Behind the Seams
Custom fits. Favorite outfits reborn. Alterations to your clothes can have a revolutionary effect on your overall look—and confidence. The key to nailing a custom tailoring job? Finding an expert tailor with the skills, care, and attention your wardrobe deserves. With the arrival of high-end tailoring service Alts at the Seaport, that quest has just become easier for anyone living or working in downtown NYC. Here, Marie Douat, Vice President of Operations for Alts, takes us behind the scenes of the alteration business and provides a primer on what to expect when you bring a garment into an Alts studio for repair or revival.
After growing up in the south-west of France, Marie began a career as an art dealer in Paris, London, and Brussels, before venturing into the world of custom-made clothing. She relocated to New York City in 2016 and joined the Alts team in 2021. Heading up Operations, she ensures that all of Alts storefronts are running smoothly and that the business’s clients are satisfied with the services.
How is Alts different from other alterations services?
Alts was created with the desire to offer a unique tailoring experience. Nine years ago, it was nearly impossible to find a beautifully designed studio in New York City that provided special attention during the tailoring process. Our focus extends beyond the quality of tailoring; it encompasses the client’s experience, ensuring they feel special and well-cared for throughout the entire process. Our mission is to help clients feel elegant, confident, and empowered through their clothing.
Besides individual customers, who are some of the clients Alts works with?
We work with high-end brands such as Brunello Cucinelli, Kyha, and Eleventy. They have found in us a level of service that matches their expectations for their own clients. They receive high-quality service, and now that we have expanded to 12 shops, our partners believe it’s a high-end, convenient additional service to offer to their own clients.
What sets the Alts team of tailors apart?
Our incredibly talented team of tailors has grown significantly in the past couple of years and is composed of many different types of talents. Our goal is to always be able to respond to our clients’ requests, and we are fortunate enough to have specialists in fur, leather, crochet, knit, and bridal wear. This diversity allows us to fulfill most of our clients’ requests and wishes. We are always looking for new talent.
What kinds of garments does Alts specialize in?
We work on all types of garments, from the simplest pair of denim jeans to the most intricate designer gowns. We offer a free engagement fitting with our specialists, allowing our clients to discuss their specific wishes and needs and find out what can be done. Alts provides several types of services: Bridal and standard alterations, specialty alterations such as fur and leather, recut, home fitting service, and custom clothing services through our sister company, Label.
Recutting a garment involves a high level of experience and skill. For instance, resizing a dress by five sizes requires a combination of pattern-making knowledge and tailoring expertise. While tailoring is often associated with garment construction, the process of deconstructing a garment and reconstructing it to fit a specific body is fundamentally different from creating a garment based on a pattern.
Retail sizing can be confusing—and often disappointing. What are the benefits of having our garments altered?
Having your garments altered to fit you perfectly offers several benefits that can significantly improve your overall comfort. At Alts, our mission is to provide a custom fit. Tailoring ensures that your clothing conforms to your body shape and size, rather than adhering to the sizing system of the fashion industry. Tailoring can boost your confidence, revive old clothing, and have a positive impact on the environment. It’s a sustainable choice that helps combat fast fashion. By tailoring your clothes and making them last longer, you reduce the need to purchase new garments.
What appealed to Alts about opening a studio at the Seaport?
The Seaport is a dynamic neighborhood in NYC, close to the bustle of the Financial District, while representing the city’s rich history. The neighborhood’s unique vibes and energy drew us here. Personally, I’ve been visiting the Seaport regularly since 2017 and I am always amazed at how this neighborhood has changed. For me, it’s a great place to gather with friends and enjoy a sunny day with my family on the weekends.
What services will be offered at Alts at the Seaport?
We currently offer standard alterations services at our Seaport location, and soon, we will also be offering bridal alterations. You can book an appointment through our website. Our standard turnaround time is 2 weeks. Additionally, we offer same-day alterations and rush services. We also have great holiday promotions, which clients can find out about when they sign up for our newsletter.
Visit Alts at 19 Fulton Street and at alterationspecialists.com. New clients at the Seaport studio will receive a 10% discount on services when they present this blog post.