A riveting, inspiring memoir of one woman's escape from an extreme religious sect and her extraordinary rise from housewife to shoe designer, to CEO and co-owner of the modelling agency Elite World Group.
Ever since she was a child, every aspect of Julia Haart's life - what she wore, what she ate, what she thought - was controlled by the orders of ultra-Orthodox Judaism. At 19, after a lifetime spent caring for her seven younger siblings, she was married off to a man she barely knew. For the next twenty-three years, he would rule her life.
Eventually, when her youngest daughter, Miriam, started to question why she wasn't allowed to sing, run or ride a bike, Julia reached breaking point. She knew that if she didn't find a way to leave, her daughters would be forced into the same unending servitude.
So Julia created a double life. When no one was looking, she'd sneak looks at fashion magazines and sketch designs for the clothes she dreamed about wearing in the world beyond her orthodox suburb. In the ultra-orthodox world, clothing has one purpose: to cover the body from head to toe. Giving any thought to your appearance beyond that is considered sinful, an affront to God. She started clandestinely selling life insurance to save her 'freedom' money. At 42, she finally mustered the courage to leave.
Within a week, Julia started a shoe brand and within nine months she was in Paris for fashion week. A year later, she became Creative Director of La Perla, the world-leading lingerie brand. And now, she is the co-owner and CEO of Elite World Group, and one of the most powerful people in the fashion industry.
Propulsive and unforgettable, Julia's story is the journey from the world of 'no' to the world of 'yes'. She is an inspiration for women everywhere to find their freedom, their purpose and their voice.
Julia Haart is the star of the Netflix docuseries My Unorthodox Life. She is the CEO, Co-owner and Chief Creative Officer of Elite World Group. Julia Haart is guiding the company to expand the definition of a 'model' while growing the company's digital footprint and transforming it into a talent media network. She is incorporating new and creative talent, improving client services, and giving a fresh new voice to EWG's clients. Julia was previously the Creative Director of La Perla, the luxury Italian intimates brand. She launched her career as a designer with her namesake shoe collection. Julia lives in New York City.