Emilie Louise Flöge
She was the fourth child of the master turner and manufacturer of Meerschaum pipes, Hermann Flöge. (1837–1897).
Her first job was as a seamstress, but she later became a couturier In 1895, Pauline, her elder sister, opened a dressmaking school and Emilie worked here. In 1899 the two sisters won a dressmaking competition and were commissioned to make a batiste dress for an exhibition.
In partnership with her sister Helene, after 1904 Emilie established herself as a successful businesswoman and the owner of the haute couture fashion salon known as Schwestern Flöge (Flöge Sisters) in one of the major Viennese thoroughfares, the Mariahilfer Strasse. In this salon, which had been designed in the Jugendstil by the architect Josef Hoffmann, she presented designer clothing in the style of the Wiener Werkstätte. During her trips to London and Paris she familiarised herself with the latest fashion trends from Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, however, after the Anschluss with the German Third Reich in 1938, Flöge lost her most important customers and had to close her salon, which had become the leading fashion venue for Viennese society. After 1938 she worked from the top floor of her home at 39 Ungargasse.
Klimt died from a stroke on 11 January 1918. His last words reportedly were, “Get Emilie”. She inherited half of Klimt’s estate, the other half going to the painter’s family.
In the final days of the Second World War, her house in the Ungargasse caught fire, destroying not only her collection of garments, but also valuable objects from the estate of Gustav Klimt.