Lea Gottlieb, who injected glamour into the swimwear industry as founder and designer of Gottex, died Saturday at her home in Tel Aviv of natural causes. She was 94.
Born in Budapest, Gottlieb, her late husband, Armin, and their two daughters were survivors of the Holocaust. In 1949, the family emigrated to Israel, where they started selling rainwear before moving onto swimwear, which better matched the country’s climate. They founded Gottex (a combination of their last name and the word “textiles”) in 1956 and built it into one of the world’s most successful swimwear companies. Gottex was sold in more than 100 countries and was worn by such celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana, Brooke Shields, Sophia Loren and Nancy Kissinger.
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