In the 63 years since Madame Paulette, a luxurious cleaner and tailoring service, opened in New York, its listing of shoppers has grown to incorporate Madonna, Serena Williams, Martha Stewart, Kylie Jenner and Anna Wintour.
Though no boldfaced names attended a grand opening get together at its new West 57th Street residence on April 30, the invisible presence of some hung within the air on the occasion, which occurred simply two days earlier than the Met Gala on May 2.
The Tuesday earlier than the get together, Tom Ford, the designer, filmmaker and honorary Met Gala co-chairman, had despatched over a shirt and vest that he deliberate to put on to the gala for a touch-up. Henry Ortiz, who takes care of V.I.P. shoppers at Madame Paulette, made positive the items have been prepared in time for the large evening.
“I never say no,” Mr. Ortiz, 54, mentioned about catering to the highest shoppers. As a thanks for the short turnaround and white glove service, he acquired a purchasing bag stamped with Mr. Ford’s namesake label. Its contents? “Very personal,” Mr. Ortiz mentioned.
Many partygoers, like him, have been Madame Paulette workers. But a couple of longtime clients got here out to rejoice the corporate. One, Amanda Sanders, a picture advisor in New York, has been a loyal consumer for years. “It’s the only place you bring a gown,” she mentioned.
Ms. Sanders, 49, just lately introduced an Arnold Scaasi costume that she wore to her promenade at LaGuardia High School to Madame Paulette, the place tailors retrofitted it for her daughter to put on to her upcoming promenade.
In Ms. Sanders’s work, which might contain vogue styling, she has seen extra folks figuring out clothes which will want a deft nip or tuck — the sort of service Madame Paulette offers — after the garments went unworn for 2 years due to the pandemic. “They maybe gained weight, or now they’re losing that weight, or they got plastic surgery because there was all of that down time,” Ms. Sanders mentioned.
Others on the get together have been neither workers nor shoppers, however had been launched to Madame Paulette by way of one other native establishment: “The Real Housewives of New York City.”
The enterprise’s former proprietor John Mahdessian was in a seven-year relationship with a former solid member, Dorinda Medley, earlier than they parted methods in 2019. Madame Paulette, which Mr. Mahdessian’s great-uncle began in 1959, was talked about typically on the present, which additionally aired footage of events held on the firm’s former location on Second Avenue close to sixty fifth Street.
Andrew Maitner, 30, a senior advertising supervisor at Hearst in New York, and Heath Owens, 26, an e-commerce author and editor at Hearst, got here to the get together extra as followers of Ms. Medley than of the corporate. “One of these days we will have a piece worthy” of its providers, Mr. Owens mentioned.
The West 57th Street deal with just isn’t the one factor new at Madame Paulette. In April 2021, it was acquired by ByNext, an organization in New York that has digitized parts of laundry, dry cleansing and interior-maintenance providers. Kam Saifi, the chief govt of ByNext, determined to maneuver Madame Paulette to 57th Street to sign a brand new period and in addition to be nearer to the locations the place its typical buyer outlets.
“If you’re cleaning all of the clothing on Fifth Avenue, you have to be close to where the action is,” Mr. Saifi, 62, mentioned.
Many acquainted faces stay on the workforce of tailors and seamstresses which have saved the Madame Paulette identify so burnished within the metropolis. Among them is Galina Leykina, a seamstress on the firm for 30 years, whom Jeni Slotchiver, a longtime consumer and live performance pianist in New York, described as “an engineer” on the get together.
Ms. Slotchiver met Ms. Leykina when she was directed to Madame Paulette to transform a Missoni costume. “She’s very special,” Ms. Slotchiver mentioned.
If the night had the convivial, laid-back feeling of a household gathering, the matriarch can be Laura Ahrem. A Mahdessian by delivery — she is Mr. Mahdessian’s sister — Ms. Ahrem, 58, continues to advise Madame Paulette’s new house owners on advertising and the ins and outs of the high-end service that has come to outline her household enterprise. “I’m a dry cleaner’s daughter, so this business is instinctual to me,” she mentioned of guiding its new house owners.
As the get together wound down, some Madame Paulette workers snacked on selfmade cannoli introduced by Maria Pipitone, an organization seamstress, close to an set up of portraits by Malike Sidibe, a photographer. He was there together with his girlfriend, Grace Cardozo, a advertising affiliate at ByNext.
Karen Jean-Aimee, 42, the director of luxurious manufacturers at Madame Paulette, reclined on a (unsurprisingly) spotless beige lounge chair. She is on maternity depart however stopped by to christen the brand new house together with her co-workers.
Of all the shoppers, well-known or notorious, who was her favourite to work with? Anna Wintour, she mentioned with out hesitation.