Jil Sander, dubbed the “Queen of Less,” has embodied the concept of minimalism throughout her designs since the late 1960s. As a fashion editor, Sander became frustrated with the impracticality and limitations which fashion posed on the contemporary woman. Taking matters into her own hands, she began making garments on her mother’s sewing machine and eventually launched her first collection on the Milan runway in 1973. Jil Sander argues that it is both more flattering and logical to create garments with regards to the living body rather than covering, adding on and reshaping bodily features into an illusion of what’s really there. However, considering how little Jil Sander is actually concerned with trends, it’s impressive how the brand has managed to reach immense success and worldwide recognition.

Jil Sander is a pioneer in sustainability, creating clean and timeless pieces that always feel just “right,” but how do designers like Jil Sander, whose entire design aesthetic is based on simplicity, manage to keep things interesting? Fashion is founded on reinvention—reinventing trends, reinventing other work, reinventing yourself—but how many times can you tweak the features of the white cotton poplin shirt? What makes this season’s navy wool-blend blazer different from previous years? Furthermore, what’s the key ingredient to Sander’s success and how has she avoided being consumed and influenced by the prevailing fashion trends?

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