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Edith Flagg

(1919-2014)


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Edith Flagg was born Edith Feuerstein in Vienna Austria on November 1 1919 and would become a worldwide fashion icon. When Hitler took Austria in March of 1938 Flagg was studying fashion in Vienna, she fled to the Netherlands where she joined the Dutch Resistance and married a man named Hans Stein.  Although she managed to escape from the horrors of the war, her husband Hans was captured by the Nazis and died in Auschwitz in 1944.  After the war she emigrated to what was then known as Palestine and shortly after that the United States with a new husband, Eric Flagg. 

After arriving in the United States the two settled in Los Angeles California, where Edith worked her way up in the fashion industry and in the mid 1950's started her own clothing company "Edith Flagg Inc".  Her company manufactured dresses from 1956-2000 and was integral in changing the face of American fashion throughout those decades. Edith Flagg is most well known for introducing the material polyester to the United States after discovering it in a Swiss shop in the 1960's.  She began importing the material and became wildly successful due to her mastery of public relations skills and charm.  According to the president of the California Fashion Association, "Edith was one of the first to understand PR [public relations] and how important it was in this business".  Her exclusive contract with an English manufacturing company made certain that she was the polyester queen of the US.  After enjoying loads of success, Edith saw the fashion industry going the way of large department stores and increased overseas manufacturing and made the decision to close her company in 2000 after 44 years in business.  Her early dresses can still be found for sale online. 

After closing her company Mrs Flagg turned her attention to philanthropy, donating to Jewish education and charity organizations, and medical organizations. Her grandson, Josh Flagg, is a TV personality and the star of the show Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles, a program on which Edith appeared frequently. 

Edith died in her Los Angeles home on August 13, 2014 of natural causes at the age of 94.  She outlived both of her husbands, and is survived by her son Michael and grandson Josh. 


Sources:LA Times, Jewish Business News, Wikipedia

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