Georges de Paris, tailor to US presidents, dead at 81

US President Barack Obama with French-born tailor Georges de Paris at the White House in a photo taken in 2014.
US President Barack Obama with French-born tailor Georges de Paris at the White House in a photo taken in 2014. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Mr Georges de Paris, a French tailor who came to America and ended up broke and homeless before resurrecting to make suits for presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama, died on Sunday (Sept 13) at the age of 81.

Mr de Paris died in a hospice in Arlington, Virginia near Washington after a long illness, a friend of his, Mr Dimasito Pereira, said.

Another friend of the tailor, Mr Alain Trampoglieri, said in France that de Paris had been diagnosed with a brain tumour two years ago.

Mr de Paris, a native of Marseille in southern France who went to the United States in the late 1950s, was a diminutive man with a striking, unruly mane of thick white hair. He had a tailor shop just a few blocks from the White House.

He continued working at his Washington shop up until two months ago, said Mr Pereira.

In a photograph taken at the White House last year, Mr de Paris is seen with his arm around a smiling Mr Obama and a tape measure draped around his shoulders.