It is a cozy haute couture boutique right off prestigious Worth Avenue in Palm Beach… A cozy space indeed… but big things are happening there. The exquisite sequined gowns, fur jackets, and silk organza blouses hanging on display are just a tease, samples from a collection that is boundless. If you can describe it, David Maison Couture can sketch it, then bring it to life. Yes, he knows Photoshop, Illustrator, and other technical tricks of the trade, but it’s with simple pencil and paper that Maison, like the greatest couturiers in history upon whom he draws inspiration, that he works his magic. It is not a learned skill, but rather an innate gift, that allows the designer, a fourth generation tailor from Havana, to not only see the finished piece in his mind but to literally build it from scratch and know beyond a doubt that it will fit like a glove. That gift, in and of itself is amazing. But the true miracle is that not only can he do anything, he can do it in record time.
Haute couture, like most art forms, can’t be rushed. For this reason, it’s nearly impossible to obtain custom-designed, made-to-order clothing, with expediency. Ordinarily, one would wait weeks, even months, for the perfect piece. Such is not the case with David Maison Couture. “We never say no, because we can get it done,” says Maison, who has been known to jump on a plane to New York with two sewing machines, set up shop in a hotel room, and deliver a dress the day of, to a mother-of-the-bride who couldn’t have been more elated with the finished product. Haute couturiers simply don’t do these things. But Maison does… and will… if he has to.
Take the woman from Mexico who arrived to Palm Beach by private yacht. She was leaving town and needed three custom pieces by nine o’clock the following morning. Maison arrived at the dock at 8:50, garments in hand. Behold another miracle.
And then there was the nervous bride. She’d been everywhere and couldn’t find the dress of her dreams. Mind you, Maison doesn’t generally do bridal, due to the time, and let’s face it, the stress involved. But with his “never say no attitude,” combined with his natural predilection for pleasing clients, he agreed to help her. She described, he sketched, he measured, and she headed back home to Georgia. When she returned, Maison could sense her apprehension. And then he brought out the dress. “She exclaimed ‘Oh my God! It’s exactly like the picture!” recounts Maison. “And I answered, ‘Would you expect any less?’”
As one would imagine, David Maison has a thriving business, in no small part attributed to the fact that he’s the only couturier on Palm Beach that can deliver in less than a week. Most of his following is based upon word of mouth. He participates in the occasional fashion show, often for charity such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, but mostly presents trunk shows for clients at their country clubs or private residences. When a woman wears a David Maison Couture creation to an event, it’s not unusual for him to gain five new customers based on referral alone. “We work very hard to make people happy,” says Maison. “You can have great style but if the fit isn’t perfect and you don’t make them happy, they won’t come back.”
For Maison, they keep coming back. By designing their wardrobes season after season, he knows his clients well… not just on a personal level, but on a consciousness level as well. “My customer is a person that has a timeless sense of style, knows exactly what she wants and what she will do to get it. She has a classic attitude. She can wear something now, then wear it again 10 years from now… and it will still be perfect.”
Maison doesn’t consider himself trendy. His perspective on what people should wear is unique. “I’m classic, but at the same time, I have a vintage, retro style with a modern twist.” Maison strikes that delicate balance between timelessness and relevance. Often, he turns to the greats — using the materials and techniques that legends like Coco Chanel, Yves St. Laurent, and Christian Dior would employ. “I always try to go back to the designers I love because of the quality of the style and craftsman- ship,” says Maison. “I love French couture because it’s about the lines and how the garments t. You pick up a 1940s Chanel, you rock it, and everyone knows it’s amazing. There’s little you have to do.”
Speaking of “doing,” Maison prides him- self on being able to do anything. Never mind the fact that there are sometimes, depending on the fabric, over 175 colors to choose from. If he doesn’t have it, he can get it. And if he can’t get it, he will make it. “If you have a fabric you like, one of our graphic designers will duplicate it and I can get it printed.” The word “no” is simply not in Maison’s lexicon. If it’s not right at the top of his head or at his fingertips, give him a chance, some time to research and promises he’ll come up with something. When someone like David Maison works this hard, and pulls off so many miracles, one can’t help but wonder why. “It’s just my personal way of looking at the world,” he ex- plains. “If you’re given something, you have to give back. I love making people look and feel great. That’s my way of giving back to the community.” Admittedly, Maison says he couldn’t do what he does if he didn’t adore it. “You really gotta love what you do to do these things that are near impossible.”
David Maison has a gift. He realizes it, and he is thankful for it. He doesn’t always know how he pulls off those miracles, but he certainly knows why. “I go above and beyond the norm to make my clients happy, because I want to keep looking at their smiles.”
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