French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel has been awarded two of the highest French honoursthis week, the Grande Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris and the Insignes de Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.
The ceremony took place in Paris’ town hall, with Bertrand Delanoe, Mayor of Paris awarding Rykiel the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres accolade, one of the top awards that can be bestowed upon a French citizen in recognition of her contribution to arts and literature.
This was followed by the Grande Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris, an honorary distinction given to cultural figures who have made a significant impact on the city. Rykiel follows in the footsteps of other designers including Gianni Versace, Valentino and Ines de la Fressange who have previously won the honour.
“You are among the rare people to understand that fashion was not made to satisfy the fantasy of designers, but to speak to women,” said Pierre Bergé who bestowed the Grande Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris. “And not to speak to idle women, only rich women, but active women, everyday women.”