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OTB Acquires Jil Sander From Onward Holdings

The money-losing Jil Sander S.p.A. fashion house has a new home.

Italian luxury conglomerate OTB is acquiring the label from Japanese retailer Onward Holdings for an undisclosed purchase price.

The fashion label was founded by German designer Jil Sander in 1968. Onward has owned Jil Sander since 2008. Sander has had an on-and-off tenure with her namesake brand since 2000, and her last involvement ended in October 2013. OTB on Friday said that the label has been “creatively directed by Lucie and Luke Meier since 2017.”

Based in Milan, Jil Sander will now join the other brands under OTB’s umbrella, including Diesel, Maison Margiela, Victor & Rolf and Marni, among others, including a minority stake in Amiri.

“I have admired and respected Jil Sander since the fashion house was first established. Despite the changes of ownership and creative direction, the house has always stayed true to its founder’s vision, maintaining an absolute commitment to beauty, quality, and its signature minimalist approach. To be able to welcome this timeless jewel to our group of unique, unconventional labels is an honor and a long-term undertaking,” said OTB president Renzo Rosso.

Japanese retailer Onward Holdings sells Jil Sander to Italian luxury conglomerate OTB for an undisclosed amount.
Looks from Jil Sander FW2020 Runway during Milan Fashion Week, Feb. 19, 2020. Ik Aldama/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

OTB has been scouting for possible acquisition targets since last fall, eyeing fashion brands that have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Jil Sander was said to be on OTB’s radar.

OTB’s 2020 consolidated sales totaled 1.32 billion euros ($1.57 billion).

Jil Sander reported a 17.8 million euros ($21.22 million) loss for the year through February 2020, based on what Onward disclosed to the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Reuters reported.