The Designer Couple Revitalizing Jil Sander

Luke and Lucie Meier met in Florence, Italy, at Polimoda Fashion School: He grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was an exchange student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York; she, originally from the Alpine town of Zermatt, Switzerland, was studying fashion marketing. The two began dating the following year after taking a summer road trip to Italy and France together, and tied the knot in 2007. As Jil Sander’s co-creative directors since 2017, they have been together. ‘one of the few husband and wife teams working in fashion today, but their professional life hasn’t always been so intertwined. Luke, 45, was Creative Director of Supreme for eight years before co-founding menswear brand OAMC in 2014, and Lucie, 39, designed at Marc Jacobs Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga and, most recently, Dior.

When the couple arrived at Jil Sander, now based in Milan, the house was undergoing a transformation since its namesake, who founded it in Hamburg, Germany, in 1968, sold a majority stake in its company to the Prada Group. in 1999. Over the next 14 years, Sander would leave the brand three times, allowing several creative directors in between, including Belgian designer Raf Simons, who worked for the house from 2005 to 2012. But at his peak , in the 80s and 90s, Sander built an unmistakably strong brand identity, pioneering a kind of uncompromising minimalism with which the Meiers still identify. “My mother often wore Jil Sander when I was growing up. Her clothes inspired me to learn more about fashion and design, ”says Lucie. Sander’s influence is evident in such signatures as crisp button-down shirt dresses and satisfyingly rigid blazers, and they’ve added their own sense of modernity, with cozy, cocoon capes, Floor sweeping macrame knits and layers richly decorated with high fashion fabrics and crafts. . “For us,” Luke says, “it’s about purity, not minimalism.”

Above: “A portrait of Lucie and me, photographed in December 2020 by Olivier Kervern. Lucie is wearing Jil Sander, and I’m in OAMC and Jil Sander. We also wear a lot of Comme des Garçons and Supreme. – Luke

Left: “Homemade tortelloni with butter and sage at my parents restaurant, Zum See. They opened it 36 ​​years ago in Zermatt, where I grew up. It is located in a small hamlet below the Matterhorn, overlooking the city. My mom and dad make their own pasta, bottle their own jams, and harvest most of their ingredients in their gardens. – Lucy

Center: “With its exceptional acoustics, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Cabaret Theater at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the architect’s many great accomplishments. I went there with my mom several years ago. The Southwestern Desert is a powerful place, and has particularly strong energy. – Luke

Right: “One of our favorite looks from the Fall 2020 collection was this lemon yellow silk mohair cape worn over crinkled wool cuffed pants. The idea was to imbue the comfort and privacy of a hand-knitted blanket with the structure and attitude of a wrapped figure. – Lucy

Left: “These paper planes were made by Wim Wenders when we collaborated with him on a series of short films for the Jil Sander Spring 2018 campaign. We wanted to work with someone who is a true artist. When we started at Jil Sander, we wanted to articulate the idea of ​​entering a project that has such a strong history but also a need to move forward and evolve. – Luke

Right: “A mirrored shelf above a fireplace in our apartment in Paris, with an arrangement of chrysanthemums, matthiola and viburnum. The vase is by Astier de Villatte. One of the first things we do when we arrive in Paris is go out and find some fresh flowers. The vibe of the apartment is really wonderful – the apartment is classic Haussmannian, but we renovated it four years ago, making it very bright and open. – Lucy

Left: “Here’s a glimpse of the Dolomites, where Luke and I went on vacation in the summer of 2018. You can see us both in the top right corner. We both love being immersed in nature – and there is such magical energy in these mountains: it reminds me a bit of my home in Zermatt, even though the landscape is much greener and less aggressive. – Lucy

Right: “A pair of Indian gold earrings. I bought them from a store called Sisters’ Antiques by Elena Parmegiani in our neighborhood in Milan which has a lot of beautiful antique jewelry. They have an interesting shape and are very light for their size. – Lucy

Left: “Part of a collection of ceramic, marble and wood bowls that I have accumulated over the years. I bought the green and brown marble one while traveling through Sri Lanka, and bought the wooden one on the left when Luke and I were in Japan. The other three I made in Paris in a local ceramics workshop. We use them all the time, although they are quite delicate. – Lucy

Right: “A platform sandal from Spring 2019. We were often in Japan the year we designed this collection – I think four times in 2018 – and we saw so many beautiful vintage sandals in little shops in Tokyo and in the countryside. Something about its construction is so pure, and we loved the idea that the wood was raw and untreated. It’s five inches tall, but it’s actually quite easy to walk on because the sole is quite wide. – Lucy

Left: “Our good friend Shaniqwa Jarvis’s monograph shows her unique photographic approach to portraits, landscapes and objects from her travels, and was published by another good friend of ours, Angelo Baque. Shaniqwa has a way of making people feel comfortable when she takes their photo – she’s really able to capture people’s minds. – Luke

Right: “One of our favorite Noah Davis paintings. When Lucie and I were living in Paris, we met Noah, her brother, Kahlil and her father, and ended up spending an afternoon and a long evening with them, filled with incredible conversations and debates. It was one of those exceptionally inspiring days that I remember very clearly. – Luke

Left: “On our hike in the Dolomites, we found a woodcarver’s workshop in a tiny wooden hut. He had many exquisite carvings and we asked him if he wanted to sell us this little angel. Lucie’s parents have two very similar ones at the front door of their house in Switzerland. They are like keepers. – Luke

Right: “Allen Iverson was in Georgetown when I was completing my undergraduate degree there. Basketball is huge out there, of course, and I’ve always found Allen really inspiring because he wears his emotions on his sleeve and goes all out in every game. I DJed in college and Allen came to a lot of my parties. I hope he liked the music I played! – Luke

Left: “I am 4 years old in this photo, at home in Zermatt. I have always loved this time of year, when the crocuses start to bloom after the long winter. – Lucy

Right: “Me, at age 10, in what was, I guess, my engineering phase – I’m very focused on building a remote control car at my home in Vancouver here. I didn’t grow up in fashion, but skateboarding, snowboarding, and music thrived in the Pacific Northwest when I was growing up. When I was a teenager I got interested in design and I was fascinated by the sociological aspect – what made a logo of a skate brand really cool, and why another didn’t matter, and how branding could be so powerful. – Luke

“Photographs of Luke and my auras. We had them picked up at this place in Manhattan’s Chinatown called Magic Jewelry. Whenever I go alone my aura is always red, but the first time we went together we had these complementary colors of purple and blue. – Lucy

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