PARIS (AFP) – Two co-founders of online store Showroomprive on Wednesday announced they would relaunch French fashion label Sonia Rykiel, nearly five months after its demise following a court ruling.
A court in Paris in July ordered the winding up of the loss-making brand founded by the “Queen of Knits”.
The designer, who died nearly three years ago at the age of 86, popularised wearing all black and made her name with the “Poor Boy Sweater” that film star Audrey Hepburn made a key part of her look.
But despite the boom in luxury French fashion, a buyer could not be found to take on the label after it went into receivership in April.
A court on Wednesday, however, “authorised the sale of the brand’s assets for the benefit of Eric and Michael Dayan”, two brothers who were among four people who co-founded Showroomprive, according to a statement issued by the pair.
They said their objective would be to promote the Sonia Rykiel label “in France and abroad”, describing it as a “flagship of French heritage”.
“The Sonia Rykiel fashion house is back in 2020,” the statement said, adding that it would be a “new adventure” for the brand and the two entrepreneurs, who no longer manage Showroomprive.
No further details were given.
The Sonia Rykiel brand was once an icon of youthful revolt against the stuffy fashion establishment.
Her first boutique opened on the Left Bank of the French capital in May 1968 just as students took to the streets outside demanding an end to the old order. She was credited with making wearing black from head to toe the epitome of Parisian cool, once saying she didn’t like wasting time choosing colours.
But last year the brand – half of whose sales were in France – lost EUR30 million (USD33.5 million). Several investors had expressed interest in taking the house on, including the former chief of the Paris brand Balmain, Emmanuel Diemoz, and a Chinese conglomerate, but all came to nothing, leading to July’s winding up order.
Founded in 2006, French e-commerce company Showroomprive is one of the biggest online retailers in Europe.