We regret to inform you that the world has lost one of the world’s most pioneering fashion designers. Sonia Rykiel, a famous French designer, who was dubbed “the queen of knitwear” died tragically at 86.
NBC News notes that her “relaxed sweaters in berry-colored stripes and eye-popping motifs helped liberate women from stuffy suits.”
From NBC News:
For the generation of women who came of age in the heady 1960s and ’70s, Rykiel — with her hallmark bright orange hair — came to symbolize the new era of freedom.
She also penned several novels — including one about a dress and its various incarnations — and figured in director Robert Altman’s satirical 1994 look at the fashion industry, “Pret-a-Porter.”
Rykiel got her start by designing knit maternity dresses for herself. She became a fixture of Paris’ fashion scene in 1968 when she opened her first ready-to-wear shop on the Left Bank at a time when student riots were challenging France’s bourgeoisie establishment. The designer’s empire grew to include menswear and children’s lines as well as accessories, perfumes and home goods, sold in the label’s stores on four continents.
Her daughter, Nathalie Rykiel — who as a young woman used to model her mother’s garments on the catwalk — has long helped manage the fashion house. The business was among France’s last major family-owned labels until it was sold to a Hong Kong investment fund in 2012.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Rykiel’s entire family during this trying time.