It’s difficult to know quite where to start with a character like Chris Ruocco. He’s been a tailor for upwards of 50 years and all that time in the same shop in Kentish Town N. London. To walk into Chris’s shop is to step back in time, with shelves sagging under the weight of beautiful cloths and material, and his sewing room at the back adorned with dozens of black and white signed photos from all the legends and stars he’s made suits and garments for over the years.
From Diana Ross, to Madness, Wham and more recently—Tom O’Dell.
Chris is now 74 years old but as passionate about what he does as when he first learned the trade as a kid. In addition, Chris is a regular visitor to the Hampstead Ponds, where he swims most days irrespective of the weather, including Christmas Day. Indeed, Chris and his fellow swimmers are now subject of brand-new documentary film called The Ponds being shown in cinemas and film festivals.
As you may notice during this interview, Chris has an unparalleled work ethic—he was still hard at his job while letting me into his shop to get a glimpse of not only his work, but that path that led him to it. He’s created countless outfits and has seen first hand the trends that wax and wane throughout the fashion world like few others have.
“I have a swim and then come to the shop and then I’m set for the day—I don’t want to do anything else but work.”
Chris swims nearly every day—either in his own swimming pool, or preferably, at Hampstead ponds where he has been swimming for decades. He has frequented the ponds so much that he is featured in a documentary about swimming called “The Ponds”. Chris will be out in the water regardless the time of year, weather, or temperature which shows his love for the 320 hectares of forest, wildlife, and the three swimming ponds.
You can look up showings for the film at ThePondsFilm.com/screenings and if you’d like to reach out to Chris you can reach him on his phone at 0207 485 7521