Tuesday 25 July 2017

Legendary fashion designer Sonia Rykiel dies aged 68

Designer Sonia Rykiel (pictured with daughter Nathalie Rykiel) died on August 25 at 86. (Photo by Michel Dufour/WireImage)
Designer Sonia Rykiel (pictured with daughter Nathalie Rykiel) died on August 25 at 86. (Photo by Michel Dufour/WireImage)
Model Kendall Jenner walks the runway during the Sonia Rykiel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015

Independent.ie Agencies

Designer Sonia Rykiel has died aged 86.

The French fashionista, dubbed the 'Queen of Knitwear', announced she had been suffering from Parkinson's disease in 2012, and on Thursday relatives confirmed she had lost her battle.

She leaves behind son Jean-Philippe Rykiel and daughter Nathalie Rykiel.

"My mother died that night in Paris with her at 5 am, as a result of Parkinson's disease," a statement from the family reads.

Model Kendall Jenner walks the runway during the Sonia Rykiel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015
Model Kendall Jenner walks the runway during the Sonia Rykiel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015

Sonia revealed she had been diagnosed with Parkinson's, a degenerative disease of the nervous system known to cause tremors and brain deficiency, in her book N'oubliez Pas Que Je Joue (Don't Forget It's A Game). In a piece for Britain's The Guardian newspaper, the late style star recalled how she handled it.

"I was diagnosed with Parkinson's 15 years ago, when I was 66," she said. "I didn't tell a soul – not even my daughter, who was in her 40s then. I kept it that way because my doctor advised me not to tell anyone. It was a mild form of the disease, so it was barely worth mentioning, he said.

"But in private I was really frightened, because my mother contracted the disease when she was 70, and I had memories of her suffering (although that was 40 years ago, when there was no treatment at all)."

Sonia won countless accolades for her contribution to fashion over the years, including the Order of Legion d'Honneur in 2009.

She started her career in the '60s after she borrowed one of her husband's sweaters while pregnant, which led to her creating a maternity line.

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