French fashion house Sonia Rykiel, whose brightly striped sweater dresses came to symbolise the rebel spirit of the French 1960s, has gone into liquidation.
The brand’s founder, who was nicknamed “the Queen of Knitwear” by industry magazine Women’s Wear Daily, died in 2016, a few years after the family sold control of the label to Hong Kong investors. Sales failed to pick up under their ownership.
Instantly recognisable by her bushy red hair, Sonia Rykiel founded her fashion house in the Left Bank quarter of Saint-Germain des Pres in 1968.
At the time France was rocked by violent student riots, and Rykiel’s styles also aimed to counter stiff, bourgeois dress codes, with inside-out stitches and extra-short skirts.
Early adopters of her tightly fitting sweater dresses included actresses Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve.