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Thursday, March 8, 2012

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Paul Winston of Chipp2 and Winston Tailors Our Coverage Sponsored by Hallak Cleaners the Couture Cleaner

Paul Winston

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Tables & Bed Linens
Suede, Leather & Furs 
Couture & Casual Wear 
Custom Interior Services 
Designer Handbag & Purse Cleaning 
Wedding Gown Preservation & Bridal Services
Expert tailoring department located at both locations.
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1232 Second Avenue (near 65th) 
New York, NY 10065 
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Paul Winston was born February 11, 1939 in New Haven, Connecticut. He graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1961 with a BS degree. In 1961, he joined his father at the family "farm"- Chipp Inc. of New York. While learning the business he partook in fitting President John F. Kennedy. He served as Robert Kennedy's clothing adviser for both his run for the senate and his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

In 1969 Mr. Winston started a tie company - Chipp2. He designed and marketed a range of novelty ties which he called "Conversation Pieces." Chipp2 also made ties for companies, clubs and schools with their logos and/or product identification. The ties sold under two labels- Chippmunk Creations and Chipp2.

Mr. Winston started another company in 1971 - PAJ advertising. This company rented wardrobe to the photographers and production houses that were producing the print and television advertising campaigns that were being produced in New York City. The three companies operated out of the brownstone building at 14 East 44th Street which was owned by Chipp. That building was sold in 1986. PAJ Advertising closed and Chipp completed the full circle back to its origin as a custom tailoring company and began operating as Winston Tailors. Chipp2 continued to exist as a separate company.

In 2008 Winston Tailors was selected as "Small Business of the Year" by the NYC Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Winston says it came down to choosing between Winston Tailors and the man selling hotdogs from the cart at the corner of 44th Street and 5th Avenue. At the age of 73 Mr. Winston shows no signs of slowing down. He can be found at his desk at 28 West 44th Street in the Lobby - wearing both the Winston Tailors and Chipp2 hats - from 7:15AM to about 4:30PM Monday to Friday and from 8:00AM to 2:30PM on Saturday. He loves talking to people and has lots of great stories to tell. We are so pleased to present Paul Winston as our latest Mover and Shaker! Peachy Deegan interviewed Paul Winston for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: Were clothes important to you as a child and if so what items of distinction stand out most from when you were young? 
Paul Winston: Clothes were not important to me as a child. I wore Levi's dungarees 65 years before they became "au currant." My mother paid $2.50 for them.

To you, what is the difference between looking good and looking excellent? 
Being dressed appropriately and feeling comfortable - both psychologically and physically.

What makes your ties different than other ties on the market? 
I do not think of my ties as ties. With the exception of my classic Grenadine ties ( I do 12 colors and sell them for $47.50 which is significantly below the "going" price ) my ties are ideas. They have messages- both subtle and not so subtle. 

What is it like to dress a president? 
I was 21 when I first met President Kennedy. To say it was thrilling is a world class understatement.

What are some of the most difficult custom orders you've met and how did you approach the challenge? 
When an individual who is 5'5" and weighs 240 pounds thinks you can make him look like Cary Grant because he is willing to pay for bespoke clothing. There is no way you can do it! Fitting Wilt Chamberlain- I stood on a ladder.

If you were stranded on a desert island with only 5 ties, which ones would they be and why? 
The only use for ties on a dessert island would be to hold up your trousers and use as rope in an effort to make an escape raft.

Tell us some of your fantastic stories please. We want to hear as many as you want to tell! Thomas Watson asked me if I wondered why he still bought clothing at his advanced age. He answered his own question. He said he really liked clothing and that there was a Chinese superstition that if you had clothing being made by your tailor you would live to pick it up. When Mr. Watson died it was the first time in 60 years that we did not have something in work for him.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence? 
My father.

What are you proudest of and why? 
My three children. The present generation of all species are here to continue the species. I have done my part. 

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? 
I would like to have the time to become computer literate and be able to use the internet to market.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
Selected as Small Business of the year in 2008 by the NYC Chamber of Commerce.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
My favorite place to be in Manhattan is 28 West 44th st at my desk.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
J B Wholesale - often a source for unusual linings.

What is your favorite drink? 
My favorite drink is Lemonade.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party? 
I do not drink alcoholic beverages. I don't think there is anything wrong people drinking responsibly. I just don't like the taste. Many years ago when we attended cocktail parties- I have not attended a cocktail party in many years - to ensure that I was not perceived as being judgmental I said I was a member of AA.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? 
My favorite "restaurant" in NYC is the McDonald's I pass on 42nd St on my way to the Port Authority.

What is your favorite Manhattan book? 
I have read Eloise at the Plaza to my children and grand children more times than I have fingers and toes.

Who would you like to be for a day and why? 
I would like to be the head of the Transit Union so I could sign an agreement to make NY a "right to work" state.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
The Zoo in Central Park. I like animals and Zoos.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? 
Practicing Judo from 1961 to 1971.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 
Attend broadway musicals.

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why? 
My father, mother, and maternal grandmother. I would like to tell them how much I miss them and about the accomplishments of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
When my wife and I lived in New York City we would go to the Frick once a month.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world? 
Live my life by the Golden Rule. 

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
The most underrated is the friendliness and warmth of New Yorkers. The most overrated is NYC pizza. (You have to go to New Haven for great pizza.)

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it? 
My favorite column is the Business section-Big Apple Business. Full of interesting things.

Have you drank The Peachy Deegan yet and if not, why not? 
 I do not like alcoholic drinks.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
I don't carry much cash.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? 
New York City location- 28 West 44th st- Lobby, NYC Phone 212 687-0850, email:

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