I vaguely remember hearing of Edith Flagg when I was younger as one of America’s best known fashion designers. I thought also she had designed costumes for some Hollywood movies, but maybe she didn’t – I couldn’t find any reference to that in her biographical materials or her obituary. When she first came more fully to my attention, a few years ago, I saw her on Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles where she appeared as Josh Flagg’s grandmother, to whom he was very close. He visited the now-elderly Edith regularly on the show and often asked for her advice for his high-end real estate firm. The banter between them was tender and sweet, but also straightforward. Grandmama Edith would tell it like it is to her grandson, they’d have a laugh, and usually share a good dinner.
I considered Josh Flagg to be so extremely fortunate to have a grandmother who was a multimillionaire successful entrepreneur as a mentor to his business. Edith Flagg made a fortune through her own hard work, and she didn’t mind telling Josh that hard work was what it took to build an empire. He got the benefit of her counsel along with her love, and it was clear from the show that they both considered each other best friends.
Edith Flagg passed away a few days ago at the age of 94. She was honored by long obituaries in the Los Angeles Times, a front page article in The Hollywood Reporter, and many other media outlets. The NASDAC honored Edith with a marquee in Times Square (see picture) for her friendship to the cities of LA and New York. Flagg was a fashion designer, a kick-butt businesswoman, and a philantropist who made sure she gave back to her communities. And, of course, a wonderful mentor to her only grandson.
What did Ms. Flagg teach?
- Unwavering commitment to one’s work
- The importance of public relations and being seen
- The value of being plain spoken
- The value of being curious and noticing things (she first found a piece of clothing made from polyester in Switzerland, found the manufacturer in England, and signed an exclusive contract to bring polyester fashion to the U.S.)
I love to point out strong women models for today’s female entrepreneurs. Ms. Flagg immigrated to the U.S. with nothing after fleeing Europe and Nazi occupation. She is a shining example of what one woman can accomplish with guts and brains and the willingness to work. My condolences to her family and especially to her grandson, Josh Flagg. He has a strong and fabulous grandmother on which to model his own successes in life. Edith Flagg left an amazing legacy.