Hispanic Heritage: Legendary Nashville fashion designer


NASHVILLE, Ark. — From some of music’s biggest names to Hollywood legends.

Manuel Cuevas says it was luck, love, and a calling that led him to design clothes for some of the most famous people in the world.

He is now 87-years-old and still stitching away at his boutique shop in Nashville.

For more than half a century, Manuel has found his home behind a sewing machine.

“I went and sat at that sewing machine and I’m still sitting there,” said Manuel.

Born in Mexico, he started making his own clothes by the time he was 7 and prom dresses by the age of 12.

“I think the first, second year was 125 and from there on went 300, 500 a year,” said Manuel.

His success paid well and by 19 he graduated from the University of Mexico. His journey soon leading him to California where he started working with Sy Devore, tailor to the Rat Pack, perfecting fits for names like Frank Sinatra.

Manuel flourished in America finding himself working alongside Nudie known for his rhinestone-covered suits. Here Manuel shined, gaining respect for his unique designs.

“I did all the cowboys,” said Manuel.

From the mask of the Lone Ranger to James Deans’ jeans, Manuel worked on more than 90 movies in Hollywood. He opened Manuel couture where he dressed artists like Elvis, Johnny Cash, Marty Stuart, and George Jones. His clientele only taking off from there.

He worked with The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Prince, Bob Dylan, and Merle Haggard.

It’s only fitting that today the national treasure makes his home in the music city.

From Bolero jackets to Blazers and Dusters each of Manuel’s pieces is custom made-one of a kind.



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