Israeli fashion legend Lea Gottlieb, founder of the Gottex beachwear and swimwear company, died Saturday evening at the age of 94.
Gottlieb immigrated to Israel from Hungary in 1949, and founded the Gottex company together with her husband Armin in the late 1950s. The brand's goal was to replace the old-fashioned swimsuits of the era and bring glamour to the seashore.
The success was immediate – and not just in Israel. The Gottex brand gained international recognition, and the company's Israeli swimsuits starred in the most prestigious magazines and were sold in major department stores worldwide, including Harrods in London and Bloomingdale's in New York.
In addition, the company's collections were presented at the New York Fashion Week.
Gottex's swimwear was presented by supermodels like Tami Ben-Ami, and the company also used Hollywood star Brooke Shields for its advertising campaign. The strapless one-piece bathing suit designed by Gottex in the 1980s became the best selling swimsuit in the world.
"We bow our heads in the memory of Lea Gottlieb," Gottex Chairperson Joey Schwebel and CEO Ronny Grundland said in a statement Saturday. "Since the State's establishment, Lea Gottlieb has brought the message of Israeli fashion to the entire world."