Klára Rotschild was not born in the famous and wealthy Jewish family of the Rotschilds originally from Frankfurt, she just shared a name with them. The Hungarian lady, therefore, did not have an easy life, but eventually, she made herself into one of the biggest names in the fashion industry.
Dívány reported that Rotschild was born in 1903, and her talent made the way to success clear for her. Both of her parents were tailors with their own salons and made clothes and dresses for the richest people in the world. The young girl’s talent for fashion showed signs at an early age, and it was obvious that Rotschild would be able to run the family business after her parents’ retirement.
To make her name immortal, the talent and experience she gained from her parents were not enough, and the way to success was long and full of hardship.
Rotschild was in her twenties when she decided to help her father to arrange his conflict with Károly Pál Somogyi, who was a famous troublemaker in Budapest known for his controversies, psychopathic behaviour, and unfair businesses. Rotschild’s father expected money from Somogyi because of a business in the past, but the man did not intend to give it to him.
Instead of giving the money to Rotschild, Somogyi physically abused the young woman who was so ashamed that she even tried to take her own life. She got into a psychiatric institution and, after her successful recovery, sued Somogyi.
The abusive man tried to deny his actions, but the scars on Rotschild’s body served as evidence to everyone who saw her. She panicked, took medicines, and felt incredibly ashamed after what had happened. In 1933, the Somogyi case was closed, and Rotschild received enough money to open her first own salon one year later. The case also helped her name be known in Hungary, and after a few weeks, everyone knew who Klára Rotschild was.
Later, she married Pál Glücksthal, who was a traveller and tradesman. The family had a well-run business in Budapest, but after Rotschild opened up her own in 1934, the young woman became the competition to her parents.
Rotschild did not speak any languages except Hungarian and was not that well-educated at all. She did not draw sketches and plans for clothes and dresses but listened to her instincts instead. Several customers from foreign countries visited her salon, and she made herself understood every time.
Her business was the most successful one in Budapest. She was excellent at making new business partners and advertising her salon anywhere she could. Although her career was at its highest point, like many Hungarians, Rotschild also could not escape from World War II.
Many stated that her parents died in Auschwitz, but this is not true. Rotschild was able to run her salon until the siege of Budapest. In 1944, she lost her husband and was already without her loving mother who passed away in 1930. With her father, she survived the Holocaust, but in 1948, Rotschild lost him as well. During the 1950s, she faced hardships due to the Soviet political system in Hungary and had to work as a simple tailor before becoming the art director of an elegant Budapest salon in 1956.
From the 1960s, she became the most prominent person in the Hungarian fashion industry, and everyone knew the name Klára Rotschild – or for foreign customers, Clara Rotschild.
She brought the elegant and aristocratic Paris into her salon in Budapest and had many famous customers, like actresses Zsa Zsa Gábor or Irén Psota. Rotschild still did not speak any languages but had many connections with the Hungarian and foreign political elite. In 1974, the 71-year-old Rotschild had teeth implant surgery. This kind of medical procedure was not common in Hungary, and the methods and knowledge about it were poor. The surgery was not successful and caused severe pain to Rotschild who suffered every day.
In 1976, she could not stand the pain anymore and jumped out from the seventh floor of her flat.
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