After a brave struggle with Parkinson’s disease Sonia Rykiel passed away this week. One of the most iconic independent voices in fashion, Rykiel made her first dress in 1962 when she was pregnant. Appalled with the maternity wear available she decided to make something better for herself.
Her first store opened in 1968 and customers included Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve. Her impact on the world of design can be seen in everything from her iconic signature knitwear to the work of Phoebe Philo, Marc Jacobs and countless others.
I remember reading an article about her many years ago where the interviewer mentioned her hair, she told him that she’d had the same hairstyle since the 1960’s, when he asked why she said because it was perfect and there was no reason to change it. In many ways this typified her design ethos, operating outside of the never ending cycle of trends, Rykiel created pieces that were timeless in a way that transcended trend led design.
To say she’ll be missed is an understatement but her legacy will live on. I’ll leave you with this awesome quote from the great woman herself.“How can you live the high life if you do not wear the high heels?”