Award: Dallas Fashion Award for Swimwear, 1994

Gottex was created in 1956 by Armin and Leah Gottilieb, a family-owned business, originally based in Tel Aviv, Israel. The owners' daughters, Miriam and Judith, were involved in the business; Miriam selected fabrics and acted as head designer, and her husband, Stephen Ruzow, was vice chairman. The Gottiliebs' other daughter, Judith, managed the company's operations. In the 1990s 80 percent of the company was purchased by Africa Israel, making them a partner, following the death of Armin and Leah Gottilieb. Miriam Ruzow was promoted to president and kept the position of head designer.

Miriam received her training in Paris where she studied fashion design. Her first interest was in designing lingerie, but her mother persuaded her to design swimwear for the family business. Miriam's creative ideas and technical knowledge made Gottex successful with the use of innovative fabrics, surface embellishments, and, most important, the fit. Some of the fabrics include complicated prints inspired by Pucci prints, beaded surfaces, and an abundance amount of lycra for encompassing the body. The quality of the fabric and construction contribute to the look and fit of the garments. Gottex's signature styles contain one-piece and two-piece suits, fitted lycra skirts with coordinated tops, and various styles of matching cover-ups.

Gottex also carries a line called Viewpoint, a contemporary, moderately priced swimwear collection; Gottex for Kids Swimwear; and other products such as sun-care products, sheets, and towels. Gottex also has a license agreement with Eur-Eyes, Ltd., which produces their sunglass line. In addition, Miriam introduced her new lingerie collection in Europe in 1995.

This family-owned business has been a leader in swimwear for years and still is with its exquisite, innovative fabrics made of vibrant colors and flattering silhouettes. In the fashion industry, the name Gottex is synonymous with quality and fashion. Website:

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