KEEPIN’ IT REAL in THE COV: Ray Damico Tailoring

Photo: Doug Damico at the sewing machine.

Keeping The Cov stylish one stitch at a time for 65 years


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fifth and final article naming the winners of the 2023 Authenti-CITY awards given by the City of Covington at a ceremony last Thursday to mark the National Economic Development Week. More about the awards can be found at the bottom of this article.

COVINGTON, Ky. – If there’s one thing that well-tailored men and women know, it’s that an exquisite and proper hem, nip, and tuck matter. And if there’s one thing that Doug Damico, of Ray Damico Tailoring at 623 Scott St., knows, it’s where a piece of clothing needs a hem, a nip, and a tuck – and how to execute each with precision.

Got a garment that needs to be taken in? Tapered? Have its vents fixed? Its inseams adjusted (or its outseams, for that matter)? Need a tie narrowed?

Doug Damico will get it done. You might say “it’s in his blood.”

“My grandpa came here from Italy and that’s what he did,” Damico said. “Being able to look at something and know what it needs was just kind of in his blood.”

Alberto Damico, Doug’s grandfather, passed along his keen eye for detail and innate sewing ability to his children. Victor Damico, Doug’s uncle and the oldest of 12 children, started Vic Damico Tailoring in Cincinnati in 1945. Doug’s father Ray joined him and worked as a tailor. In 1948, Ray left the shop to serve as a U.S. Marine in the Korean War. When he returned home in 1952, he worked as lead tailor and fitter at Shillito’s Department Store, and as tailoring foreman for Gentry’s Men’s Shop.

When Vic decided to retire, Doug told his father that if his father, Ray, would run the shop, he’d come to work for him.

“My uncle started the shop a little over 65 years ago, my Dad took over in 1985, and I got here around 1989,” Doug said. “I worked with Dad until he died (in) 2013. Dad worked in the shop up to the week before he died.”

Even in this digital, social media culture, you likely won’t find Ray Damico Tailoring on social media accounts. Instead, customers find their way to the shop by word of mouth, speaking to the lasting tailoring skills of the Damico family tradition.

 “We like to fix stuff,” said Doug.

About the awards: The first-annual Authenti-CITY awards were unveiled by Covington’s fun and irreverent Economic Development team in 2021 to celebrate National Economic Development Week in an off-the-wall way.

There were no rules and no criteria – just staffers getting together after hours (maybe over a few drinks, maybe not) and debating fiercely about what businesses, places, events, people and organizations most “kept it real” in The Cov. The fervor had to do with this: Narrowing down the massive list (because, you know, Covington is such a cool place).

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