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Kay Hilvert (right) with daughter Penny at Neilson Park, Sydney, 1950s. Photographer George Hilvert. Reproduced courtesy Penny Boyce.

Kay Hilvert Pty Ltd

Hungarian - Australian, 1926 - 1966

Institution: Kay Hilvert Pty Ltd
Kay Hilvert Pty Ltd manufactured womens, childrens and maternity swimwear in Marrickville, Sydney from 1955-66.

Kay Hilvert also designed ranges for Murray Bros..

Kay Hilvert Pty Ltd was a partnership between Kay Hilvert, who designed the swimwear ranges, and her husband George who ran the office, accounts and dispatch side of the business. The couple opened their first factory in Llewellan St Marrickville in 1955 and operated from there until 1960 when they moved to Addison Road Marrickville. Eastern Textiles supplied her with textiles. It was owned by a Mr Jarfas and Mr Webster (info Anne/ Penny Boyce).

Kay Hilvert swimwear was sold through Mark Foy, David Jones, Myers, Coles and other retail chains in Australia and in Harrods in London and Japan.

Kay Hilvert travelled to Europe each year for six weeks to view the latest swimwear ranges and sample fabrics. She adapted these trends for her Australian ranges.
Kay and George Hilvert immigrated to Australia from Hungary in 1950 with their children Penny and John. and employed newly arrived Hungarians in their business. At its peak Kay Hilvert Pty Ltd employed one hundred staff, inlcuding a number fo designers including Joan Amy. Following Kay's death in 1966 the company was sold to Jantzen.