A Long Tailoring Tradition
Exploring Jaime Castaneda's Journey as a Skilled Tailor
January 26, 2024
In the beginning they were thought of simply as “Cowboy Clothes” or “Western-wear,” but there was nothing simple about these stage costumes.
Buck Owens once said that “The sound systems were so lousy back then that the crowd couldn’t hear the music, so the Clothes Had To Be Loud.” And there have been a long line of rodeo tailors ready to make loud clothes for a wide range of performers. From Bernard “Rodeo Ben” Lichtenstein, to Nathan Turk and of course Nudie Cohn; the tailors still creating dazzling wonders today like Manuel Cuevas “The Rhinestone Rembrandt,” and Jaime Castaneda learned their craft under these rhinestone founding fathers.
Jaime Castaneda's journey as a skilled tailor traces back to a rural town in Zacatecas, Mexico. At the age of 15, he embarked on his tailoring apprenticeship with local shops, immersing himself in the art of needlework. In 1974, Jaime made the life-altering decision to relocate to Los Angeles, where he joined the workshop of Nudie's Rodeo Tailors as a shirt and pants maker. When Manuel Cuevas established his own studio, Jaime followed and served as Manuel's head tailor for a remarkable 16 years.
In the early 1990s, Manuel decided to move his shop to Nashville and Jaime decided to stay in Los Angeles. He opened his own studio in 1994 and today, he is hailed as the “Western Heir” or the "last of the cowboy tailors" on Lankershim Blvd. He has a long list of celebrity clients in addition to Dusty Hill and ZZ Top. The list includes: Bob Dylan, Chris Isaak, Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart, Porter Wagoner, Buck Owens, Don McLean, Merle Haggard and many others.
So many of the jackets in the collection of Dusty Hill are custom creations done by Jaime, who continues the tradition of finely crafted stage wear that works just as well for a country crooner or a bad ass blues-rock bassist like Dusty Hill.