Louth man Ruairi swaps the kitchen for the catwalk

RUAIRI Kerr is from Louth Village and is currently living at Bay Estate, Dundalk.

RUAIRI Kerr is from Louth Village and is currently living at Bay Estate, Dundalk.

Ruairi is a professional chef and is studying for an honours degree in culinary arts at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) at Cathal Brugha Street.

But as well as reaching the top of his profession he is about to embark on a career as a professional fashion model.

Male fashion modelling is now an important part of the fashion industry here.

Kerry senior football star Paul Galvin gave up his teaching career at St Brendan’s College Killarney so that he could amalgamate his modelling career with Gaelic football. He now writes a weekly fashion column for the Irish Independent.

So male fashion modelling is now big business and brings its own financial rewards.

But Ruairi is very realistic and very unassuming about how things are working out at the moment.

“I am determined to finish my masters,” he said. “That is my main priority at the moment. But it’s nice to have this extra career opportunity.”

Ruairi decided to study for his masters when he was giving evening classes at O Fiaich College Dundalk.

“I liked teaching,” he said. “I got a good feedback from people and so I decided to go back to college so that I can teach full-time, and lecture at third level.

“Then as I was doing my masters at DIT a choreographer asked if I wanted to audition for a fashion show organised by the students.

“I decided to give it a go. Three hundred students were auditioned and the number was reduced to 40 men and 40 women.

“We had rehearsals once a week for two weeks and then the show went on at Vicar Street.

“It was called the DIT Alfa Romeo fashion show and it took Romeo and Juliet as its theme.

“I was named the top male model in the show and was offered a contract with the Andrea Roche modelling agency.”

This is the agency that discovered Rosanna Davidson – former Miss Ireland and daughter of Chris de Burgh – and Claudia Keane, wife of Robbie Keane.

“It’s amazing,” said Ruairi. “A door has been opened. And only time will tell.

“I’ll be doing commercial advertising work and runway work. It’s hard work. You almost have to be chameleon-like to adapt to what people want.

“So far, I’ve modelled for Ted Baker, Indigo and Cloth, Brown Thomas and Tommy Hilfiger,” he said.

It’s a wonderful opportunity, but one that is well deserved.

Ruairi is very modest about his achievements and is a man of many talents who clearly wants to help people through his teaching as well as enjoying the art and skill of fashion modelling.