RYKIEL REVELATION: Sonia Rykiel has revealed she has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for 15 years. The French designer, who appeared increasingly frail in her last public appearances, decided to lift the lid on her illness in a new book cowritten with Judith Perrignon. “N’oubliez pas que je joue” (“Don’t forget it’s a game,” in English), from publishing house L’Iconoclaste, features Rykiel’s reflections on the disease, interspersed with Perrignon’s recollections of several meetings with the designer.

Rykiel, who has written several novels, revealed she had long kept her condition a secret, but had decided to speak out because she could no longer disguise the symptoms, which include trembling. “I don’t want to show my pain. I resisted, I hesitated, I tried to be invisible, to pretend that nothing was wrong. It’s impossible, it’s not like me,” she writes, adding that colleagues would not let her be photographed with the cane she has been using for several years. Rykiel was well enough to attend the last ready-to-wear show for her label on March 2.

This story first appeared in the April 24, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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