Style & Grooming

Jil Sander’s Luke and Lucie Meier Want You to Buy Less but Buy Better

The husband-and-wife duo reveal their S/S20 campaign for Jil Sander+ and open up about their approach to designing clothes in 2019

The history of fashion is filled with duos. So much so that there is even a book devoted to the topic. From Rick Owens and Michèle Lamy, Riccardo Tisci and Mariacarla Boscono, and Jonathan Anderson and Benjamin Bruno, to Shaun Leane and Alexander McQueen, Kim Jones and Alister Mackie, and Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler.

Another is Luke and Lucie Meier, the husband-and-wife duo who helm Jil Sander, taking over from Rodolfo Paglialunga in 2017. While Luke came from Supreme (where he worked as design director) and OAMC (which he co-founded and remains creative director), Lucie came from Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga and Christian Dior (where she worked as interim creative director alongside Serge Ruffieux between Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri). At Jil Sander the couple have been praised for their collections, which bring a fresh modernity to the house’s famously minimal codes.

“We don’t like to compromise, and there is an understanding of this throughout the brand,” say the duo of their approach to Jil Sander. “It was built this way. We love beautiful materials, high-quality make, functionality, emotion, and durability, which are the pillars of the house.”

Today on, the Meiers reveal their Spring/Summer 2020 campaign for Jil Sander+, a collection which the designers describe as “a timeless line” as opposed to “a fashion statement”. “Jil Sander+ was created for people who do not want to compromise their aesthetic point of view nor their expectation of quality when dressing for an outdoor environment,” they explain.

Nature and ‘the great outdoors’ are central to Jil Sander+: not just in its inspiration, but in its application. “The inspiration is our origins, the mountains of the Swiss Alps and Canada’s west coast rainforest,” they say. “We both grew up wearing technical outerwear and robust natural fabrics, so we highly value clothing that performs and keeps you warm and dry. This idea grew into Jil Sander+, a full range of clothes that keep you warm and dry in the winter and cool and light in the summer.”

This is reflected in the collection’s suitably outdoorsy campaign, which features model Cherif Douamba, who the designers describe as “beautiful inside and out”. Captured on the banks of a river, with mountains in the background, or else in a field of wildflowers, Douamba models soft shirts and outerwear in white, cream, yellow, green and cool blue.

“The majority of the materials are natural, often employing natural dyes and natural slubby textures,” the Meiers say of the fabrication. “We have also softened our denim with specific wash characteristics, and once again created original Mackintosh pieces, which are handmade in Scotland.”

Central to their approach, too, is a desire to create clothes with longevity, that people will have, wear and treasure for many years. “We want to create the perfect pieces we want to have, and we think people want to have and live with for a long time,” they say. “We want to inspire people with design, with our values. We don’t actually want people to constantly buy new pieces, we want them to buy less but the right things that will last them forever.” An admirable way to work – one that we hope will catch on.