Sonia Rykiel Names New Artistic Director, Cancels Paris Show

Sonia Rykiel, which has new owners, just hired an experienced artistic director, but is canceling its runway show in Paris this season as it reorganizes.
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Sonia Rykiel, which has new owners, just hired an experienced artistic director, but is canceling its runway show in Paris this season as it reorganizes.
Photo: Imaxtree

Photo: Imaxtree

Sonia Rykiel, the label, has been undergoing some changes in the past year. A few months ago we learned the sad news that Rykiel herself has been suffering from Parkinson's disease, but the company is optimistic and looking for a global push, according to WWD. To that end, the label just appointed Geraldo da Conceicao as the new artistic director in one of many changes under way at the French fashion house. This means April Crichton, who worked alongside Rykiel and has only been creative director since last September, is out.

The Canadian da Conceicao brings with him a hefty CV that includes stints at Miu Miu and Yves Saint Laurent. He is currently senior designer at Luis Vuitton, and while at YSL from 1998-2006 he worked under heavyweights Alber Elbaz, Tom Ford and later Stefano Pilati.

The changes coming to Rykiel are the result of new ownership: In February Fung Brands Ltd's acquired 80 percent of the company, which left the founding family with 20 percent. New additions to the team also include commercial director Eric Rousseau from Jean Paul Gaultier and Sophie Templier from Chloé as merchandising manager. With the new team in place the aim is to revamp the first line and accessories in an effort to bump sales.

In light of all the change afoot, the brand has opted to cancel its show in Paris this season and to do press and buyer presentations at its showrooms instead. The cancelled runway show will certainly be missed on the calendar, as the smiling, dancing models are always refreshing after weeks of shows.

“We are opening a new chapter for the company. We are sure [da Conceicao] will be able to take the Rykiel woman and make her international," Jean-Marc Loubier, chairman at Rykiel and president of Fung Brands, told WWD.

We are excited to see Rykiel's new incarnation.