Internationally acclaimed Swedish fashion designer dies

Internationally acclaimed Swedish fashion designer dies
An archive photo of Katja of Sweden head Katja Geiger, who won international acclaim for her work in the 1950s-70s. Photo: Pressens Bild/TT
Swedish fashion designer Katja Geiger, whose simple, brightly-coloured dresses were inspired by a fusion of Scandinavian and African culture, has died aged 97, local media said on Wednesday.

Better known under her brand name Katja of Sweden, her work won international acclaim from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Katja named a blouse after her close friend, Swedish movie legend Ingrid Bergman, who attended her fashion shows “as often as she could,” according to the Dagens Nyheter daily.

Born in the southern Swedish town of Ekeby in 1920, Katja moved to New York to study fashion in 1946 at the Parsons School of Design.

She later married film actor and director Rod Geiger, whose connections in Hollywood helped her career thrive in the 1960s.

Her husband worked closely with legendary Italian directors Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini.

As a fashion designer in the US, Katja dined and partied with Charlie Chaplin and German playwright Bertolt Brecht.

In 1975, the Macy's department store in New York put Katja-designed bedding and ceramics on sale. A TV commercial featuring actors Bob Hope and Larry Hagman advertised bedsheets also designed by her.

She returned to southern Sweden with her husband in the 1990s. He died in the year 2000.