Rose Hartman/Getty
Mari Kasanuki
Aug 25, 2016 @ 8:00 am

French fashion designer and visionary Sonia Rykiel has passed away following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

She died in her home Thursday at the age of 86, the New York Times reports, citing a statement from French François Hollande's office.

The fashion designer's daughter Nathalie Rykiel, who helmed the Sonia Rykiel brand as managing and artistic director from 1995, also released a statement. "My mother died at 5:00 this morning at her home in Paris from the effects of Parkinson's," she said, according to the BBC.

Referred to as the "queen of knitwear" since the 1970s, Sonia launched her career in a time when traditions still constricted women's clothing in multiple ways. She arrived on the fashion scene during an era that was ripe for revolution and in 1968 founded her first namesake store in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris’s Left Bank. From there, her renown continued to grow as the world embraced her striking striped designs and her fitted "poor boy" sweater and her creations became as recognizable as her signature red-orange hair and fiery personality.

In 2014, Julie de Libran became the fashion label's artistic director and currently helms the design of the collections. Sonia is survived by Nathalie and son Jean-Philippe.

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