The year is 1968. The streets of Paris fill with protesting students, the Women’s Liberation Movement is founded – and fashion designer Sonia Rykiel opens her first store on the Rive Gauche, offering chic “petits pulls” to be worn braless on naked skin. Fifty years later, the house’s artistic director Julie de Libran is celebrating the brand’s anniversary with Generous Sweaters: a capsule collection of 12 pieces designed in collaboration with seven women to support women’s, children’s and LGBTQ charities.
Actresses Kirsten Dunst, Kristin Scott Thomas and Sofia Boutella, architect Kazuyo Sejima, ballerina Sue Jin Kang, illustrator Langley Fox and model Liya Kebede have contributed to the collection with their own designs, drawing from their personal history. Each has chosen a charity close to their heart to benefit from 10 per cent of the profit from each piece.
Dunst’s angora, wool, silk and velvet jumper (£785), graced with a red-poppy wreath motif around the shoulders, evokes her Swedish heritage and benefits Planned Parenthood. Kebede’s boyish oversized sweater (£1,635) features Ethiopian details, referencing the one she used to borrow from her father, and raises funds for her own Lemlem Foundation, which helps thousands of women access healthcare and employment across Africa. Scott Thomas’s marinière (£945) with cashmere and Lurex yarns, finished with Sonia Rykiel’s vintage buttons, celebrates her family’s past in the Royal Navy and supports the children’s charity Hope and Homes, which helps orphaned children find a safe family home.