Helga was established in 1947 by Robert Oppenheimer and his wife Helga Kallman Oppenheimer. Robert managed the business while Helga designed the evening wear and better suits and dresses for which the company became known. Based first in San Francisco, but moving to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, the company was somewhat of an oddity in that most California clothing companies were producers of sportswear.
The Oppenheimers were known for their collection of modern art, which they donated to the Hammer Museum of UCLA. As they traveled Europe on fabric buying trips, they also accumulated the works of the modern masters. The business closed in 1986 when Robert Oppenheimer retired.
Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com