Fashion

Manuel Cuevas - The Rhinestone Rembrandt

Few designers have accomplished the feat of becoming equally as notable as the designs they’ve created, but for Manuel Cuevas (known for his embroidered Western-style garments that helped define the images of iconic artists such as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, The Rat Pack, Dolly Parton and many more) his legend continues to live on.

January 1, 2024

So few designers have accomplished the feat of becoming equally as notable as the designs they’ve created, but for Manuel Cuevas (known for his embroidered Western-style garments that helped define the images of iconic artists such as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, The Rat Pack, Dolly Parton and many more) his legend continues to live on.

Growing up in Michoacan, Mexico, Cuevas discovered his passion for sewing while young and at age 14 became the town’s resident prom dressmaker. He later moved to Hollywood, CA to pursue a career in fashion, quickly forming relationships with established designers such as Sy Devore and master embroiderer, Viola Grae.

It was through Grae that Cuevas met famed rodeo tailor, Nudie Cohn, a meeting that would forever alter the course of his life and career. After relocating to Hollywood and gaining a following from his uniquely bedazzled suits, Cohn and his wife opened Nudie's of Hollywood, trademarking a style that has attracted everyone from Old Hollywood cowboys to famed rockstars. Working for Cohn, Manuel met and fell in love with Cohn’s daughter Barbara, and the two were married in 1965. After having a child in 1968 and later divorcing in 1975, Manuel decided to branch off on his own and opened up a shop down the street from Nudie’s called “Manuel Couture.”

Through his new endeavor, Cuevas managed to keep clients who adored him through Nudies, as well as build a base of celebrity clientele on his own that included Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Jack White, and many more. But no matter the client, Cuevas always stuck to his Mexican roots by incorporating motifs from home into his work, mixed with classic cowboy imagery.

Today, Cuevas can still be found making suits at the age of 90 at his studio in Nashville, TN, and continues to carry a legacy of creating incredible one-of-a-kind pieces. In Julien’s upcoming auction “The Collection of Dusty Hill of ZZ Top” taking place from December 8-9 in Dallas, TX, and online, we are excited to offer many unique pieces made by Cuevas for Dusty Hill, including custom jackets, boots, and button-downs.

Register to bid now at Julienslive.com!

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