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Jil Sander Says It’s Time to Ditch the Sweats


If you missed out on yesterday’s +J release, then take solace in the fact that it was a similar tale of woe for many people. In Japan, chaotic scenes broke out, with the shop floor in Nagoya resembling more of a mosh pit at a Slipknot concert than a place to buy clothes.

As most suspected, this collection was sure to go fast — but just how fast it went surprised even us. In Berlin, where Highsnobiety’s headquarters are based, anecdotal staff accounts suggest that most locations were running low on stock within hours of opening, which is in stark contrast to previous drops by the likes of J.W. Anderson and, erm, Sesame Street. (That said, there are still some pieces online, albeit in extremely limited sizes.)

Speaking to friends, there were some who decided to skip out on buying (or attempting to) because they viewed the need for “refined basics” is as redundant in the current climate of sending Slack messages from the sofa and barely leaving the neighborhood. Sander would disagree, of course. In a new (paywalled) interview with Vanessa Friedman of the New York Times, the legendary minimalist opened up on her mindset for pandemic dressing, and why, *gasp*, it doesn’t include sweatpants.

“I think that radical down-dressing is a drainer,” said Sander. “I am a modernist and believe in mapping the future. I am stupefied by the nostalgic turn fashion continues to take. Dressing in yesterday’s styles depresses our capacity to deal with present problems. Not making an effort in the morning will slow down your day and disorient you. If we want to change the world, we have to keep renewing ourselves.”

In a separate interview with The Cut, Sander opined further on the weird new world, and said: “Relaxed and unobtrusive clothing has been at the forefront for quite a while. But in a time of crisis, when our daily life alters completely, yesterday’s looks and behaviors no longer seem real to us. In home office days, we may continue to wear our dated wardrobe, but it gets associated with the lock-down. In this situation, we need and wish for clothes that can give us the energy to pull through, to feel respected and in possession of our wits. We need tokens for a fresh start.” Or, in other words, it’s time to start dressing again.

With many still trying to figure out their post-pandemic wardrobes— which may, or may not, involve compression pants — Sander’s words, and her unwavering pursuit of purity, are food for thought. Is it our civic duty to make more of an effort? Would ditching the Champion bottoms for a pair of crisp, freshly-pressed Berluti trousers provide us with a renewed zeal and hunger for the day? Or is it all a bit out of whack coming from a millionaire designer who is lives in a stately home in Hamburg with grounds to explore, rather than a 40 sqm apartment in the city? Without sitting on the fence, maybe the truth is somewhere in between — yesterday’s scenes, at least, were testament to the fact that despite everything that’s still going on, some people still just want to get dressed.





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