Remembering French Fashion Designer Sonia Rykiel

Forever dressed in black with a shock of bright orange hair, Sonia Rykiel was never to be missed in a crowd. And her fashion designs were just the same: standing out, expressing so much more than anyone could ever think a piece of clothing could do.

Rykiel died last Thursday at the age of 86, but her art lives on and will continue to inspire women and the world of fashion for years to come.

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Known best for her knitwear, some of Rykiel’s most influential works are easy to remember: brightly colored striped sweaters (her famous “poor boy” sweater), off the shoulder blouses and tube dresses. All of her designs took every day clothing and added a twist. Nothing was “just a sweater” in Rykiel’s mind, but something that could be taken apart and sewn back together into a masterpiece of color, texture and shape.

Her creations truly showed the careful carelessness of French women’s fashion: the idea that clothing was meant to be fun, to throw it on without thinking too hard, and to live in it freely. Because of this Rykiel will be forever remembered as a French designer who created clothing for the everyday woman who was free, independent and happy in her own skin.

Watch Sonia Rykiel in her own words in this video: