By  on February 29, 2008

PARIS — Lola Rykiel embodies the youthful joie de vivre the house of Sonia Rykiel wants to channel these days. The bubbly 22-year-old, who's studying at the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, moved to Manhattan a year ago to pursue a career onstage. As the granddaughter of Sonia, her fashion genes are pretty good, too. (She started by modeling children's clothes at age three.)

"I love my grandma," trills Lola. "I'm on the phone with her and my mom [Nathalie Rykiel] 10 times a day." Now Lola — who has been named Rykiel's brand ambassador in New York — wants to lend a hand in energizing the iconic Left Bank house on that side of the pond. "I go out in Rykiel," she says. "I put on a fur with my jeans and go clubbing. I have an underground circle of friends. Rykiel has a following with young, hip girls."

In her new role, Lola basically has to be seen out and about in Rykiel, but she also hopes to inspire more high-profile celebrities and socials to wear the clothes, too. Not bad work for a girl who likes to kick up her heels at Socialista or The Beatrice Inn. "But I only go out on the weekend," she notes. "I've got to do serious dancing the rest of the week."

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