Gert Hellmuth, the soft-spoken curly-haired German designer known for his distinctive crocodile-patterned pieces and “Simply good” tagline, died Aug. 16 at age 53. The cause was cancer.
Born into a jewelry family in Pforzheim, Hellmuth became known for his crocodile-patterned designs, carrying on a look first conceived by his great grandfather. According to his company’s website, celebrities from Emma Roberts to Kim Kardashian to Rihanna sported his pieces.
Hellmuth’s wife, Angelika, and CEO Daniel Maffert now head his business.
Michael Pucci, founder of the Los Angeles–based Abbiamo Group, which handled U.S. sales and marketing for Hellmuth’s line, recalls that he and the designer had a long personal conversation as he battled his illness.
“He was comfortable in knowing he had a very good life and experiences that many never had,” he says. “He loved his family, his work, but also appreciated the relationships and excitement this industry had brought to him.
“He said his life was ‘simply good.’ We laughed. As far as I am concerned Gert was ‘simply great.’ ”