Monika Tilley, an innovative designer of activewear, loungewear and racy swimsuits that glistened from the covers of Sports Illustrated magazine on models like Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs, died on Dec. 23 in Manhattan. She was 86.
Her daughter, Mona Tilley, announced the death in January. She said her mother had died in a hospital after having multiple strokes.
Ms. Tilley was not a name designer like Bill Blass or Calvin Klein; she was an industry talent known for her work for Anne Cole, Anne Klein, White Stag and other companies, designing what would become a uniquely American style of dressing. She created a line for Caitlyn Jenner when she was a track star in the 1970s, and collaborated with Ms. Brinkley on a line of swimwear in 1984. For the Winter Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, she designed the parade uniforms for the American teams.
the red one-piece made memorable by Farrah Fawcett, Ms. Tilley was emblematic of the “sexification of swimwear in the 1970s,” said Eric Wilson, a veteran fashion reporter.
Ms. Tilley and Ms. Kamali “combined a sense of athleticism with an open embrace of sex appeal in a way
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