Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Sale Of Jil Sander – Part II

Change Capital Partners ,the company that recently bought Jil Sander, must really have some big balls.

Not only are they going to try and revive a house that has been treading water ( more like rapids) for the last 4 or 5 years but they are going to do it with a designer ,Raf Simons, who has only one women’s collection under his belt.

This past Friday, Change Capital Partners announced dramatic growth and expansion plans with an eye to selling off the company in 3-5 years. What Balls! Just think about the pressure on Raf to immediately come up with an exciting, buzzbuilding vision for his women’s work. I’m sure the women’s RTW is more than half of the overall Sander RTW business, I would guess at least 70% (I will have to find the exact number), Raf has to hit the ground running.

Raf had to know of the upcoming sale but do you think he wanted the plans to flip the company to be so openly announced? If the horizon to sell is 3 years, then Raf has ,maybe, 3 more seasons because at the half way point ,if the results are not on track, don’t you think the investors ( who have no other high-end fashion businesses) will start getting a little nervous. Will they start shopping for another new designer and start all over again?

I would love to be in those meetings a year and a half from now, when Raf is seriously trying to explain to the investors ,in a language they understand (numbers), why it hasn’t happened yet. (if it hasn’t)

Design wise, Raf really only has two extreme ways to go to make a dramatic statement. He can either play it safe, hoping the long suffering Jil customers rally around the brand (which they have been asked to do a lot lately) or go very high-concept in design in hopes of attracting new heat to the brand. With so much pressure to make Jil work, what will this do to his own signature collection which is the best work he does?

Again, Change Capital says they have no interest in bringing back Jil, but doesn’t everyone want to bring back Jil?

So what do you think? Will this fourth revival be the new Golden Age for the Jil Sander company or will it just fade into oblivion?

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  1. Anonymous

    February 25, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    i hope they also bring back the quality production of pre-prada jil. with all the emphasis on making a buck i doubt it’ll happen.

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