Jil Sander


‘I’d say my vision is pure.’

The enduring influence of Jil Sander.

Interview by Ingeborg Harms
Photographs by Norbert Schoerner



Jil Sander has – perhaps for the first time in her life – been looking back. A major retrospective exhibition of her work, currently on at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, has provided her the context in which to reexamine an extraordinary 50-year career.

Sander’s introspective mood ahead of the exhibition felt like a unique opportunity for System to ask Jil Sander to discuss her singular aesthetic approach, and examine why its influence is now being felt more widely than ever.

So we brought Jil Sander together with Joe McKenna, master stylist and long-time collaborator, to discuss looking backwards and forwards, individuality and teamwork, and the realities of life, in and out of fashion. Sander then asked System to talk to sound artist Frédéric Sanchez, with whom she has worked since the 1980s, and Carla Sozzani, founder of 10 Corso Como, about her enduring vision. Meanwhile, over the summer, photographer Norbert Schoerner captured Jil Sander’s world: her studio, showroom and private residence, her hometown of Hamburg, and the sumptuous garden that so perfectly reflects her unwavering commitment to design, nature and purity.

Read the feature in full in System issue No. 10. Click to buy.