The first time Lucie and Luke Meier met in Florence, in 2001, they were students at the Polimoda fashion school. Now, nearly 20 years later, they are a married fashion-designer couple and are back in the Italian city as co-Creative Directors of Jil Sander – the brand that has taken a ride as bumpy as Florentine cobbles since its founder ended her stop-go presence.
But now that the duo has brought a thoughtful, nature-loving style to a brand based originally on purity, the company has come back to fashion’s forefront. Hence the show that is taking place at the Pitti Imagine fashion fair, where they are guest designers for Autumn/Winter 2020.
“Nature is always a big inspiration for us; it’s part of our lives and we really wanted to get away from a sterile world,” says Lucie, who was raised in Switzerland with an Austrian mother and German father and whose memories are of her family’s restaurant up in the Alps and of her mother being “a big Jil Sander fan”.
Luke has an English mother and Swiss father and was born in Canada. He worked for eight years in the US as designer of the ultra-cool Supreme skateboard/hip-hop brand, where he was steeped in American music culture. Moving to Europe after leaving Supreme in 2014, he co-founded the brand OAMC – “Over All Master Cloth” – best described as giving cool to quality, luxury streetwear. The mixing of places and minds, from both designers, has harmonised the new Jil Sander image.
“It is interesting to be here in Italy, because we are definitely not Italian in our mentality,” says Luke, who, like his wife, also recently worked in Paris. Together, they have created a fresh image for Jil Sander – one that has grown organically from its existing roots.