'Queen of Knitwear' Sonia Rykiel dies aged 86

French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel has passed away aged 86, it has been confirmed. The 'Queen of Knitwear' died at home on Thursday following a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

Sonia's daughter Nathalie, who is also the managing artistic director of her famous label, released a statement that read: "My mother died at 5:00 this morning at her home in Paris from the effects of Parkinson's."


The 'Queen of Knitwear' Sonia Rykiel has passed away aged 86

In 2012 Sonia revealed she was suffering from the condition - and fans were shocked to learn her battle stretched back 15-years. She confessed she'd kept it a secret for as long as possible before it became too difficult to disguise the symptoms.

In 2012 she revealed she'd been battling Parkinson's for 15-years

That year Sonia released a book, co-written with Judith Perrignon, in which she explained her reason for keeping her illness a secret. She wrote: "I don't want to show my pain. I resisted, I hesitated, I tried to be invisible, to pretend that nothing was wrong. It's impossible, it's not like me."

She later told The Guardian: "It didn't affect me too much at first. You couldn't tell at the time that I was ill just by looking at me, so I managed to go on for a while like that, keeping it to myself. I just continued working as president of Sonia Rykiel until I was 77. In 2007, ahead of the 40th anniversary of the company the following year, my daughter Nathalie took over the role. I continued to work – as I do now – every day, contributing ideas and designs." 

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