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Iconic French Fashion Designer Sonia Rykiel dead at 86

Fashion Designer Sonia Rykiel Photo Credit Stephane Feugere

Fashion Designer Sonia Rykiel Photo Credit Stephane Feugere

Sonia Rykiel, better known as “The Queen of Knitwear”, passed away today at the age of 86.

Rykiel, who was born in France, died of complications from Parkinson’s disease after a 20 year battle with the disease. She was so beloved in her native country that the President of France Francois Hollande, made the announcement alongside her daughter Nathalie Rykiel. President Hollande said that she was a “A free woman and a pioneer” and he later on Tweeted that ” her style will remain the symbol of the alliance between color and nature; fluidity and light”.

Photo by REX/Shutterstock Model on the catwalk Sonia Rykiel show for Autumn / Winter 2007 / 2008, Paris Fashion Week, France - 02 Mar 2007

Sonia Rykiel show for Autumn / Winter 2007 / 2008, Paris Fashion Week, France – 02 Mar 2007 Photo by REX/Shutterstock

Born in 1930, Rykiel begin her fashion career creating window displays for a Parisian textile store.

In 1961, she began making maternity clothes, while pregnant with her second child, because she couldn’t find maternity clothes that she liked and that fit her personal style. She began selling her designs in her husband Sam Rykiel’s boutique and her big break came after one of her designs dubbed “The Poor Boy” sweater was featured on Elle Magazine. She divorced Rykiel in 1968.

Fashion Designer SONIA RYKIEL Photo by RICHARD YOUNG/REX/Shutterstock

Fashion Designer SONIA RYKIEL Photo by RICHARD YOUNG/REX/Shutterstock

In Addition to fashion designer, Rykiel was an accomplished writer. Her publications include novels, children’s books and books about fashion. She even wrote about her struggle with Parkinson’s disease on her latest book “N’Oubliez Pas Que Je Joue” (Don’t forget that I am acting), which she published in 2012.

Rykiel is survived by her 2 children Jean-Philippe and Nathalie Rykiel.

 

 

By Farrah Estrella

Farrah Estrella is an award winning Latina, plus size, fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger. A native of the Dominican Republic, she was a previous writer for Examiner.com and has been the editor of the Estrella Fashion Report since 2012. Follow her on twitter at @FarrahEstrella and @EstrellaFReport

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