10 April 2017

Creative Couple Goals at Jil Sander

She started her career at Louis Vuitton under Marc Jacobs, before joining Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. She then became ready-to-wear and haute couture design director at Dior, under the leadership of Raf Simons, before taking the creative reins following his exit with Serge Ruffieux until Maria Grazia Chiuri's appointment. He was the head designer of Supreme for eight years, citing "learning to be detail-oriented" as the most important lesson learned from James Jebbia. He then left in 2013 to co-found streetwear mainstay label OAMC. Together, they're the new creative directors at Jil Sander, succeeding Rodolfo Paglialunga who stepped down last month.

Swiss-born Lucie Meier studied fashion and marketing in Florence – where she met future husband Luke Meier – and design in Paris, while Canadian-born Luke studied finance and international business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He continued his post-graduate studies in business policy at Oxford and continued his education further when he moved to New York City to enroll at FIT; that's when the Supreme opportunity came his way.

“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. 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,” they said jointly in a release. 

Their first collection will be for Resort 2018 in Milan and they will present womenswear and menswear together on the runway. With such a strong menswear background for Luke in particular, it wouldn't be outlandish to assume that menswear and womenswear would remain separate entities to avoid any overshadowing of the menswear collections. The approach that so many brands are taking to merge the two sounds like a gender equality concept with good intentions in theory, but it's so often quite the opposite. When Gucci put women in men's clothes and men in women's clothes to the point where it's difficult to tell if the model is male or female, then it works but when a handful of menswear looks punctuate a largely womenswear-based collection, it simply doesn't do them any justice.

It reminds me of something Miuccia Prada said in 2015, she spoke about how with women's collections, you're obliged to have more and more and more, and so you're rarely able to do what you actually want. Creating men's collections for her, was the time and place when artistic license was allowed, moreover actively encouraged, and the commercial pressure wasn't as pressing. I have a gut feeling (could well be very wrong) that Luke and Lucie Meier are going to present a collection that merges menswear and womenswear in a way that is obviously aesthetically nothing like Gucci, but conceptually hits the nail on the head and shows menswear as more than the shadow to womenswear's spotlight.

“Lucie and Luke possess an intimate connection and a deep understanding of the brand. They hold a vision that is modern, cohesive, and in touch with what is relevant now, and they beautifully combine it with a subtle sensibility for fabrics, garment construction, and detail definition. I expect the creation of very clever collections and a world to be inspired by,” said Jil Sander CEO Alessandra Bettari.

In the joint statement from the Miers, they discuss the concept of reality and creating real clothes for real people in – you guessed it – this real world; “We care a lot about reality,” Luke Meier said of the couple’s vision for the house. “The pieces live in the real world. It’s not only about image, it’s about honest clothes.” On what to expect from the gender-combined collections, Alessandra Bettari chimed in by promising that the pair will produce “clothes that work not only on skinny models but on all different body types,”.