Sonia Rykiel's ambition in life was far from being a fashion designer. 'My earliest ambition was to have 10 children,' says the 'Queen of Knitwear'. But she only has two - a musician son and a daughter who works with her. In town on her way to Shanghai as the guest of honour at the Shanghai International Fashion Culture Festival, Sonia celebrates 30 years in the business this year, a true feat in the ephemeral world of fashion. Besides being a devoted mother, Sonia has dedicated her life to designing. 'It would be terrible if I didn't have passion for what I do after 30 years,' she says. Sonia is also into writing and has published seven books, many of them about her reflections of life. 'I write because I feel a need to,' she says. And although her favourite colour is red, Sonia explains her obsession with black. 'The reason I wear black all the time is because I have red hair. If I wore bright colours, it would clash with my hair colour.' So for a woman whose name is synonymous with style - she has twice been named as one of the 10 most elegant women in the world - what is her definition of good taste? 'Good taste is when you know what looks good on you and when you know who you are. It is very individual. If something looks good on me it doesn't mean it will look good on someone else.'