The Sonia Rykiel brand was founded in 1968. The same year, the designer opened her first store on the boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris. Sonia Rykiel, who had first knitted a sweater for herself as she found nothing comfortable to wear while she was pregnant in 1962, quickly conquered the hearts of the women of her time. Her striped, stoned, reversed stitch or seamless sweaters were a hit and in 1972, she was given the nickname "Knitting Queen" by "Women's Wear Daily". Rather than trends, Sonia Rykiel initiated a movement, "Démode". The idea? Women’s style should not be dictated to them but come from them. From the end of the 70s, the Parisian label expanded its activities. In 1977, the designer was the first to work with mass retail by creating three designs for Les 3 Suisses. Three years later, the brand launched its first fragrance, 7ème Sens, followed in 1983 by a children’s line. In 1995, Sonia Rykiel's daughter, Nathalie, became Creative Director of the label of the 6th arrondissement, which she sold to Geraldo Da Conceicao in 2012. Meanwhile, the company collaborated with the giant H&M (twice) and celebrated its 40th anniversary in great style, with contributions by thirty renowned designers who exposed their vision of the Rykiel woman during a show in 2008. In 2014 Julie de Libran was appointed Creative Director of the label.
Julie de Libran was born in 1972 and grew up in the South of France until she was eight, when she moved to California. As she became interested in fashion at an early age, in 1990, she flew to Milan, Italy to study design and pattern making at the Marangoni Institute. The fashion designer then studied draping at the Ecole Syndicale de la Couture in Paris. After graduating, she worked with Gianfranco Ferré, for his eponymous brand but also at Christian Dior where he designed. She then imagined Jean-Charles de Castelbajac's women’s ready-to-wear collections. In 1996, she left France for Italy, where she first worked for Versace, then Prada. She returned to Paris in 2008, where she worked very closely with Marc Jacobs and was in charge of the development of the Louis Vuitton Cruise and Prefall lines. After six years working for Vuitton, she joined Sonia Rykiel where she presented her first collection in September 2014.