Surprising news this morning: Jil Sander is leaving her namesake line for the third time. The German designer returned to her eponymous label in February 2012 after an eight year hiatus, to replace Raf Simons, who later headed to Christian Dior. (A lengthy article in the Wall Street Journal last November found that the Sander comeback was negotiated ahead of Simons' departure to Dior, when it was still rumored that the Belgian designer might move to Yves Saint Laurent — meaning, the Sander hire was a strategic decision on the part of the brand's executives, and not a simple scramble to replace Raf.)
WWD reports that the label's Spring 2014 collection was Sander's last; the range for Fall 2014 will be designed by the in-house team.
Despite a strong reputation for minimalist design, the Jil Sander label has struggled to find stability in recent decades (the line was launched in Germany in 1968). The brand's founding designer made her first exit in 2000, one year after selling the majority stake of her company to the Prada Group. Sander returned to the label in 2003, and left again after designing two collections. The Prada Group sold the brand to Change Capital Partners in 2005, who passed it forward to Onward Holdings after two years.
WWD reports that Sander's departure is for "personal reasons." The designer turns 70 in November.