Sonia Rykiel High Street Undies

Sonia Rykiel to design for H&M

Sonia Rykiel, the ‘high priestess’ of Parisian chic, is to design for the high street chain, H&M.

Rykiel will be the chain’s ‘guest designer’ for two seasons. For this winter she will create an exclusive collection of lingerie, and, for next spring, a knitwear collection for women, and girls, aged 18 months to 8 years, with co-ordinated, playful accessories.

The lingerie collection, a ‘first’ for the chain, will be launched in time for Christmas, on December 5th, in 1,500 H&M stores worldwide, including its London flagship at Oxford Circus, London, W1 and UK branches. In another ‘first’, the collection will also be sold in major Sonia Rykiel boutiques around the world.

The knitwear collection will go on sale from February 20th.

Rykiel, the flame-haired doyenne of Paris fashion, launched her name on the Left Bank, in the rue de Grenelle, in May 1968, the spring of the student riots and a general strike.

She has a playful, irreverent, bohemian attitude, and has often referred to her designs as ‘démodé’, or ‘unfashion'. Her signatures are her sweaters, bold stripes on black, witty slogans, lace, seams on the outside, brightly-coloured fun furs, vintage-look dresses, and, of course, that most Parisian of accessories, the beret.

A national icon in France, she has won countless awards and is the author of nine books. Since her daughter, Nathalie Rykiel, joined the company in 1975, the house has expanded to include Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, Rykiel Woman and Rykiel Enfant, as well as shoes and accessories.

Sonia Rykiel is the only French group in the fashion industry to remain family-owned and 100% independent. Last year, at the Paris prêt-à-porter season, the company celebrated her 40th anniversary in fashion with a mammoth fête, show and retrospective in an enchanted forest outside Paris.

Rykiel is the latest in a long line of international designers to collaborate with H&M, following in the footsteps of Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, and Matthew Williamson, among others.

Most recently, H&M has signed a deal for a capsule collection of shoes, bags and ready-to-wear, by the status shoe brand, Jimmy Choo, which will go on sale on November 14th.

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