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Fashion Designer, Sonia Rykiel Passes Away at 86

The fashion designer passed away yesterday at the age of 86, after a long battle with her "f**king Parkinson's" disease. 

"I wasn't interested in fashion originally," is a statement you thought you'd never hear from a designer. But it's true. Sonia Rykiel built her brand out of personal frustration. There was nothing available in the market that she would like to wear on herself, including clothing that was sold at her then-husband's boutique. 

"I wanted a maternity dress, but I couldn’t find anything I liked. Everything was abominable. So I made one." Rykiel told Women's Wear Daily's Robert Murphy in 2008. She then succinctly described her success since then: "Then I made a pullover. Elle put it on the cover. Then WWD elected me the queen of knitwear." 

The 'pullover' that she mentioned became her signature, and was nicknamed, the 'poor boy sweater'. That sweater was a short jumper that was finely knit—it clung to the body like a second skin and allowed its wearer ease of movement. This was a big contrast to the fashion in the 1960s. 

"She freed women from close-fitting suits with tight waists and big shoulders, the way Chanel freed them from corsets in another era. Ever since then a segment of the public has loved that Parisian style, which is chic, sexy and casual." 

- Long-time friend Régine Deforges explained

That "chic, sexy, and casual" style that Deforges mentioned? It's still a mantra many stylish Parisiennes live by. 


Featured photo via Vogue; quotes taken from The Guardian unless otherwise stated

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