PERTH'S fashion world is reeling after the shock death of fashion designer Ruth Tarvydas.

Ms Tarvydas, who was aged in her late 60s, was found dead on the street outside her East Perth apartment at about 8am this morning.

WA Police said a report would be prepared for the coroner.

Born in Lithuania, Ms Tarvydas arrived in Fremantle as a two-year-old with her family, after fleeing post-WWII Germany.

A fashion icon who has been dressing models and celebrities for decades, Ms Tarvydas opened her first boutique in Perth in the 1960s.

She built a global fashion empire that included boutiques in Paris, Malaysia and Sydney.