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Iconic Mummers Costume Designer Gets Ready For Last Parade Before Retirement

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --  Dressing is a way of life, but for James May, "dressing" has become his life.

With a foot on the pedal of a sewing machine since age 9, the iconic costume designer out of Ridley Park took to fashion early on with the encouragement of his mom.

He first started his own business designing for brides walking down the aisle, but one phone call years ago led him on a colorful new path where his dresses wouldn't walk, they would strut!

For 44 years, James has been the top tailor for the many Mummers who have dazzled us all for decades on New Years Day, producing close to 5,000 costumes a year for all of our favorites.

His head-to-toe designs have innovated the ever-elaborate Mummer with a certain sought after flare.

Color, sparkle, quality, movement.. Is what formed his long-standing respected reputation in the industry and added life to our favorite mummer memories.

This year will prove to be one of James' most memorable because it will be his last.

James May is retiring.

And with that love in his heart, James is taking a bittersweet final strut but he's going out on a high note!

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