Jil Sander became a fashion designer ''by chance''.

The German sartorialist says she has always had a huge interest in clothes but didn't think about making her own line until she was working as an editor at a fashion magazine and didn't like the outfits that had been sent through for a shoot.

She said: ''I started dressing my family when I was a child. But the actual decision to design came quite late and almost by chance. As a fashion editor, I was unhappy with the clothes we received for shoots. So I contacted the producers and made suggestions. After that I opened a store where my creations were just a sideline. Then things evolved rather quickly.''

Jil has become famed for her minimalistic fashion and she believes the look has become popular in recent years because the economic downturn means people don't want to dress in an extravagant way.

She told Britain's ELLE magazine: ''In a serious economic situation like this, people opt for understatement. They don't feel like disguising and 'dressing up'.''