Radiography to Fashion: Alumna Tammy Duffy
Debuts Line During New York Fashion Week
Windsor, N.J. - For Tammy Duffy, Ph.D., '86, (A.A.S.,
Radiography), no obstacle is insurmountable. Challenges only
fuel her determination to succeed. A true Renaissance woman,
Duffy has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as a radiological
technologist, radiation health physicist and sales executive.
She has also made her mark as a painter and photographer and,
most thrillingly at present, as a fashion designer. This weekend,
Duffy's cutting-edge women's wear designs for spring 2012
will be among the featured collections in a presentation at
the Waldorf Astoria as part of Couture Fashion Week in New
It is a dream come true for Duffy, who is making her debut
in the fiercely competitive world of haute couture in one
of the world's fashion capitals. "I am still pinching
myself," said Duffy, who creates her fashions from her
Hamilton studio and launched her line earlier this year. "Creating
lovely apparel for women is a joy."
Her fashion collection will also be featured in a Luxury Review
show on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. (Details
The guest list for this event includes members of the media,
product analysts, product placement professionals, television
and film executives, personal shoppers, stylists and affluent
Duffy credits her mother, who made all of her daughter's clothes
when she was young, as her first sewing teacher. Later Duffy
took classes in New York and online and pursued opportunities
in the Big Apple with dogged determination.
was good luck and good intuition, and the help of a great friend
who has amazing connections in the industry," Duffy said. "From
networking over the years, I have watched many designers launch
lines and have learned a lot about what to do and not to do."
Her foray into the fashion world began 12 years ago when she branched
out from painting as a hobby after the death of her father, an avid
painter. The hobby that they shared had been just what she needed
to balance a successful, yet demanding career in the medical world.
The Steinert High School grad says she was originally drawn to radiography
because she wanted to help people. After graduating from Mercer,
she worked as a radiological technologist/CT scan technologist at
Mercer Medical Center and Freehold Hospital. Returning to school,
she earned a bachelor's degree in Advanced Radiation Science from
Thomas Jefferson University in 1991, a master's in Radiation Science
in 1996, and a Ph.D. in Health Physics in 1998 from Pacific Western
"Mercer was a great place to get my start," Duffy said.
Working full-time right out of high school to pay her way through
college, Duffy found it easy to get work in her field and to transfer
her credits. "Mercer more than prepared me to excel on the
undergraduate and graduate school levels. I particularly remember
Professor Bob Pugh. He is a tremendous leader and inspiration even
to this day. At Mercer, there was a real sense of 'we want to make
sure these kids excel.'"
impressive resume in the field continued to grow. In later jobs,
she was a radiation health physicist at Bio-Med Associates, Inc.,
in Flemington, a radiological equipment sales, training and support
manager, a senior interventional radiology modality leader for Fortune
500 companies, and a director of operations and marketing consultant
for small start-up companies.
experience in the small business industry proved especially useful
as Duffy began to build her fashion business from the ground up.
Networking proved essential. Traveling to various art, photography
and fashion shows after her regular work day, she met many influential
people, including the late fashion photographer Samuel Haskins.
Informing him that she had submitted her portfolio to Mercedes-Benz
Fashion Week ten times previously, he encouraged her to keep it
Duffy notes that she was also inspired by a memorable conversation.
While attending a professional fashion organization meeting, Duffy
shared her fashion aspirations with a board member. "The board
member told me, 'You are too old to make a career change; stick
to your day job,'" Duffy recalls. "That statement really
bothered me. I find when I am annoyed, I do my best work and thrive
on that energy. With my business sense, I thought, 'Why not take
the plunge?' I have not regretted it."
With the launch of MCCC's new Fashion/Apparel Design program this
fall, Duffy looks forward to sharing her experiences and knowledge
with MCCC students. "As you traverse through the industry,
you cannot succeed alone," she emphasizes. "Keep strong
people around you. Relationships in business are everything. Notice
opportunities in disguise and embrace them. Think out of the box
and create your own destiny."
To view some of Duffy's fashions online, click here.
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