Gerda von Fekete, 98, owned Trendsetters

Gerda von Fekete, longtime resident of Ridgefield, passed away June 5, 2017.

Beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she is survived by her five children: Chuck Kollegger (Betty); Jim Kollegger (Elaine); Agi Behan (Kevin); Margit Waimon (Chuck), Laci von Fekete, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Born in 1918 in East Prussia to Ernst and Mina Baltruschadt, she lived in Europe until 1952 at which time she and her family migrated to the United States settling in Connecticut.

In 1967, she opened Teen Fashions on Catoonah Street. The shop’s collection included mini and maxi skirts, trendy tie-dyed shirts and skirts, jeans and bright and colorful fun clothing. She also introduced Gunne Sax Victorian style gowns for prom goers who enjoyed wearing these pretty and flowing styles which were in Vogue in the seventies.

Business flourished and, to facilitate the addition of women’s apparel while still catering to Ridgefield youth, Trendsetters emerged.  

“Fashions for women of all ages” became her mantra.

Trendsetters was truly an iconic clothing shop.

With her flair for fashion and her elegant sense of style she traveled bi-monthly to the mecca and epicenter of fashion, Seventh Avenue. She purchased quality, affordable and fashion-forward clothing for Ridgefielders and customers and clients in nearby communities.

Trendsetters hosted memorable fashion shows at the community center in town as well as Le Chateau. Her shows featured casual knits, magnificent silks, colorful fun cruise wear, stunning, elegant evening wear, and luxurious furs.

Mrs. von Fekete was truly a “trendsetter” and an integral part of the fabric of Ridgefield fashion in the sixties, seventies and eighties. In 1989, she closed her shop after more than two decades.

She enjoyed being part of this community and spent her remaining years in Ridgefield which was home to her for more than 50 years.

A private burial was held on June 7, 2017.

Donations in her memory may be sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.