François Steiner, 44, former president of Kenzo, has been appointed the house's new managing director, while Gabrielle Greiss, 34, was promoted to creative director of the first fashion line. Greiss has worked in the studio with house founder Sonia Rykiel for the last two years.
Steiner, who has also held management jobs at Louis Vuitton and Thomas Pink, reports to Nathalie Rykiel, Sonia Rykiel's daughter the house's president and artistic director. He started this fall, but it is only now that his position has been made official.
"We want to build the future," said Nathalie Rykiel.
The appointments come as Rykiel prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.
In January, the house will inaugurate the festivities by unveiling a refurbished and expanded flagship boutique on the Boulevard Saint-Germain, in the heart of the Left Bank shopping district.
Nathalie Rykiel said the company would introduce a special capsule collection of "collectable" pieces, as well as stage a blowout party on the Boulevard Saint-Germain in May. The fete is scheduled for May 25, which will coincide with Sonia Rykiel's 78th birthday. "We wanted to do something atypical — very Rykiel."
Meantime, next October, a museum retrospective of Rykiel's four decades of style is planned for the fashion museum in the Louvre here. "It will be the first time we've done a museum show in France," said Nathalie Rykiel, who added a documentary film about the house as well as a literary essay on her mother's style are also in the works.
"We want to show our individuality," she explained. "We like to do things our own quirky way. We are one of the only remaining family-owned fashion businesses in France. We are 100 percent auto-financed and we are growing. Our story is unique."
Sources estimate Rykiel had sales of about 100 million euros, or $147 million at current exchange, last year with an increase in revenues of about 10 percent. The house operates 29 wholly owned boutiques and counts 26 franchised stores.