Madame Paulette is not an unknown name amongst New Yorkers, not only for their long history in garment care and restoration, but because they can literally make miracles when removing spots from your favorite fashion piece or pillowcase. Madame Paulette’s owner and president, John Mahdessian, works with an incredibly talented group of people who call everyone from private patrons to museums, heads of state and royal families, customers. This is no ordinary dry cleaner, and that is clear with the results of their hard work.
The company was founded decades ago and quickly built a reputation as New York’s best dry cleaner. But, the limitations of the city boundaries were only an illusion. Soon, people and entities from around the world began sending their special pieces to Madame Paulette, seeking spot removal on a family heirloom or restoration of fabric hundreds of years old. There really is no job too big or small for the company, and they truly know how attention to detail can yield fantastic results.
We contacted them to send multiple pieces of fabric from office living room furniture that had been soiled over months of use. The white cottons of organic chairs, silk pillowcases and linen slipcovers of sofa cushions – they all needed a little love and attention.
Madame Paulette sent one of their private vans to collect over 20 pieces of material, with an expedited delivery date of the next day. They collected quickly and sped off to their facility to work on spots, water stains, food stains and more. They had 24 hours to make the fabric appear new, and that’s exactly what they did.
The next evening, the pieces were delivered. Each piece hung beautifully from their branded hangers, one by one. You could see the attention put-in to every corner of fabric. We spoke to John Mahdessian about his company, team and approach to garment care.
IC: Why was Madame Paulette founded and by whom?
JM: The company was founded by my Great Uncle Andy, who started the business, alongside my father Noubar, for the purposes of his wife, Madame Paulette. Madame Paulette was founded on love for his wife and her love of couture. A couturier herself, she found it impossible to clean and maintain her wardrobe, hence her annual visit to Paris. After years of these excursions, my great uncle decided to open up a cleaners for her specific needs with my dad, Noubar. Andy passed and Madame Paulette moved
back to Paris, but my father Noubar gave up his dream of being an accountant and continued to
run and grow the business.
IC: What is your speciality?
JM: What makes us true leaders and pioneers in cleaning and restoration are the techniques and processes we have developed in the last 60 years enabling us to restore any garment, textile or collectible including leather, suede and multi-faceted composition items that have been deemed ruined and unserviceable by museum curators and other industry experts. These techniques and processes allow us to restore any item back to its original condition giving it a new life including raising its value and integrity.
IC: What makes you different in the New York City garment/interior cleaning landscape?
JM: We are able to perform any job on demand to satisFy our clients’ needs no matter how small or complex the job may be.
IC: What haS been one of your proudest moments or jobs that you’ve worked on?
JM: It’s a tie between restoring the late Princess Diana’s gowns for her museum tour after she passed and restoring Winston Churchill’s original military uniform.
IC: What has been one of the most unique jobs you’ve worked on?
JM: Cleaning and restoring a custom couture gown covered in hundreds of half carat diamonds in a secure guarded vault where we had to remove excessive hemline dirt and sew the diamonds back in their exact place.
IC: Where do you see the future for Madame Paulette?
JM: As leaders and pioneers in our industry, I have developed revolutionary consumer products including my Professional Stain Removal Kit which will allow anyone to take the expertise of Madame Paulette with them wherever they go. This kit will remove any stain, anytime, anywhere!