The late French designer Sonia Rykiel opened her first boutique in 1968 on Paris's Left Bank. Her claim to fame was a body-skimming sweater that became a key part of fashion's move toward ready-to-wear. In addition to an haute couture debut and the inauguration of Allée Sonia Rykiel, creative director Julie de Libran is celebrating the label's 50th Anniversary with a limited-edition collection called "Generous Sweaters."
De Libran and seven powerhouse women — from actors Kirsten Dunst, Sofia Boutella, and Kristin Scott Thomas to PAPER cover star Liya Kebede and Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima — designed a range of knits that will benefit a charity of their choice. The proceeds from Korean ballerina Sue-Jin Kang's dance-inspired ribbed trousers and multi-colored, wrap sweater will go to the Children's Hospital of Seoul National University, while American artist Langley Fox's rainbow sweater will raise funds for Le Refuge, a French organization that provides shelter for LGBTQ youth facing persecution.
"They have all shown extraordinary commitment to the project and been so generous with their time and input," de Libran says of the participants. Alongside an eggshell sweater with a kaleidoscopic pattern of herself dancing nude, Kingsman star Sofia Boutella — who often wore Sonia Rykiel as a backup dancer for Madonna — created a crocheted butterfly style based on one of her own illustrations. Informed by a shirt a sweater she borrowed from her father as a young model touring the world, Liya Kebede's longline sweater (featuring handwoven fabrics from her Ethiopia-based foundation and brand Lemlem) is also rooted in personal experiences.
Photos courtesy of Sonia Rykiel