Sonia Rykiel Reveals Battle With Parkinson’s Disease

Sonia Rykiel
Photo: Getty Images
Sonia Rykiel.

Sad news for the world of fashion: Sonia Rykiel has Parkinson's disease.

According to Women's Wear Daily, the designer's new book N’oubliez pas que je joue (Don't Forget It's a Game), documents her 15-year battle with the debilitating illness.

“I don’t want to show my pain," the 81-year-old writes of her decision to initially keep her illness out of the public eye. "I resisted, I hesitated, I tried to be invisible, to pretend that nothing was wrong. It’s impossible, it’s not like me."

The flame-haired Frenchwoman also admits that colleagues discouraged her from being photographed with the cane she uses. Reportedly appearing "increasingly frail" at recent events, including her label's Fall 2012 show on March 2, Rykiel has said that her physical symptoms are now too noticeable to be kept under wraps.

Her daughter Nathalie now acts as president for her eponymous label, which sold 80 percent of its shares to Fung Brands earlier this year.