Although Jil Sander did groundbreaking work for her namesake brand, today her successor, Raf Simons, is moving the label forward in a way she was never able to. Beyond expertly tailored classics, Simons has an uncanny ability when it comes to working with color and adding carefully thought out details. His subtle touches (think front pleats or delicate tulip-shaped bottoms on skirts), add memorable interest to looks without veering them off the minimalist aesthetic that Jil Sander is famous for.
Further, the brand continues to improve on its accessories. Sure, they may still be finding their footing when it comes to growing the handbag, shoes, and jewelry segments of the business – and it’s unlikely they’ll have a Celine-like “it” bag in the coming few seasons. However, the 2011 pre-fall collection proved that handbags have noticeably increased Jil Sander’s potential for mass appeal, especially for a working woman looking for an everyday, easy-but-chic option.
In between the closet staple coats, suits, dresses, and precise separates, Simons worked in one of the major trends of the Spring 2011 season with color blocking. Rusty shades of orange, purple, and green added visual interest amid the neutral shades, and the weighty choice of fabric gave a sleek structure to the overall collection.