Fast-fashion retailer H&M and the French fashion house of Sonia Rykiel are joining forces. President and artistic director Nathalie Rykiel has confirmed that Sonia Rykiel will be the next guest designer for F/W 09 and S/S 10.

The French house, founded by the “Queen of Knits” represents the distinctive, modern and impertinent spirit of Paris. This marks the first time that H&M has extended its designer collaboration to the world of lingerie and related accessories for women, with exclusive pieces to be launched in-store on Dec. 5, 2009. The collection will be launched in 1,500 H&M stores worldwide and at the same time, Sonia Rykiel will make a lingerie collection available in Sonia Rykiel’s major boutiques around the world — another first for H&M.

H&M and Sonia Rykiel are also collaborating for S/S 10, with an iconic knitwear collection for women and girls (1.5 to 8 years old) accompanied by playful accessories. This second collection will be launched in around 250 H&M stores on Feb. 20, 2010.

“It is a hallmark of Sonia Rykiel to think of all women because fashion is about a certain spirit more than a question of means. This collaboration fits perfectly with our philosophy. The Sonia Rykiel pour H&M lingerie collection is the ideal way to offer the essence of Rykiel to a great number of women around the world, and a beautiful way to close the year,” says Nathalie Rykiel, president and artistic director of Sonia Rykiel.

“Sonia Rykiel is a true fashion icon who invented a signature style around femininity, Parisian chic and modernity, as well as functional, comfortable, wearable clothes,” explains H&M Creative Advisor Margareta van den Bosch. “She has an attitude that inspires admiration among women of all ages around the world. We loved the joyful chic of Sonia Rykiel’s 40th anniversary runway show — and in that spirit this collection is all about revelling in great lingerie for its own sake. This is a totally modern, new kind of lingerie look, and when we started to work together with Rykiel on it, we just couldn’t stop. It’s a wonderful highlight for our main collection.”

—Regina Henkel