French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel dies aged 86

She passed away at her home in Paris after a long battle with Parkinson's disease

French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel dies aged 86

File photo of French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel. Image: Thibault Camus / AP/Press Association Images

French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel has died.

The 86-year-old passed away earlier today at her home in Paris after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

BBC reports that the news was confirmed by Nathalie Rykiel, the designer's daughter and managing & artistic director of the Sonia Rykiel brand.

Sonia was known as the 'Queen of Knitwear', and made her name in the Paris fashion scene from the late 1960s onwards.

Her brand's website says the designer "urged women to be eccentric, seductive, mysterious, and to create their own style".

French President Francois Hollande has led tributes to the fashion star, describing her as a "pioneer".

The social media pages and website of the Sonia Rykiel brand have been updated with a photograph of the designer.