This story was updated on November 27
Jil Sander's surprise return to the fashion industry by way of a refreshed +J collection for UNIQLO wasn't the most shocking moment of 2020 but it was definitely up there. But after only three collaborative collections, Sander is apparently calling it quits with a forthcoming final +J drop.
Really, +J was the perfect balm for a frustrating, unsettling year.
Sander's streamlined approach to garment design made for easy staples with pure silhouettes and slightly more premium fabrication than the usual UNIQLO fare, simple clothing that was all too welcome in what Highsnobiety Editorial Director Christopher Morency called the era of "Silent Streetwear."
Even without a burgeoning appreciation of effortless easywear, +J sold especially well. UNIQLO's seasonal collaborations always do numbers but +J felt particularly of the right time and right place.
However, that time is apparently over.
"As we close a chapter, I wonder what the future looks like," said Jil Sander before the first +J drop.
Similarly, on UNIQLO's website and its promotional posts, it describes this +J offering as "the end of chapter 2."
If this really is the final +J collection, it's a pretty strong note to end on.
Classic shirts, sweaters, jackets, and jeans are all rendered in neutral tones and timeless silhouettes but there's still a stylistic edge.
Tee new drop sees a concise selection of puffy winter staples dropping in trim, stylish cuts and high-tech fabrications.
Hooded knits with double-zips and double-breasted pea coats are pretty subtle indications of taste — an "if you know, you know" statement of style.
It's worth remembering that Sander has a history of spontaneously the industry.
She first departed her eponymous brand six months after it was acquired by The Prada Group in late 1999. Sander returned in 2003, left in 2004, and returned one last time in 2012 after Raf Simons left the Jil Sander brand. Sander finally left her label for good in 2013.
Currently overseen by husband-and-wife creative directors Lucie and Luke Meier, the luxury-minded Jil Sander brand was acquired by OTB Group earlier this year.
Sander issued several off-and-on +J collections for UNIQLO between 2009 and 2015 but its very possible that the 78-year-old will permanently call it quits after this forthcoming line, even keeping UNIQLO's intentionally vague "Chapter 2" messaging in mind.
The first part of the final +J collection is available at UNIQLO's website and stores now, with the second drop coming on December 3.