Perfect fit – father and son chosen to dress President

Tailor Michael Johnson works in his Tullow shop, with his son Robin in the background.

Emma Jane Hade

WHEN President Michael D Higgins lands in Britain later today, he'll certainly be dressed to impress.

Of course, most eyes will be on wife Sabina's wardrobe as she is expected to champion Irish designers like Louise Kennedy and Orla Kiely.

But in preparation for the historic visit, Michael D has had some high-quality suits made by a Co Carlow tailor.

Johnson's Tailors in Tullow was visited by the President in recent weeks. The family business opened in 1867, is in its sixth generation and has attracted clients from all over the world, down through the years.

But, this was the first ever Irish President to be dressed by the father-and-son duo.

"We were very surprised when we got the phonecall," said Robin Johnson, who runs the store with his father, Michael.

"Daddy said he thought it was someone having him on," he laughed. However, it was a genuine call, and the President visited the family business a few days later to be fitted.

It is understood that the tailors caught the President's eye when they were featured on a RTE TV show about traditional craft businesses called 'In Good Hands'.

"He got two grey suits – a dark grey and mid grey – and an overcoat," Robin said.

"He is an absolute gentleman. And, it was a great honour to make clothes for the President."

He will attend an array of functions this week, including two white-tie banquets.