The French designer passed away aged 86 on 25 August (16) after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, with relatives confirming the news in an emotional statement. On Thursday, crowds gathered to say goodbye to Sonia at Montparnasse Cemetery in the city - the resting place of other famous names such as writer Samuel Beckett, French intellectual Simone de Beauvoir and poet Charles Baudelaire.

The fashionista’s family, including granddaughters Lola, Tatiana and Salome, were joined by some of the industry’s elite such as Sonia’s longtime collaborator, photographer Dominique Issermann, and model Anne Rohart.

“I started working with her in 1979. We did all the advertising visuals until 1990, shot 25 collections,” Dominique recalled, according to WWD. “Sonia Rykiel picked us when we were nothing. We were two beginners. Anne had never done photos and I had never shot for fashion. I shot black clothes on black with just a small white trim and that really what gave me a leg up. She was running a big company and she was doing it with the ease of a cat.”

Designers Alber Elbaz and Peter Copping and businessman Sidney Toledano were also present, with the latter praising Sonia for being an “exceptional woman” in the fashion world.

Sonia’s daughter Nathalie led the congregation to a statue of the Angel of Eternal Sleep in the cemetery, where the designer’s son Jean-Philippe opened the farewell with a light-hearted musical mix featuring Sonia’s most famous lines, including, “I love children, especially my own.”

Her granddaughters also shared some words, with Lola, the brand director of public relations for North America, giving a speech about how her grandmother influenced people with her unique sense of style.

The girls’ words touched designer Alber, who said afterwards: “Their words made me fly, they really made us get a deeper sense of the designer but also the person. And it made me love her even more.”