I will share the story of how DUFFY got to the runway this season, Sept 2011. This story is so inspirational
and will give hope to all budding designers. That you CAN fulfill your dreams if you have the right people around you and
the passion to do the impossible.
I originally had sent samples of my work to a group that was managing a venue that would occur on the rooftop
of the Empire Hotel in NYC. I was promised the venue, had walked the venue with the person who was supposedly coordinating
the event. Turns out there were issues with the venue and people who were calling shots in the end were not and I lost the
For several years I have been photographing the runway shows during MBFW in NYC. It took 5 years of submitting
my portfolio to IMG to get accepted. So every season I now photograph the shows with the international press corp. There is
one person who keeps us all in line, Richard Renda during these shows. He is quite a gem. I showed Richard two seasons
ago some of the drawings of my garments. He has been in the industry for over 19 years and I trust his judgement. His response
was very positive so I got to work creating more fashions.
When my venue at the Empire got cancelled after being promised I had it, I called Richard for his help.
We met in NYC and walked all around the Lincoln Center area to identify an alternative venue. This was about one week before
Fashion week began. We found several. Over the course of the next few days I made numerous phone calls, visited the venues
to see what was possible. What I learned quickly is that IMG/MBFW takes over much of Manhattan including free public spaces
for fashion shows so a budding designer cannot afford to do a show in these free public spaces. My heart sank. I began to
think that this was not going to happen. Things were out of financial reach with IMG venues.
Richard made a phone call. A phone call that changed the course of history for DUFFY. We were able to at
the last minute get space to do a presentation only (no runway show at this point) at the Waldorf during Couture Fashion Week.
We were able to place the presentation in a spot where we sould get amazing exposure for DUFFY pre and post runway shows that
would occur at the Waldorf during CFW.
I got to work planning, renting mannequins, getting models, making invitations on my own, using social
media to get the word, getting help from friends and business associates, and finishing the garments. All the while shooting
the runway showsn during MBFW as well. No doubt I shot less shows this past season than ever but still did about 15 shows.
Two days prior to the CFW starting I got a call from the person who runs CFW and was asked if I wanted to
do a runway show. Never had done one, and had not budgeted for one at the Waldorf. I told him I needed to call him
back. I called him back after figuring a few things out and said, ok lets do it. So we did it. Click the
link below to watch the debut of DUFFY Fashion Designs.
The models I had in my show, especially, Rocky, Angelina, Eva, Ellyanne, Amy, Jaylynn helped me show my
vision not just my garments. These ladies were not just beautiful on the outside but also on the inside. They had the right
attitude and understood my vision.
The vision of DUFFY allows women who wear my clothes, regardless of size, to look like the most graceful
dancer flying thru the air with a sensual scape. The use of the soft, flowing fabrics create a feminine sensual
scape for the eye to flow with. I only use the finest of fabrics, silk charmeuse, fine satins, silk jersey knits,
Jacquard, georgettes, cashmere, etc. The garments are equally as comfortable and easy to get into.
The ease of which the show flowed on the runway because of the amazing team I had helping (my friend Teri
was AMAZING, she kept me balanced and calm)me allowed us to show the world what DUFFY is doing.
We did all this presentation and full runway show for under 20 grand. (Not including the garments)A dream
I have had to do but thought I would not do this for another 10 years. I was given the opportunity and jumped in.
You must jump in, even when you are scared to death to do it. Get out of your comfort zone. When you do the skys the limit.
When people around you are saying you can't do it, do not do it,what do you know about doing something like
this, listen to your heart and do what is right for you. When you do this, you will do things that no one ever
thought possible, even yourself.
I did not see the video of my show until two weeks after the show. It was not until then that I really appreciated
what we had done. My dream helped me live a dream. The insanity behind the runway I could have never prepared for. It was
quite a learning experience. After my show I asked some of the models what could I have done better and they were so gracious.
They were amazing ladies!!
We did this as a team, done with friends, done with a strong group of people who only had the best
interest of DUFFY and me at heart. the music I played during the runway show was music by strong women, Whitney Houston,
Ella Fitzgerald, and Nina Simone. Women who have built a music industry and were and are extremely talented. I put
jewelry on the models that my Dad had given to me over the years to have his energy on the runway. I wore a heart locket that
had his photo in it and his Marine dog tag. He was there with me giving me the strength to lead my team to show the beauty
So in closing, this my friends was a gift that I was surrounded by these amazing women and men
to live a dream. I am so thankful and grateful to those who helped me make a dream come true.
LOVE YOU ALL and I know my Dad is proud of what we did!
CEO of Tammy Duffy Fashion Designs