From Queen of Knits to Rebel Designer, there is no single term to describe Sonia Rykiel’s style who passed away today at the age of 86. Born on May 26th, 1930 in Paris, her call to fashion began in 1962 when she drew sketches of soft, maternity-friendly sweaters and had them commissioned just for her. Following the success of her first designs, Rykiel created a small range of maternity dresses coupled with a small sweater called the Poor Boy Sweater. After making the cover of Elle USA that same year, the designer would forever be known as The Queen of Knits. In May of 1968, she opened her first boutique with one fixed idea: to liberate women. In a wink to France’s feminist movement, Rykiel introduced the concept of “un-fashion,” the idea that women should not have to conform to trends, but should adapt fashions to fit their individual personalities. With an affinity for slim fitting sweaters, large colored stripes and her iconic backwards stitch, this Parisian brand introduced black as the color of fashion, creating a revolutionary style that is both feminine and masculine. Nathalie Rykiel, her daughter, has created Sonia Rykiel Enfant in 1983 and, today with Julie de Libran, the new artistic director of Sonia Rykiel, continue the dynasty of free women who inspire young girls.