Made in Monaghan: Rory Duffy, Handcraft Tailor

Rory Duffy bent over his handcrafting work

How does a young Irish tailor end up helping Michelle Obama at the White House? We ask Monaghan native Rory Duffy about his project with the former First Lady—and the journey that resulted in a bespoke tailoring business and tailoring school.

Having gone to college to study furniture design but not wanting to go into the industry, Rory decided to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and become a tailor. Growing up in a small town in Ireland, one of the last places he imagined he would end up is looking out onto the lawns of the White House in Washington DC whilst teaching young disadvantaged students the craft of tailoring—but for Rory it became a reality.

In 2014, Michelle Obama organised a Fashion Education Workshop in the State Dining Room at the White House, inviting young wannabe fashion designers and industry experts to collaborate and share insights.

“It was a very humbling experience, a great opportunity.” Rory explains. “I was in a position where my business was going really well, I was very successful but I wasn’t finding the happiness that I was looking for at that time. I found that I really enjoyed the teaching aspect, allowing me to focus more on the art.”

Instagram – @roryduffyhandcrafttailor

Facebook – HandcraftTailorAcademy

To read the full version of this article, order ALHAUS magazine No. 4 today.

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