NEW YORK, Sep 9, 2006/ FW/ — Launched in 1956, Gottex was the brainchild of Lea Gottlieb, who together with her husband Armin moved to Israel from Hungary in 1949.
The Goettliebs owned a raincoat factory in Hungary, and in Israel, where the weather is hot; they adapted their expertise to create swimsuits, a pioneering and trailblazing idea during those days because no one has created a company or label that is centered on swimwear.
Selling her wedding ring for capital, Lea Gottlieb bought some fabric, borrowed a sewing machine and went to work. As Lea Gottlieb related to a fashion magazine, the original ‘Gottex designs was inspired by the light and contrasting colors of Israel, the aqua of the Mediterranean, the golden yellow of the desert, the blue of Lake Tiberias, the pink of the Jerusalem stones and the many greens of Galilee.’
In 1996 during the company’s 40th anniversary, in an interview by a fashion magazine, Lea Gottlieb confided, ‘ I wanted to crate a whole world that centered on the swimsuit. No brand had ever done it before, and that also helped make Gottex original. Women can wear our collections from pool to the bar, then go out to a restaurant or cocktail parties.
By that time, Gottex already produces caftans, tunics and trousers, providing a complete summer wardrobe to its clientele, while staying true to its roots of swimwear and beachwear as its main staple.
In 1997, Gottex was acquired by Lev Leviev, the owner of the Africa-Israel Group and made it the cornerstone of the now leading Africa-Israel Group fashion division.
Gideon Oberson currently designs the label. Last Sep 8, 2006, Gottex presented its 50th Anniversary collection during the Spring 2007 New York fashion season.
Gottex designer Gideon Oberson on the runway, Spring 2007.
Photo by Giovanni Pucci
Updated Aug 29, 2008
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