Yesterday, Uniqlo announced the appointment of Jil Sander to a creative-director role, overseeing mens- and womenswear for the chain. (She won’t have an official title — in the spirit of minimalism, we imagine.) The apparently fashion-savvy stock markets reacted positively to the news, with Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing Co. Ltd.’s shares rising 8.6 percent and, perhaps more important, keeping hope alive.
Sander said many other companies tried to coax her back to fashion, but she settled on Uniqlo because she wanted to do something “completely different” (read: make clothes people can actually afford). Uniqlo heads first made contact with Sander in June and claim not to have considered any other candidates for the position. We nearly fell out of our chairs when we saw this headline late Monday night because the news seemed too good to be true. Like a listing for a “spacious and sunny” one-bedroom apartment in the Village for $1,300 that turns out to be no more than a closet with a stove in one corner and a dribbly pipe the broker calls a “shower.” The Uniqlo deal is not without a catch: The company could use Sander’s cachet to justify price increases.