In a city yet to name even a side-street after Coco Chanel or Christian Dior, Parisians stepped out on Sunday to do their organic shopping at a street market named after the fashion designer Sonia Rykiel.
Hours earlier, the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, had declared Allée Sonia Rykiel open, with her label staging its Paris fashion week show between the twinkling lights of the market stalls.
The allée is in the middle of a grand Left Bank boulevard where the late designer, who died in 2016, did her fruit and vegetable shopping. It is the first time the French capital has named any kind of thoroughfare after a fashion designer.
To celebrate, Rykiel’s successor, Julie de Libran, staged a Parisian market-themed show, with her models carrying baguettes or popping out for a bit of broccoli in lace nighties and techno trenchcoats.
The collection was inspired by the “petit filet” string shopping bags that are de rigueur among Paris’s hipster “bobos”.
“Sonia Rykiel gave us a taste for freedom. She was the most Parisian of Parisians,” said Hidalgo.
The designer opened her first shop a stone’s throw away in Saint-Germain-des-Prés just as French students rose up in revolt in May 1968.
Authorities in the French capital would not comment on whether there were any future plans for a Boulevard Karl Lagerfeld or Avenue Christian Dior.
A street named after Chanel is seen as politically tricky in a city that mostly votes for the left because of the designer spending much of the Nazi occupation in the Ritz hotel with her lover, the German intelligence officer Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage.