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Jil Sander's Creative Director Will Exit After Three Years

Luca Bruno/AP

Rodolfo Paglialunga's departure raises questions about who's equipped for a brand's top creative position.

Jil Sander's creative director of three years, Rodolfo Paglialunga, will be leaving the German fashion brand, Business of Fashion reports, making their women's fall '17 collection his final contribution.

The decision to exit was mutual, according to a joint statement from Paglialunga and CEO Alessandra Bettari: "We decided to terminate our professional journey with Rodolfo Paglialunga together with the designer himself" Bettari said. "We want to deeply thank Paglialunga for his great job at Jil Sander and the respect he paid to the brand's DNA."

Speaking to his experience since first joining the label in April 2014, Paglialunga added, "It was a great pleasure to collaborate with everyone in Jil Sander and to give my contribution in the brand's history and legacy."

Related | Hood By Air's Shayne Oliver to Create Special Helmut Lang Collection

Jil Sander's announcement follows news that Hood by Air founder Shayne Oliver will be creating an exclusive collection for Helmut Lang this September. Oliver was recruited by the brand's new "editor-in-residence," Isabella Burley, who will be heading all creative aspects of the brand, from digital content to special collaborative projects.

Between Paglialunga's departure and Burley's entrance, the fashion industry is beginning to question the role of a brand's creative director, and whether or naming a designer to the top creative position is still essential. Helmut Lang's chief executive, Andrew Rosen, suggests that a magazine editor, such as Burley, will help engage and maintain the brand's vision.

A creative director's job is exactly like an editor's, Rosen told the NY Times--they "control the message and keep it focused, the way you do in a magazine," he said.

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