Jil Sander Creative Director Exits, Margiela: The Hermes Years – The Business of Fashion


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Rodolfo Paglialunga is leaving Jil Sander after three years as creative director.

The women’s Autumn/Winter 2017 collection, which showed at Milan Fashion Week in February, was his last for the German fashion brand.

The decision to part ways was mutual, according to a joint statement by Alessandra Bettari, CEO of Jil Sander, and Paglialunga. “We decided to terminate our professional journey with Rodolfo Paglialunga together with the designer himself” said Bettari. “We want to deeply thank Paglialunga for his great job at Jil Sander and the respect he paid to the brand’s DNA”.

“It was a great pleasure to collaborate with everyone in Jil Sander and to give my contribution in the brand’s history and legacy,” said Paglialunga.

Paglialunga, who joined the label in April 2014, had received mixed reviews for his collections for the house. Of Paglialunga’s most recent collection, Dan Thawley wrote for BoF: “Rodolfo Paglialunga’s difficult tenure at Jil Sander has seen ebb and flow.”

The announcement of Paglialunga’s departure follows speculation that the brand is planning to appoint married design duo Lucie and Luke Meier as co-creative directors. Reports first emerged last November that Jil Sander, which is owned by the Japanese group OLG, was searching for a new head of design, and had contacted several designers, including Lucie Meier and Simon Porte Jacquemus.

Previously, Lucie Meier led Dior’s spring and autumn ready-to-wear and couture studios, in partnership with Serge Reffieux, and under creative director Raf Simons. After Simons’ departure, Meier and Ruffieux led the French fashion house until the arrival of Maria Grazia Chiuri. Prior to Dior, the Swiss-born designer also held roles at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton.

Meier’s husband, Luke Meier, who established his reputation as head designer for Supreme, is creative director of OAMC, the men’s streetwear brand he founded with Arnaud Faeh in 2013. — Helena Pike

A new tome celebrates the six-year tenure of Martin Margiela at Hermès.

Margiela’s appointment at Hermès in 1997 came as a surprise for the fashion industry. The deconstructed anti-luxury aesthetic he became known for seemed to deplore the excess of the 1980s. Margiela produced 12 collections for the brand, which has its roots in equestrian leatherwork and is renowned for a discreet, unbranded ethos.

Maison Martin Margiela A/W 1992-1993, Photo: Marina Faust Hermès A/W 2002-2003 Tunic pullover in cashmere, pants in cashmere flannel, scarf in lambskin, ankle boots and gloves in leather, Photo: Stany Dederen Maison Martin Margiela H/W 1992-1993, Foto: Marina Faust

Left: Maison Martin Margiela A/W 1992-1993 | Photo: Marina Faust. Right: Hermès A/W 2002-2003, tunic pullover in cashmere, pants in cashmere flannel, scarf in lambskin, ankle boots and gloves in leather | Photo: Stany Dederen

Now, ‘Margiela: The Hermès Years’, published by Lanoo next month, celebrates the six-year period during which Margiela was creative director of the French brand. The book coincides with an exhibition of the same name at the MoMu museum in Antwerp, and features contributions from Suzy Menkes, Sarah Mower, Rebecca Arnold and Kaat Debo.

The book was published with the cooperation of the elusive designer himself, who chose to remain anonymous throughout his career and retreated from the fashion world more than eight years ago. It includes unseen photography, drawings and testimonies, including one from Marc Jacobs, who says: “Anybody who’s aware of what life is in a contemporary world is influenced by Margiela.” — Osman Ahmed

Maison Martin Margiela, A/W 1994-1995, Photo: Marina Faust Hermès A/W 1999-2000Shawl collar cardigan and sleeveless tunic pullover in cashmere, 'Portraits de femme en Hermès', Le Monde d’Hermès, Model: Marie-Anne Van der Plaetsen, Photo: Joanna Van Mulder

Left: Maison Martin Margiela A/W 1994-1995 | Photo: Marina Faust. Right: Hermès A/W 1999-2000, shawl collar cardigan and sleeveless tunic pullover in cashmere, model: Marie-Anne Van der Plaetsen. ‘Portraits de femme en Hermès’, Le Monde d’Hermès | Photo: Joanna Van Mulder

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