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Tailored Checkered Suit

tHE sTORY

of

mICHAEL Ijioma

Master Tailor

Dive into the journey of Michael Iji, a tailor with 36 years of experience and owner of Michael Iji Custom Design & Tailoring Studio, in Cary, NC. From his early apprenticeship in the Nigerian markets to learning from Italian fashion houses, Michael's unique blend of Nigerian and Italian styles has earned him a reputation as a skilled tailor, designing custom menswear with exceptional fabrics.

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Meet

michael iji

Michael's designs are a unique blend of his Nigerian roots and Italian influence, resulting in smooth lines and Italian fits. He specializes in formal wear, tuxedos, and business shirts, and is known for using exceptional fabrics. One of his clients, who originally discovered him and offered him a position in NYC, continues to ship Michael his shirts for him to custom alter.

Michael is incredibly personable and has built an incredibly close relationship with the leadership team at Tessitura Monti, a fabric mill that provides fabric to exclusively to large companies such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Neiman Marcus, and Brooks Brothers. He was able to source fabric from Tessitura Monti because of his time in Italy, as he lived only a few blocks from their fabric mill. Michael's reputation has spread, and he has clients from all over the country, trusting him to do his work without even coming into the shop. He was even set to be featured in NY Fashion Week for his skill before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Michael's passion for tailoring began at the young age of 14 when he started working as an apprentice for local tailors in the markets of Nigeria. Nigerian tailors are renowned for their intricate pattern work and weaving skills, and Michael quickly honed his craft under their guidance.

After completing his apprenticeship, Michael opened a small shop in the open markets of his hometown in Nigeria with just a sewing machine and a table. He started with basic alterations and hemming but quickly began designing his own clothes from the fabrics he had saved, as he could not afford to buy clothes.

In 2001, Michael moved to Italy and lived in several cities, including Sicily, Naples, Venice, and Padua. During this time, he worked in many Italian fashion houses, learning their techniques, styles, and patterns while incorporating them into his own unique style of clothing design.

In 2010, Michael moved to the United States and worked for a private designer in Michigan as a tailor in an upscale retail store, serving many affluent clients. He gained a reputation as a skilled tailor and became well-known in some influential circles. He was even offered a private tailoring position working with some of the most affluent clients in NYC, but he declined, choosing instead to move to Cary, NC with his wife Adrienne and start a family.

In 2012, Michael started a new tailoring shop out of his home, but it didn't take off. However, he didn't let that stop him. In 2018, he opened Michael Iji Custom Tailored Menswear in Cary, NC, and has been designing custom menswear ever since. Michael's 36 years of experience in the tailoring business, combined with his unique blend of Nigerian and Italian influence, have resulted in the creation of some of the finest custom menswear available today.

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