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In breaking fashion news, designer Sonia Rykiel has died at age 86 in Paris. According to Women’s Wear Daily, the French design talent suffered from Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis.
Rykiel founded her eponymous Paris-based label in 1965, and was known for her signature ribbed Poor Boy sweater and luxurious knits. From sequins to stripes and embellished handbags, the Sonia Rykiel aesthetic quickly became recognized for its effortless sophistication.
The designer herself could easily be spotted in a crowd due to her trademark fiery locks, and was a proud feminist who empowered women.
Rykiel was born in the Parisian suburb Neuilly, to a Romanian father and Polish mother. She was the oldest girl in a family of five daughters, and later married boutique owner Sam Rykiel in 1953. After divorcing her husband in 1968, Rykiel opened her own freestanding boutique.
Over the years, her celebrity fanbase has ranged from icons like Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn to modern day beauties like Miranda Kerr.
The unconventional and fierce designer is survived by her daughter Nathalie Rykiel and son Jean-Philippe Rykiel. Meanwhile, the house of Sonia Rykiel is presently led by artistic director Julie de Libran, who was appointed in 2014.