immediate dismissal from the house. 

Here’s why the speculation is not very plausible. It would be Sander’s second return to her namesake label. In 2000, just months after Prada Group bought a majority stake, she left abruptly, citing managemental differences with CEO Patrizio Bertelli; namely, that he was mandating the use of cheaper fabrics, among other cost-cutting measures. She returned in 2003, in a move that surprised everyone, only to leave again a year and a half later.

Now, what makes the rumor a little more plausible is that an announcement is expected within weeks, which would place it around the time of Dior’s fall collection. A statement following the show would be an opportune time to announce a new creative director—at both companies. It also comes a short while after the discontinuation of Jil Sander’s +J collaboration with Uniqlo, which would make for a slate as clean as the label’s famed minimalism. But remember, nothing is final until an announcement is made.

UPDATE 2/23/12, 9:47 AM
Following our report last night, WWD has confirmed that “Raf Simons is to exit Jil Sander after his fall-winter fashion show [in Milan] on Saturday. The announcement comes amid rumors that the house founder might return to the creative helm. The Sander company said it would appoint a new creative director ‘in the next few days.'”

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