Jil Sander on her 80th birthday: queen of minimalism

DThe story of Jil Sander is unique in the history of German fashion. In 1968, a young woman of just 24 years old opened a boutique in the Pöseldorf district of Hamburg. She later developed her own collections, expanded her brand into a global fashion empire with stores in Paris, New York and Tokyo, and took the brand public in 1989, becoming the first woman to head a listed company in Germany.

She made her way there because, unlike Karl Lagerfeld, another great designer from northern Germany, she came from a simple background. On November 27, 1943, her mother Erna-Anna gave birth to her in a field hospital north of Hamburg due to the war. She fled Allied bombing into the countryside. My father was a soldier at the front. The marriage did not survive the war, and the parents divorced. The older sister remained with her father, Heidemarie Jiline Sander, her birth name, and her mother. She met a car dealer who became Sander’s stepfather. The family returned to Hamburg. Sander went to school there and, as she later said in an interview, was exposed to her own fashion ideas early on. As a child, she wanted to wear trousers rather than skirts, but her teacher opposed this: after World War II, trousers were no longer considered appropriate for women. The role models had changed and the liberation achievements of the Weimar Republic were a thing of the past. Sander insisted on her preferences, and her mother supported her, sewing her clothes according to her ideas.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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