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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Whom You Know begins our coverage of D. Porthault

D. Porthault is a luxury linen company founded in 1920 by Madeleine and Daniel Porthault. From a small boutique in Paris, D. Porthault developed into one of the world’s most exclusive home couture brands. Always an innovator, the house of D. Porthault introduced printed bed linens for the first time to a world accustomed only to white and ivory sheets. Inspired by her love of Impressionist art and the gardens at Giverny, Madeleine Porthault's colorful sheets, and later her printed terry and embroidered table linens, were an instant success. Over the years, Porthault’s reputation for artistry, quality, and sophistication in the world of linens has remained unequalled.

In 1930, D. Porthault opened its first weaving and confection factory in northern France; in 1950, the company established a printing atelier in Normandy; and in 2007, Porthault inaugurated a new, state-of-the-art production facility near its original factory in Cambrai. Porthault's first US store opened in New York in 1950 and moved to 470 Park Avenue, at 58th Street, in 2007. Porthault's flagship Paris boutique opened in 1965 and expanded to number 50, Avenue Montaigne in 2006.

Scores of world-renowned personalities are ardent Porthault clients, proving Madame Porthault’s belief that “linens are not merely linens, but truly objects of pleasure for all of one’s senses.” Former clients include Sir Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Over the years, passionate Porthault clients have inspired or collaborated on unique, signature prints. Such is the case with the Duchess of Windsor's Hearts, Louise de Vilmorin's Clovers and Catherine Deneuve's Violettes, all Porthault classics. Designers Christian Lacroix, Alberto Pinto, Kenzo Takada, and Sonia Rykiel have also created prints for D. Porthault.

D. Porthault’s savoir faire has been recognized by the most exclusive hotels and restaurants, including the Hotel Ritz, the Meurice, the Crillon, the Bristol and the Plaza Athenée in Paris, the Pierre and the Ritz Carlton in New York, Morgan's Hotel group, Cipriani Hotels, Alain Ducasse, and Relais Châteaux properties throughout the world.

In 2005, D. Porthault was acquired by Joan and Bernard Carl, a Washington, DC based couple. Joan had been a loyal Porthault client for over 30 years, and she is dedicated to expanding the brand's legendary history of luxury, quality, and design. As testament to the continuing popularity of Porthault among world connoisseurs, New York's most exclusive luxury store, Bergdorf Goodman, opened a D. Porthault boutique in May 2008. D. Porthault is also represented in Palm Beach, Dallas, London, Cannes, and Tokyo.

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