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Rykiel Names Geraldo da Conceicao Artistic Director

Godfrey Deeny
September 21st, 2012 @ 8:12 PM - Milan

The new owners of Sonia Rykiel have appointed Geraldo da Conceicao as the Paris house’s new artistic director.

The appointment, announced Friday, Sept. 21, comes eight months after Fung Brands acquired Rykiel. This Hong Kong-based group had been widely expected to chose a new artistic director to replace April Crichton, a Briton whose two collections for Rykiel had garnered faint praise.

Rykiel, headquartered in one of the most noble townhouses of St Germain, arguably Paris’ most rarefied neighborhood, said in a release that, “da Conceicao’s mission is to design and carry out the creative relaunch of the women's Ready-To-Wear and Accessories collections.”

Curiously for a house in Paris where the majority of labels are led creatively by non-French talent, Rykiel did not note da Conceicao’s nationality. The designer was born in Canada and in a busy career has held, “design positions at Miu Miu, Yves Saint Laurent, and most recently, at Louis Vuitton as their women's design director,” the statement noted. His first collection will be presented during the Fall-Winter season in March 2013. Rykiel has pulled out of the upcoming Paris season, due to begin next week on Wednesday, Sept.

“I am very proud to be joining the Sonia Rykiel fashion house. For me, Sonia Rykiel has always represented the irreverent Parisian woman; modern, sensual and with a certain intelligence,” da Conceicao said in the release.

Rykiel is the most important luxury brand acquired by the Fung family, which has built a anomalous group of a half dozen Western prestige labels that includes London tailor Gieves & Hawkes, French boot maker Robert Clergerie, Hardy Amies, Cerruti and Delvaux. So, media and buyer reaction to this move at Rykiel will be seen as a litmus test of the Fung family’s ability to manage high-profile European labels.

“I am very pleased to welcome Geraldo da Conceicao to Sonia Rykiel. He has the talent and experience to write a new chapter in the history of the fashion house… His arrival confirms the quality of Fung Brands’ commitment to Sonia Rykiel,” argued Rykiel chairman and a Fung appointment Jean-Marc Loubier in the release.

In April, the octogenarian Rykiel revealed that she had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for the past 15 years.

“With his talent and understanding of the Rykiel woman, there is no doubt that Geraldo da Conceicao will be able to take up the reins and project the image of this emblematic woman, loved by everyone in the fashion world,” said her daughter Nathalie Rykiel.

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Fashion Wire Daily: The Last Word in Fashion

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