For Julia Haart, all she does “is give women a choice”. Coming from an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community where she felt small, the star of Netflix’s new reality show, My unorthodox life, has a mission that is simple but ambitious as hell: “All I want is for women to choose for themselves,” she says. Women’s health. “And for no society, no culture, no religion, and certainly no man tells them what to wear, what to do, how to live their life.”

My unorthodox life has been criticized by some viewers who think it portrays ultra-Orthodox Judaism negatively; others see themselves in Julia and her family. But the show’s mixed response only reinforces the ethics that fuel Julia’s life: Like fashion, religion shouldn’t be one size fits all.

The Haart family is proof of this in a microcosm, each trying Judaism for size and personalizing it to meet their individual needs and wants. Julia and her youngest daughter Miriam Haart are not religious at all. Meanwhile, eldest daughter Batsheva and her husband Ben Weinstein hover somewhere in the midst of their old and new life, still keeping Shabbat and kosher. Julia’s eldest son, Shlomo Haart, still observes the Sabbath, but he recently stopped wearing his kippah every day. The youngest fashion mogul, Aron Hendler, describes himself as a “black hatter” who believes in the importance of studying Torah.

What they all have in common: the freedom to choose and change their minds as their individual relationship with religion evolves. For most of her life, Julia did not have this luxury. That’s not to say that many Ultra-Orthodox women aren’t happy (hundreds of #MyOrthodoxLife Instagram posts show which ones are), but she wasn’t.

Julia stands for self-determination, whether it’s what you believe in or what you wear.

Almost a decade after leaving the ultra-Orthodox community, Julia hopes that sharing her story can empower any marginalized group to advocate for greater freedom of choice. “Think about how many cultural changes have been made because we said what was accepted in the past was not right,” says Julia. “Is this out of hatred or the desire to make a better world? I believe it comes from the desire to create a better world. That’s why I’m very careful how I talk about it, because it’s not about people; it is not about Jews; it is fundamentalism. “

It even extends to the world of fashion, where Julia is planning her next revolution with Elite World Group’s latest venture: waistless clothing. “I don’t like the idea of ​​sizes. I understand that they are a necessity in regular stores, but so many women have told me how uncomfortable they feel to walk into a store. and say [to a sales associate], ‘Hey, I’m a size X’, “she said.” We make them feel ashamed or bad, and I hate that. I really can’t take it. Women are beautiful, period, end of story. “

Although it is relatively easy to tailor a garment to your measurements, it is often seen as a solution to a problem. But with waistless clothes, your body is the solution. Instead of mass-producing garments in different ‘standard’ sizes, everything in EWG’s size-less collection (launch next year) is tailor-made.

The personalized process begins when a client gets adjusted in person at one of EWG’s offices or uses their phone to order and send measurements to the company. Either way, you’ll end up with a couture garment, never worrying about it being the “right” size. You will know it is because it is yours. (It should be noted that the level of personalization comes at a price: Julia says that the sizeless collection is made up of “the most expensive materials in the world” and is meant to be purchased in “small quantities”.)

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Customers can also modify the clothes themselves, which means they “can make it more modest,” says Julia. “You can say ‘I want my cleavage up, I want my hemline to be longer.’ It’s about giving women a choice. ” Ultimately, Julia wants an ultra-Orthodox woman to feel as comfortable in any of her clothes as she does in dazzling shorts.

It may seem like small stakes, but for women who have grown up with no choice – or at least less than their male counterparts – a hem can be the start of a whole new one. all.

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