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October 1999

Where do all the clothes go?

By Charles Gandee

As per Maria Williams “I could spend a million dollars here if I had it” —she didn’t depart the Big Apple until she’d air-freighted home eleven refrigerator-size cardboard wardrobes crammed with more Gucci, Gaultier, Chanel, Fendi, Hermes, Armani, Valentino, Versace, Vuitton, Chloe, Galliano, Dolce & Gabbana, and Prada than you’re likely to see this side of paradise. “Cash speaks all languages, love,” says Williams, when asked how she snared her phenomenal haul in a whirlwind five days. And then she explains how she turns up cash in hand, in the twelve-room Park Avenue coops and five-story Greenwich Village town houses of women who, she estimates, “Spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on clothes.” Many of which they either never quite get around to wearing for some (or no) reason, or grow weary of before Madame Paulette, the Upper East Side dry cleaner of choice, has had her impeccable way with them.