He had the distinction of outfitting all of the American presidents from Lyndon Johnson on, plus a few French dignitaries including Nicolas Sarkozy and Dominique Strauss-Kahn during his tenure as IMF president. Georges de Paris died on September 13th in Arlington, Virginia. An Agence France-Presse report cited someone close to the deceased as saying he succumbed to a brain tumor.
He arrived in Washington, DC in 1960 with a few savings and a degree in sewing to make his way. He became a citizen in 1969 and leaves this world a minor celebrity. A DC institution, Georges de Paris’s boutique, located a few meters from the White House is plastered with caricatures of his illustrious clients.
It all started with a breakup that left him homeless until a French-speaking Canadian woman offered him work at a major clothing manufacturer. A chance meeting with a congressman from Louisiana would prove decisive: then-Vice-President Lyndon Johnson would soon get wind of his talents and go on to open to open the White House doors to de Paris.
With the passage of time, Georges de Paris not only came to know all the presidents’ measurements, but also plenty of anecdotes from fitting after fitting. According to AFP, de Paris found Clinton to be “the least friendly of all,” while Nixon never failed to ask him about his family. Georges de Paris (which his friends say is his real name) was 81 years old.