History of ownership
Founded by Jil Sander in 1968, the company went public in 1989. The first womenswear collection was launched in 1973, menswear followed in 1997. In 1999 Prada Group bought a 75% share in the company. Six months later, Sander departed the company, and it suffered serious financial setbacks. She returned briefly in 2003.
In May 2005, it was announced that Raf Simons had become creative director for the women's and men's collection. Simons wanted to "strip it down so there was nothing that wasn't necessary". Suzy Menkes, the principal fashion writer for the International Herald Tribune, said that some items in the collection "made exceptional pieces" but overall it "was not as strong as" before. The Fall/Winter collection, however, received accolades from IHT. Simons' first women’s collection was shown at Milan Fashion Week in 2006. The collection received a positive review from the Evening Standard and the Los Angeles Times.
In 2006, private equity firm Change Capital Partners LLP bought the company from Prada. At that point, the Telegraph reported that the company was in better shape financially. Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli said: "As we focus on the development of the Prada and Miu Miu brands, I am certain that Change Capital Partners will be able to provide the necessary investment to further grow the Jil Sander business." Raf Simons remained creative director at Jil Sander.
In September 2008, the Jil Sander brand was purchased by Onward Holdings Co. Ltd. (TYO: ), a Japanese multi-brand fashion conglomerate, and its European subsidiary GIBO' CO. S.p.A. for about US-$244 million.