NEW YORK — Dennis Goldsmith, known best for his signature contemporary dress label, died Dec. 20 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 56.

The cause of death was brain cancer, said his former business partner and long-time friend, Larry Lefkowitz, president and chief executive of Maggy London.

Beginning his career in the early Seventies, Goldsmith launched a line of contemporary dresses under the Ma Chemise label. After 14 years, he closed the business and launched the brand bearing his own name under the Maggy London umbrella of companies.

Most recently, Goldsmith was a partner in ownership of Bardot Girlie Tees, a private label trendy T-shirt business he started in April 2000. The business shut down about six months ago when he became ill.

Goldsmith is survived by his wife, Gayla; a son, Jonnie, and a daughter, Jenna.