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Sonia Rykiel Paris

From Queen of Knits to rebel designer, there is no single term to describe Sonia Rykiel’s style. The French designer got her start in 1962 when she drew sketches of a sweater and had it curated just for her, and grew into an iconic Parisian fashion house filled with slim fitting knits, large colored stripes and the designer’s iconic backwards stitch. In 1983, the brand’s childrenswear line Rykiel Enfant came to be under the creative eye of daughter Nathalie Rykiel. Nathalie Rykiel opened up to about the brand’s launch. “I was pregnant with my eldest daughter and I couldn’t find anything that I liked”. Rykiel Enfant was born.

The story of Sonia Rykiel

'The queen of knitwear' or the 'rebel designer', there is no shortage of tags to define Sonia Rykiel. It was in 1962 that her vocation began when she ordered a pullover to be worn only by her and knitted to her own design.
Sonia Rykiel opened her first shop against a backdrop of the turbulence of May 1968 with a firm idea, to liberate women: welcome to the concept of anti-fashion that promoted the idea that women should no longer submit to trends but, on the contrary, adapt fashion to their own personalities. Figure-hugging pullovers, colourful maxi stripes, the introduction of black as a fashionable colour, combining gentle whimsy and resistance, the Sonia Rykiel brand became Parisian women's favourite brand and created a revolutionary unisex style.

Sonia Rykiel by Julie de Libran

The designer Julie de Libran took over the reins of artistic direction at Sonia Rykiel in 2014 and has perpetuated Rykiel's signature details like no-one else. Like the brand's founder, Julie de Libran reinvented a free feminine, cultivated style by increasing the range of Sonia Rykiel pullovers but also adding tweed, animal prints and the kiss print.

Sonia Rykiel for children

Sonia Rykiel's death on 25 August 2016 so shook the capital of fashion that the mayor of Paris named a street after her, near Saint-Germain-des-Prés. "A street is like a podium because it was in the street that everything started. What would the Left Bank be without you?" asked her daughter, Nathalie Rykiel. It was also Nathalie who created Sonia Rykiel Enfant, in 1983. "I was pregnant with my oldest daughter and I couldn't find anthing I like to dress her in. Everything was pastel, classic and a bit naff, I wanted comfortable clothes for girls, that are fun, cheeky, soft, practical, machine-washable and amusing... So I designed them, taking inspiration from, but not copying, the Rykiel style." she told us. And so Sonia Rykiel Enfant was born: striped pullover dresses for girls, sequinned petticoats, Parisian T-shirts and seriously cult Sonia Rykiel berets.