The First Lady of Underfashions
About the Author:
Christina Erteszek is the daughter of Polish Immigrant parents who escaped from war torn Europe in the 1940s and famously started the Olga Company. She taught at-risk youth, created and manufactured her own clothing brands, and works with several nonprofits. Christina lives with her husband and a dog named Blu in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Christina’s memoir, The First Lady of Underfashions, is scheduled for release Spring 2020.
About the Book:
The First Lady of Underfashions is a nonfiction saga-like memoir written by Christina Erteszek with excerpts of her parents,’ Jan and Olga Erteszek’s, (now deceased) unpublished memoirs included.
Jan and Olga escape from WWII and start a business in America for a few dollars that grows to millions, earns co-owner and designer, Olga Erteszek, the title of the woman with most patents for any female lingerie designer, becomes a trendsetter in the business industry and sets records for its innovative business practices. But as this husband and wife team think of retiring, they merge with another company, which proves to be a fatal downfall when a loophole in the law allows for a hostile takeover of this groundbreaking business the parents started in their small efficiency apartment.
This is a story of a husband and wife who flee from Nazi and Russian occupied territory, and with no more than a few dollars create a lasting legacy in America.
This is also the story of one daughter’s need to find herself in, around, and under this brand and these successful and prestigious parents whom we later find out, have many secrets—some that will never be revealed.
The First Lady of Underfashions is a complex, layered and nuanced story that bridges the violence of war, the innovation of thought, the singularity of religion, the quest for identity, and the intrigues and intricacies of family into a book you won’t easily be able to set aside, even after the reading is done.
Praise for The First Lady of Underfashions:
Beautifully written, tender and poignant, and has so many important lessons.
—Sheila Hamilton, five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and author of All the Things We Never Knew.
An unexpectedly sweeping story of courage, survival, passion and secrecy. Polish refugees Jan and Olga Erteszek risked their lives for a chance at the American Dream, and what followed was nothing short of remarkable.
—Wendie Malick, award-winning actor, activist, and author.
What a tale! Starting with their escape from Poland as hidden Jews on the day of the Nazi invasion, through the rise and fall of one of the most important woman-led American companies of its era, Christina Erteszek’s eloquent account of her parents and the Olga company is a gripping read from beginning to end. The kind of story that could only happen in America!
—Sean Murphy, author of The Hope Valley Hubcap King and The Time of New Weather, 2018 National Endowment of the Arts Fellow, and winner of the Faulkner and Hemingway awards for the novel.