The man is not a fashion designer; he is a costumer and an artist. His original designs have become the trademark of true American style. One name says it all; he is Manuel.
He was responsible for making Johnny Cash the man in black. He crafted Elvis’ signature gold lamé suit. He fashioned the garments Bob Dylan wore when performing for the Pope. He has dressed all four generations of Hank Williams’. And if this is not enough to bring him a legendary status in music history, you can thank him for both The Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead’s notorious insignias. But it doesn’t stop here: presidents, athletes, dancers, artists and movie stars have also donned his glittering couture. He has wardrobed over 90 movies and 13 television shows.
Often referred to as the “Rhinestone Rembrandt,” Manuel hails from Coalcomán, Mexico, a small town in the central western state of Michoacán. Manuel’s fascination with his craft began at the age of seven, when his older brother, Adolfo, taught him how to sew. With a natural flair for color and cloth, Manuel moved to Los Angeles and worked for several tailors, including Hollywood’s Sy Devore—making suits for clients such as the Rat Pack. But he soon became bored with everyday clothing. He then moved on to the world of costumes at Nudie’s famed western store, designing for the likes of Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger. After 14 years in western wear, Manuel branched out and opened his own shop in North Hollywood, eventually relocating to Nashville in 1989 to continue his association with the music industry.