Parisian knitwear queen Sonia Rykiel, who we call for a moratorium on describing as “flame-haired,” is the latest designer to heed the call of Swedish fast fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M). Following in the footsteps of everyone from Karl Lagerfeld and Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons to Marimekko and last spring’s Ibiza-meets-Bombay romp with Matthew Williamson, Rykiel has signed on as H&M guest designer for winter 2009 and spring 2010.
What’s new? Lingerie, for one thing. “We loved the joyful chic of Sonia Rykiel’s 40th anniversary runway show [held last fall at the Parc de Saint-Cloud in Paris] and in that spirit this collection is all about revelling in great lingerie for its own sake,” said H&M creative advisor Margareta van den Bosch in a statement issued today announcing the collaboration. “This is a totally modern, new kind of lingerie look, and when we started to work together with Rykiel on it, we just couldn’t stop.” Other than addictive underthings, which will debut in 1,500 H&M stores on December 5, the company promises “an iconic knitwear collection for women and girls accompanied by playful accessories.” The second collection is slated for a more limited launch (at approximately 250 stores) in late February. Look for a surfeit of black with pops of jewel tones, stripes, lacy flourishes, and cut-rate intarsia.