Fashion CEO Julia Haart found sexual freedom after leaving Orthodox life


Although she has created lingerie for the bodies of Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow, fashion mogul Julia Hart was a bloomer of late.

“I had my first intercourse at age 35 – with a vibrator, after 16 years of marriage,” the 50-year-old told The Post. “I’ve never heard of an orgasm, let alone a vibrator.”

Hart’s ignorance was no fault of his own. Born Talia Leibov, she was raised in a Haredi Jewish Orthodox community in Monsey, New York. She married at the age of 19 and raised four children in the Insular Upstate Enclave.

But eight years ago, she left the “radical” community, and there’s been a meteoric rise in the fashion industry since then, going from her startup shoe line to running Elite World Group — and now she stars in her own right. Netflix The reality series, “My Unorthodox Life,” is debuting on July 14.

The difference between his past and present life could not be more clear. “Where I lived, women were rarely seen and never heard of. Our lives were governed by a web of rules of decency, which required us to not only cover our bodies from head to toe, but It was also necessary to behave comparatively,” she said. “You grow up thinking that you don’t care.”

Before becoming a lingerie designer, Julia Hart was born Talia Leibov and part of the ultra-Orthodox community and was married at 19 years (left).
Before becoming a lingerie designer, Julia Hart was born Talia Leibov and part of the ultra-Orthodox community and was married at 19 years (left).

After years of snatching fashion magazines from the local 7-Eleven and slyly watching “Sex and the City,” in 2013, Hart finally mustered up the courage to move away from her community and her husband of 23 years, whom she said He “barely knew” when married her.

“The day has come when I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t stop for a second,” she said. “You are stuck in a life that is not yours. So it was to live and die, or walk out the door. ”

He really felt that death was the only way out. An old diary entry revealed “ways for me to commit suicide as politely as possible,” she recalled, either by hanging herself or by handing over bullets or a gun.

“In the end, I decided that the easiest way to kill myself would be to starve myself,” she said. “That way, people won’t think I killed myself — they’ll just think I have an eating disorder, so my kids will still be able to get Shidduchim. [matchmaking prospects for marriage]He weighed 73 pounds the day he left.

Fashion legend Julia Hart has dressed A-listers including Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Fashion legend Julia Hart has dressed A-listers including Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Neil Rasmus / BFA.com

Using a nest egg saved from selling insurance in her community, Hart moved to New York City, bringing her daughter Miriam, now 21, with her. (At the time, her youngest son Aaron, now 15, remained in the community; her 25-year-old son was studying in Shlomo, Israel; and her eldest daughter, Batsheva, now 28, was newlyweds. .)

His initial sense of intense liberation was subdued by the intense feelings of being an outsider. “It’s very disturbing — you feel like you’re an alien, you don’t think you are,” said Hart, who compared his transition to a “time traveller” who had spent some time in the future. I entered the world of 300 years.

She married her first husband, Yosef Tenderler, at the age of 19, whom she "barely knew".
She married her first husband, Yosef Tenderler, at the age of 19, whom she “barely knew”.

Growing up with a modest secular education, Hart soaked up as much literature as he could – Euripides, Spinoza, Voltaire – and leaned into a lifelong passion: fashion. “Within a week of leaving my old life behind, I started my own shoe brand. I had never studied fashion or shoe design; I didn’t know anyone in the industry. However, there was one thing for me: I had no idea how absurd and impossible the task I had set out for myself was.

In 2015, a Hong Kong-based board member at La Perla noticed Hart’s casual heel designs and brought her in for a possible collaboration when she met the company’s owner, Silvio Scaglia. The fiery brunette became the brand’s creative director in 2016 and designed Kendall Jenner’s famous thong-baring gown for the 2017 Met Gala. Since her divorce from her first husband, she married Scaglia in 2019.

Now, she is the CEO of Elite World Group, a talent media company comprised of 48 global agencies representing more than 5,400 celebrities and models, including Jenner and Irina Shayk.

It’s a dream that Hart, who once lived in the shelter, never thought it could happen. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with fashion — which was very problematic in my world,” she said. “Clothes are meant to cover and hide—certainly not to draw individuality, exclusivity or attention, or to show femininity or sexuality. It’s all about disappearing into the background.”

Opening himself and his children — all four of whom appear on reality shows — to the constant cameras was not an easy decision for Hart, who lives in a palatial three-story, 10,000-square-foot Tribeca apartment. “I said to myself, ‘You have a reason.’ Maybe I can help other women, I can inspire someone.”

In her former life, Hart said that clothing was "to cover and hide—certainly not to draw individuality, exclusivity or attention, or to show femininity or sexuality."
In her former life, Hart said that clothing was “to cover and hide—certainly not to draw individuality, exclusivity or attention, or to show femininity or sexuality.”
Benjamin Lazowski / BFA.com

While her children now have a mixed level of religious upbringing, Hart said she always lets them choose their own path. Still, she gives them bedroom advice and even buys them sex toys.

“The only thing I could do for my kids is to expose them to the world,” she said, once she was cut off by most of her friends and family members after leaving the conservative community. “I am [considered] A dangerous person – someone you don’t want your kids around. . . Of course it hurts.”

Still, she said, “I’m really proud to be a Jew. I have no anger towards the society. I think everyone is a victim. People just want to be nice.”

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