Edith Flagg

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Edith Flagg
Born Edith Feuerstein
November 1, 1919
Vienna, Austria
Died August 13, 2014
Century City, Los Angeles, California
Residence Avenue of the Stars, Century City, Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Occupation Fashion designer, businesswoman, television personality, philanthropist
Spouse(s) Hans Stein
Eric Flagg
Children Michael Flagg
Relatives Josh Flagg (grandson)

Edith Flagg (née Feuerstein; November 1, 1919 – August 13, 2014) was an American fashion designer, former fashion industry executive, and philanthropist.[1]


Early life

Edith Flagg was born as Edith Feuerstein on November 1, 1919 in Vienna, Austria.[2] She was raised in Galați, Romania, where her father worked as a photographer.[2][3] She went to study fashion in Vienna at the age of fifteen.[2][3] When Hitler annexed Austria in 1938, she fled to The Netherlands and later Poland, where she took the name of a dead woman to survive.[2][3] She immigrated to a kibbutz in Israel at the end of the war, before moving to the United States.[3][4]


She started her career in Los Angeles, California as a seamstress in 1948.[2][4] Her clothing-line, "Edith Flagg, Inc." (1956–2000), was a dress manufacturer in the United States from the 1950s through 2000.[2][3] She became known for her use of polyester, after she found the new fabric by chance while she was on vacation in Switzerland in the 1960s.[2][3][4][5][6] She signed an exclusive contract to import crimplene from England.[2] She popularized its use in fashion clothing, which made her a multimillionaire.[2] She retired from the fashion industry in 2000.[2]

She was an active contributor to California Apparel News and Women's Wear Daily..[4][7] They wrote a weekly column titled "By the Way". In 1971, Edith and Eric Flagg were elected to the Advisory Board of Directors for Manufacturers Bank.[citation needed]

Later in life, she frequently appeared on the television show Million Dollar Listing to offer business advice to her grandson, Josh Flagg.[2][3][8] When Josh was fourteen, he wrote a book about her: A Simple Girl: Stories My Grandmother Told Me.[9][10] The book was published in 2009, prior to the show.


She was a donor to the United Jewish Welfare Fund, a Jewish non-profit organization, and the City of Hope, a private hospital in California.[3]

Personal life

Her first husband, Hans Stein, was caught by the Nazis and died at Auschwitz in 1944.[2][3][4][1] Together with her second husband Eric Flagg (1916—1999), and their son Michael Hans Flagg (born 1943), she is a Holocaust survivor.[2][3] Flagg and her husband were active members of the Dutch Resistance Forces that fought the Nazi regime and saved multiple Jewish and non-Jewish lives during the war.[2][3] She also killed two Nazis.[3]

She resided in a penthouse on the Avenue of the Stars in Century City, Los Angeles, which she purchased from Jack Benny in 1976.[2][3][4]


She died on August 13, 2014 in Century City of natural causes.[2][3] She was ninety-four years old.[4] She was buried at the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery in Culver City, California, and the wake took place at the Hillcrest Country Club.[3]

Further reading

Note: listed in chronological order

  • "Edith Flagg's Reason-Why: To Design Clothes for the Average Customer's Budget" Virginia Scallon, California Apparel News, Friday Jan 3 1969 page 26.
  • "Flagg-Waiving" Women's Wear Daily, Monday October 23, 1967.
  • Women's Wear Daily, Tues Feb 13 1968 p 21.
  • Harry & Sidney Arkin Buying Office April 18, 1968 Edith Flagg: Never Forgets the Customer, First to Introduce Polyester Knits
  • California Apparel News Fri Jan 3 1969
  • Women's Wear Daily sec 2 wed jan 6 1971 "Edith Flagg—First American Woman to Use Polyester".
  • City of Hope Pilot Magazine 1972—"Flagg elected to board of directors for City of Hope".
  • Fashionweek p 17 March 27, 1972—Flagg Merchant's Club president for 3 years.
  • California Apparel News, December 20, 1974.
  • "DIALOGUE with Eric and Edith Flagg-- Barbara Freidman, Managing Editor CALIFORNIA APPAREL NEWS PAGE 17 FRIDAY MARCH 23 1975.
  • Beverly Hills Courier January 9, 1976-- "Flagg, nationally prominent apparel manufacturer, active in the Dutch Underground--Flagg is the new chair of the Committee on Ideology of the City of Hope's Board of Directors.
  • Edith Flagg: Celebrating 20 years of Success California Apparel News page 9 Friday June 11, 1976.
  • Jewish Federation Council Bulletin July 7, 1980.
  • Jewish Federation Council Bulletin March 2, 1981.
  • California Apparel News March 20, 1981 p. 16.
  • California Apparel News April 3, 1981 p. 22.
  • California Apparel News, "By the Way" May 15, 1981.
  • Los Angeles Jewish Community Bulletin Nov 23 1981 vol 23 no 22.
  • "By the Way" by Edith Flagg Aug 13 1982 vol 38 no 33.
  • Los Angeles Jewish Community Bulletin sep 27 1982 vol 24 no 18.
  • United Jewish Fund Campaign Update; The Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles-, June 1985.
  • United Jewish Fund "Campaign Update" The Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles, front page August 8, 1985.
  • Jewish Federation Council/ United Jewish Fund "Update" paper Feb. 27, 1986 -- "Flegenheimer, Fenstra, Flagg: Soldier Without a Uniform".
  • Century City News, March 18, 1986.
  • Beverly Hills Courier Nov 15 2002 page 9 re: Cindy Flagg Cedars Sinai.
  • Beverly Hills 213 Nov 20 2002 vol 20, number 46 page 21 re Cindy Flagg Cedars Sinai.
  • BeverlyHills Courier June 4, 2004 front page re: Cindy Flagg Cedars-Sinai.
  • Beverly Hills Courier Nov 19 2004 re: CIndy Flagg Cedars Sinai p18.
  • Beverly Hills Courier June 2, 2006 re: Cindy Flagg Cedars-Sinai.


  1. ^ a b Shirley Halperin (August 20, 2012). "An Evening With 'Million Dollar Listing' 's Grandma Flagg". Hollywood Reporter. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p David Colker, Edith Flagg dies at 94; L.A. designer helped popularize polyester, The Los Angeles Times, August 17, 2014
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Victoria Talbot, 'Edith Flagg, Fashion Pioneer and Philanthropist, Dead at 94', The Beverly Hills Courier, August 22, 2014, Volume XXXXVIIII, Number 34, pp. 4;18 [1]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Erin Weinger, Edith Flagg, 'Million Dollar Listing' Grandma, Dies at 94, The Hollywood Reporter, August 13, 2014
  5. ^ Julie Byrne (October 14, 1965). "Clotheshorse in the Jet Age". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ Evelyn Mazuran (November 21, 1968). "Spring has Many Looks". The Deseret News. 
  7. ^ Weinger, Erin (August 13, 2014). "EDITH FLAGG, 'MILLION DOLLAR LISTING' GRANDMA, DIES AT 94". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Dave Lackie (July 31, 2011). "Josh Flagg’s place in the sun". National Post. 
  9. ^ Kristy Chu (May 12, 2011). "'Million Dollar' Bravo star discusses new book". The Orange County Register. 
  10. ^ ISBN 978-1439265697