We Live To Wear For, They Live To Care For

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Social Life

July 4th 2008

By Jen Ortiz

Whether it’s your gorgeous, just-for-you designed wedding gown that an overzealous guest spilled some wine on, a couture outfit straight off of the Christian Dior runway that suffered some wear-and-tear in the
backstage madness, or a even a Hamptons estate or private jet that needs some restoring, Madame Paulette lives to care for your most precious possessions.

Madame Paulette is the industry leader in custom, couture and interior cleaning and restoration, and founded over half a century ago, a true family business. Today, after following a tradition that now encompasses
three generations and required a last-minute decision to turn down a high-powered Wall Street job, John Mahdessian is the president of the one-of-a-kind Custom Couture Cleaner. As designs evolve, clothing and furnishings become more intricate, and new, innovative fabrics are developed, often presenting a number of difficulties for the dry cleaning industry—not a problem for Madame Paulette. Prepared and equipped to handle any fashion or interior design emergency, Madame Paulette’s craftsmen and artisans are recruited from all over the world, and their astounding work is guaranteed, insured and bonded. Serving internationally-renowned fashion design houses (Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen, Fendi, Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang), retail establishments (Bergdorf Goodman), corporate executives (Trump International Hotel and Tower), high-profile VIPs and celebrities (including, Anna Wintour, Kelly Ripa, Eva Longoria, Melania Trump and Barbara
Walters), Madame Paulette is truly la creme de la creme of the industry.

This year, Mahdessian is excited to be giving a new, fresher face to his long-standing family tradition. Mahdessian and his team are set to renovate the Madame Paulette flagship outlet, located in the commercial section of Manhattan House at 200 East 66th Street, with plans to its original facade and cover one-half of the entire Second Avenue block. Built in 1951 and with past residents such as Grace Kelly, Manhattan House
was granted landmark status in October 2007 and is the site for the perfect mergence of old New York glamour and Madame Paulette’s modern technology and care.

Featuring the latest state-of-the-art equipment and a spacious, customer-friendly drop-off/waiting area, the new-look of Madame Paulette will truly embody everything for which the company’s long history and tradition stands. Of course, as is expected from Madame Paulette, there will also be an unparalleled level of glamour and a chic elegance throughout the flagship boutique— the six bay windows that surround the entrance will feature creations by some of fashion’s most influential, trend-setting design houses, reminiscent of such New York City luxury legends as Barney’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. Each designer will be entitled to change the window (or windows, as the option to design more than just
one presentation is available) presentation as often as desired, which will be available on a monthly, semi-annually, or annual basis.

More than anyone else, Madame Paulette understands that looks are very, very important, but they aren’t everything—and so, the renovated Madame Paulette experience promises to reach far beyond its fabulous
makeover. From the second you walk into the gorgeous space, it is clear this is not your average dry cleaners. With its in-store couture tailors (who can also make home or office visits), beautiful fitting rooms to try on your garments and point out any necessary adjustments (which also include lighting options in order to view your look at different times of day), and even a black light room including magnifying glass to help you and the Madame Paulette professionals see and study elements of the garment that seemingly invisible to the naked eye, Madame Paulette listens to and handles absolutely every concern that their clients have. From your first consultation to your final pick-up, you can entrust that the staff at Madame Paulette will take care of you better than anyone else in the world— after all, where else can you walk in, sit on a lush banquette while sipping Tattinger Champagne, and discuss removing a stain from your favorite outfit?

Madame Paulette isn’t just giving a makeover to the look and feel of their incomparable business, but how that business is run as well. From the latest must-have tote bags made from recyclable materials, receiving an “energy credit” from New York State in achievement for their conservation efforts, to countless ‘save the planet’ fundraisers and benefits, it seems that today everyone (and everything) is going green. Always ahead of the trends, the team at Madame Paulette has been ‘green’ for quite some time — twenty years, to be exact — and is currently researching and implementing new techniques to help in decreasing our impact upon the planet. Inspired by their clients’ personal needs, Madame Paulette never chooses to use harsh, damaging chemicals in their cleaning materials to prevent any potential unwelcomed allergic reactions. Madame Paulette’s ongoing green efforts include constant research, testing and updating of cleaning agents and protocols in order to use the most eco-friendly products on the market, “wet cleaning” (also known as green cleaning, which is a water-based process that is considered more environmentally responsive, whenever feasible or on request), and favoring non-toxic detergents and innovative soy-based conditioners (which also work to enhance the drape, feel and precise sizing of fabrics).

Madame Paulette’s green efforts also include charity-related gestures, providing customers with a two-percent discount on all invoices, and amount which Mahdessian matches and then donates to The Nature Conservancy. The team at Madame Paulette is also developing a revolutionary exclusive “Green Piece” bag. Made from recyclable materials and washable, the bag will be available in various sizes to accommodate evening wear and bridal gowns. “Green Piece” will function as a receptacle for dirty clothes en route to the dry cleaning plant, after which it can be turned inside out for a safe and sanitary covering for the cleaned apparel— stylishly saving the planet, how chic!