Eponymous womenswear label Sonia Rykiel was founded in France in 1968. The label began when Sonia Rykiel could not find anything to wear during her pregnancy, so decided to design and create her own designs, producing a dress and a sweater. These pieces were adored by her friends, leading the founder to launch her own brand. The sweater designed during her pregnancy was an instant hit, soon becoming known as the Poor Boy Sweater which is now an iconic piece, seen as reimagining the previously boring, unflattering jumpers of the time. This design also perfectly embodies the Sonia Rykiel approach- creating modern and stylish yet practical clothing with a consistently realistic outlook.
Through the creation of the Poor Boy Sweater and the innovative techniques used in producing sweaters and jumpers, Sonia Rykiel has been labelled the ‘Queen of Knits’. The experimental style used by the designer made Sonia Rykiel the first brand to utilise unfinished hems, slogans, and stitching on the outside of garments. Fusing practicality with a fashion-forward style meant that Sonia Rykiel was a leader in ready-to-wear throughout her career.
In 2012, the label was acquired by First Heritage Brands, though just years later, in 2019, the brand announced its liquidation. A year later, brothers Eric and Michael Dayan bought the company with the aim of restoring it to its former glory. Today, Sonia Rykiel does not operate with one main creative director, and instead works with a group of artisans who have been working for the label for many years.
Collections from Sonia Rykiel today continue the modern, chic aesthetic that the brand has always been known for. The label produces ready-to-wear, shoes, bags and accessories, as well as a children’s line- all designed with practicality and style in mind. A playful sophistication is seen throughout collections, crafted through refined silhouettes met with vibrant colours and prints. Signature knits are offered in timeless stripes, met with pleated midi-skirts, flared jeans and embroidered shirt dresses. Versatile and refined, Sonia Rykiel makes everyday dressing easy yet elegant.
Sonia Rykiel designs can be accessed through the brand’s online store, as well as via Farfetch.