JiI Sander is officially the ultimate designer’s designer. Her affordable +J collection for the Japanese high street chain, Uniqlo has been chosen as the winner of one of seven categories celebrating design from the last 12 months at the the fourth annual Brit Insurance Design Awards at London’s Design Museum.
Since its launch two years ago, the +J collection has attracted a loyal following. When Jil Sander left her own label in 2004 after falling out with her owner, Prada’s Patrizio Bertelli, she left a hole in the fashion world for perfectly cut clothes with minimal fuss, made out of the best, most luxurious fabrics imaginable. Her clothes were an investment and famously expensive – £1200 for a cashmere jumper. When she launched the +J collection for Uniqlo (which charges £59.99 for a silk cotton V-neck ) it was one of the few designer collaborations that had integrity at its core. Anyone who knew anything about Jil Sander knew that she would not compromise, and she would produce a collection that she was proud to put her name to. This would not be some flash in the pan PR exercise.