Delaunay experimented with abstraction in the applied arts and built a successful business around her designs.
Delving into painting furniture, designing geometric book bindings, quilting, and more, Delaunay began to look for other forms of expression early in her career, and found her groove in design. During the first world war, the Delaunays lived briefly in Madrid, where Sonia opened her first shop, Casa Sonia, in 1918. Her business soon expanded, with storefronts in Barcelona, Bilbao, and San Sebastian. Maison Delaunay followed, opening its doors to Paris in 1925. Delaunay was designing and selling clothing, as well as working as an interior designer, revamping private homes and other spaces, including the nightclub Le Petit Casino.
Aside from her business, Delaunay collaborated on costume designs for the ballet, theater, and film.
Gaining traction as a designer, Delaunay was invited to create costumes for the Ballet Russes, opera productions in Spain, the play Coeur à gaz (written by friend and collaborator Tristan Tzara), and the films Vertige and Le P’tit Parigot. Her designs were colorful, bold, geometric—and thoroughly modern.