- Category : Fashion Designer
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (6,22,45,49)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Duality 1
Sonia Rykiel née Flis (French pronunciation: ?; born 25 May 1930 in Paris) is a French fashion designer.
Ethnically a Russian-Romanian Jew, Sonia Rykiel was born in Neuilly, a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France, the eldest of five daughters of a Russian mother and a Romanian father. At the age of 17, she was employed to dress the window displays in a Parisian textile store. In 1953, Sonia married Sam Rykiel, owner of a boutique selling elegant clothing. In 1962, unable to find soft sweaters to wear during her pregnancy, she used one of her husband's suppliers from Venice to design her own sweaters.
Sonia Rykiel thereafter created her first maternity dresses and a tiny sweater, called the Poor Boy Sweater, which she started selling from her husband's label "Laura". The Poor Boy Sweater made the cover of ELLE fashion magazine, and brought Rykiel fame; because of it, she was crowned "Queen of Knits" by the Americans in 1967.
Since then, she has continued to experiment to expand her offerings. She later became the first designer to put seams on the outside of a garment, and to print words on her sweaters. In particular, she favours long clinging sweaters or small cropped pullovers, large rolled-back cuffs and long shawls. Her color palette usually features beige, grey, dark blue, and charcoal.
She has also created a range of fragrances of which '7e Sens' was the first.
Rykiel has written many books, including an A to Z of fashion, and a collection of children’s stories.
In 1980, Rykiel was voted one of the world's 10 most elegant women. She proved that knitwear can follow any trend. Rykiel also hit upon the trend of big, soft, fun fur done as a huge bubble of color - in her case baby pink, purple knitted fox or teal-blue Mongolian lamb. During Paris Fashion Week in October 2003, Sonia Rykiel showed her own collection for next spring. There were also gorgeous ruffled dresses in vintage floral and polka dot prints and smart houndstooth coats.
With her daughter Nathalie, Rykiel brought Paris to New York; in February 2005, Henri Bendel launched an in-store shop for the Sonia Rykiel Woman line. There are three Sonia Rykiel boutiques in the U.S., in Boston, New York City, and Guam.
In 2005, Kashiyama was the Sonia Rykiel ready-to-wear license holder in Japan with retail value of €45 million.
In December 2009, Sonia Rykiel and H&M introduced a collection of underwear, "Sonia Rykiel pour H&M", the first of two masstige operations with the Swedish retailer (the second became available in February 2010). An event was held at the Grand Palais in Paris to celebrate the event.
Rykiel collaborated with impresario and performer Malcolm McLaren on the song "Who the Hell is Sonia Rykiel?" on McLaren's 1995 album Paris.
She is seen briefly in the 2010 film "Bill Cunningham's New York"
It was also recently revealed that she suffers from Parkinson's Disease, and that she has been dealing with the disease for 15 years.