Four of the biggest names in the history of western wear design-Nathan Turk; Rodeo Ben; Nudie; and Manuel-created some of the most eye-catching and beautifully tailored stage costumes ever worn by country artists. Believing that the clothes they wore on stage needed to be even louder than their music, hillbilly and western swing performers in the 1940s had themselves draped in bright colors and elaborate embroidery by Hollywood cowboy couturier Nathan Turk and his counterpart in Philadelphia, "Rodeo Ben" Lichtenstein. Nudie Cohn pushed the design boundaries of western wear to their outer limits with the dazzling, rhinestone-encrusted suits that became synonymous with country music from the 1940s through the 1960s. Manuel Cuevas has brought the tradition of flashy western tailoring into the twenty-first century, outfitting country music's rhinestone cowboys and cowgirls in ornate custom designs from his shop in Nashville.
Born Kiev, Ukraine, 1902-1984
Nudie and Manuel Cuevas, his head designer throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, created many of the flamboyant, theme-embroidered Nudie suits that were integral to the stage personas and images of numerous country performers. Using this twill suit as a canvas, they interpreted singer Johnny Dollar's religious convictions through the dramatic rhinestone-encrusted image of Christ's ordeal at Calvary on the back of the jacket, and lambs, an angel, and various religious motifs on the front and sleeves. --Country Music Hall of Fame
Nudie Cohn built an impeccable reputation as one of the most sought after clothiers in Los Angeles... all on a few sparkly G-strings. Nudie the Rodeo Tailor tells the unbelievable story of Nudie and Bobbie Cohn and the legendary fashion legacy they created.
Nudie Cohn's first store (Nudie's for the Ladies, New York City) featured those famous and lavishly ornamented G-strings and stage costumes, and allowed him to build a reputation as a master tailor with a taste for the flashy. After a few years, Nudie turned his attention to making western clothing, and became the first person to incorporate rhinestones into cowboy dress. It was the $10,000 gold suit that Nudie made for Elvis Presley that rocketed Nudie to stardom and cemented his status in fashion history; Nudie would go on to design clothing for Dale Evans and Roy Rogers, Elton John, Gene Autry, John Wayne, John Lennon, Steve McQueen, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, and the rock groups America and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Nudie blurred the boundaries of fashion and cast a far-reaching influence over the clothing worn in country music, rock music, movies, and television.
Nudie the Rodeo Tailor chronicles the life of the man who epitomizes the American Dream itself, with an amazing selection of photographs of suits, clothing, accessories, and of Nudie himself with the hundreds of clients and friends he made through the years. Nudie the Rodeo Tailor is the most comprehensive and handsome book on Nudie Cohn and his clothing ever created-a long overdue testament to his spirit and talent. --Nudie: The Rodeo Tailor