iconic french designer sonia rykiel has passed away

The industry has lost its Queen of Knitwear, Rykiel’s daughter confirmed this morning.

by Charlotte Gush
25 August 2016, 2:20pm

The iconic French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel passed away in the early hours of this morning, her daughter has confirmed. Nathalie Rykiel, who is the managing artistic director of her mother's eponymous label, released a statement saying, "My mother died at 05:00 this morning at her home in Paris from the effects of Parkinson's." Rykiel had been open about her Parkinson's diagnosis, writing in her 2012 book N'Oubliez Pas Que Je Joue (Don't Forget It's a Game) that she had been diagnosed 15 years earlier.

Sonia Rykiel became known as the Queen of Knitwear in the 60s after the super soft "Poor Boy Sweater" she designed for herself while she was pregnant, and produced through her husband's label, appeared on the cover of French Elle. Her skinny knit styles (most famous for their stripes and slogans) and her penchant for exposed seams were radical in knitwear design. Her grinning and giggling models brought a refreshingly playful atmosphere to the catwalk.

When i-D Editor-in-Chief Holly Shackleton spoke to Rykiel in 2007, the designer gave her thoughts on style, saying, "Style is unique, every woman has her own style, but for me, the definition of style is someone who turns heads in a crowd. By the shadow, the trace she leaves when she walks, stands, speaks." Rykiel added, "Every woman needs love, nice hair, and a positive attitude."

Asked whether, if she could do it all again, she would do anything differently, Rykiel said, "Not at all. I am sure today there are things I could do in another way but I still wouldn't change a thing."


Text Charlotte Gush
Image courtesy of Sonia Rykiel 

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