French designer Sonia Rykiel has revealed that she’s been battling Parkinson’s disease for 15 years. She details her illness in her new book co-written with Judith Perrignon N’oubliez Pas Que Je Joue, which translates to Don’t Forget It’s A Game.
WWD reports that Rykiel decided to announce her longterm condition because she couldn’t hide the symptoms, like trembling. She writes in her book:
“I don’t want to show my pain. I resisted, I hesitated, I tried to be invisible, to pretend that nothing was wrong. It’s impossible, it’s not like me.”
According to the Telegraph, the disease is given the code “P de P” throughout the book, which stands for “Putain de Parkinson” and translates to “bitch of Parkinson’s”. For several years, colleagues at the fashion house helped conceal Rykiel’s secret and have tried to prevent photographs from being taken when she was using a cane.
Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the nervous system which can cause shaking, difficulty walking, and eventually dementia in its later stages.