Entertainment

The Guy Responsible for Some of the Most Iconic Looks in American Music is Mexican

@ManuelCouture / Twtter

Remember that famous white jumpsuit Elvis was known for?

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You know, the one that you see on nearly every Elvis impersonator?

A Mexican dude designed it. This Mexican dude:

Manuel Spring 2007 - Runway
Credit: Mark Mainz / Getty

His name is Manuel Cuevas and he’s designed some of the most ICONIC looks in rock history.

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Nicknamed the “Rhinestone Rembrandt,” Cuevas turned Johnny Cash into the man in black…

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He also put the Beatles in colorful military-style outfits on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

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And he used Dia de los Muertos as an inspiration to introduce the Grateful Dead to skulls and flowers.

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Credit: dead.net

READ: This Kid From Compton Sings Corridos Like a Mexican

His client list looks like a who’s who of music royalty.

Graceland Exhibition Opens With Elvis At The O2
Credit: Dan Kitwood / Getty

The Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix. Bob Dylan. John Lennon. The Jackson Five. Elton John. Dolly Parton. Do we need to keep going? Cuevas has also designed outfits for several presidents – Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush – and the artist Salvador Dali.

Cuevas is still going. He’s continued to design suits for musicians such as Jack White, Kid Rock and The Killers.

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Credit: manuelcouture.com

Cuevas says when someone wants a custom suit, he usually decides what it’s going to look like – not his client. “I don’t deal with other people’s ideas, because they just don’t work for me. What I want to do for you is something that that you always thought that you could have, but you didn’t know how to identify it,” said Cuevas to CBS.

Cuevas, who was born in Mexico, moved to the US when he was 22.

World Premiere Of "Country: Portraits Of An American Sound" At The 2015 Nashville Film Festival
Credit: Rick Diamond / Getty

Cuevas, the fifth of 11 children, learned to sew when he was just 7 years old. After studying psychology at the University of Guadalajara, he moved to the US. He worked several gigs in the fashion industry and then became an apprentice of Nudie Cohn, a designer famous for creating the outfits of country music legends.

Despite being an immigrant, Cuevas says he didn’t face many of the struggles that others do.

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Credit: Manuel Couture / Facebook

Cuevas told The Huffinton Post: “Everyone wants me to tell the sad immigrant story. But that isn’t my story. We were comfortable. My father was a salesman, and he was very smart at it. He could sell condoms to the Pope. I worked hard, I still work hard. But we weren’t hungry or wanting of things.”

Cuevas says he first got attention by wearing his own extravagant designs.

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Credit: RCA Records

Cuevas says Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, noticed his eye-catching outfit once and asked him to design one for Elvis. Cuevas designed the gold suit worn by Elvis on the cover of Elvis’ Golden Records, before designing the famous white jumpsuit. Cuevas also says partying didn’t hurt his business, either. “Actually, drinking is how I’ve met practically everyone that I’ve worked with. Then the famous ones introduce you to the new guys — George Harrison, Yoko Ono, Elton John, John Travolta. It was like opening a candy store; all the kids just came to buy,” said Cuevas to Ozy.

Want your own Manuel Couture original? It’ll cost you.

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Credit: manuelcouture.com

A rhinestone-studded jacket, like this blue one on Manuel’s official site, will run you more than $5,000. A custom-made suit can be more than $15,000.

Cuevas, who is now 86, continues to sell and design garments out of his store in Nashville.

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And yes, you can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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As El Chapo Got Sentenced To Life In Prison, His Daughter Launched A Clothing Line Based Off The Drug Lord And People Cannot Wait To Drop Money On This

Entertainment

As El Chapo Got Sentenced To Life In Prison, His Daughter Launched A Clothing Line Based Off The Drug Lord And People Cannot Wait To Drop Money On This

El Chapo Guzmán / Facebook

It’s been a tumultuous week for drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. On Wednesday, Guzman was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years and was ordered to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture. But on that same day, Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, one of Guzman’s ten children, was in the midst of officially launching her new clothing line named after her father, El Chapo 701.

El Chapo’s daughter is starting a clothing line in Mexico that is based heavily off the legacy and lore surrounding him.

Credit: Twitter/@afpmexico

The brand-new fashion line made it’s debut at the Intermoda fashion show in Guadalajara this week and is making headlines for its inspiration. Alejandrina Guzman named the brand “El Chapo 701” as a reference to Forbes naming her father the 701st richest person in the world back in 2009. 

The clothing line sells items such as T-shirts, belts, purses, and jackets all adorned with imagery of Guzman and the 701 logo. According to the Mexico Daily News, many of the products that were on display in Guadalajara were made by prison inmates at the Puente Grande prison in Jalisco where Guzman managed to escape from in 2001 out of a laundry cart. The proceeds from sales will reportedly go to helping people in need and assist in the reintegration of inmates back into society.

“In the entire world, he is known as the CEO of Sinaloa or the Lord of the Mountains. He is the unique and legendary 701,” the brands website says.

Products prices range from $35 for shirts to $100 for belts and jackets. 

Credit: Twitter/@1_am-damson

Whether it’s ties, leather wallets, and boots, El Chapo 701 has managed to produce a wide variety of items for the El Chapo enthusiast in your family. Many of the items reportedly sold out very quickly at the Intermoda fashion show amidst growing buzz for the recently incarcerated Guzman. 

But there is already a competing El Chapo brand that is being released. That company has the consent and approval of Guzman and is being headed by his wife. 

Back in March, Guzman had reportedly signed a contract from prison granting rights for his name and likenesses to a company headed by his wife, Emma Coronel. The company is called El Chapo Guzman and just saw it’s first clothing drop last week. The ex-drug lord will not have any role or say in Coronel’s company. 

“I’m very excited to start this project, which was based on ideas and concepts that my husband and I had years ago,” Coronel told CNN, adding that the line will be dedicated to their twin daughters.

Reaction to the El Chapo clothing brand has been quite interesting online as some are praising his daughter for her entrepreneurship skills.

Credit: Twitter/@genesis_araiza

Some people online are looking at the brand launch in a more positive way. One user said “You gotta understand Our people are hustlers. The hustle never stops! YEEE!!! Plus it’s simply supply and demand WHY U MAD HE CAUGHT ALREADY”

Guzman has been viewed differently by various people since his rise to Robin Hood-like reputation in Mexico. He would often give back to the many poor communities in Sinaloa, Mexico making him a beloved figure to many there. But that legacy is mixed to others as Guzman became a drug lord and kingpin for drug cartels in the ’80s and ’90s. 

While the 62-year-old Guzman gets ready to spend the rest of his life behind bars, there is a growing market for brand and name. With nearly 9K followers on Instagram, Alejandrina Guzman has a well-established social media presence for her fashion brand and will no doubt be fueling this popularity behind El Chapo. 

“There are people who give us a lot of support, who like it, who buy things and come from other places to distribute our products,” Adriana Ituarte, a sales representative for the brand told Mexico News Daily. “But there are some people who criticize us, who say we are promoting a drug trafficker.”

READ: El Chapo Will Spend The Rest Of His Life Behind Bars But It’s What He Told The Judge That Everyone Is Talking About

Just When You Thought The Fashion Industry Didn’t Need To Learn More Lessons About Tone Deafness, Chanel Did This

Fierce

Just When You Thought The Fashion Industry Didn’t Need To Learn More Lessons About Tone Deafness, Chanel Did This

@chanelofficial / Instagram

Like many major institutions, the Fashion Industry has been accused in the past of gatekeeping and breeding a lack of diversity in its designers, models, and photographers. This lack of variety in the stories told by the industry has resulted in more than a few controversies in the recent past for some of the biggest names in fashion.

Brands like Gucci, Prada, and H&M have all seen major backlash after featuring products that were more than a little racist. Back in December of 2018, it was Prada with their Golliwog-like figures displayed in the windows of their SoHo boutique. Then there was H&M and their online page featuring a young, black child wearing a shirt that had the word monkey on it. Less than a month later it was Gucci in February 2019, with their sweater that — when pulled up — had the dark features and red lips of a blackface character.

These controversies caused more than a little public outcry when they happened. Either because of these instances or because they realized it was way past time, all three of these company’s created some sort of position to encourage diversity and inclusion in their organizations.

Now, it seems that Chanel has done the same but their hire has a major difference than others in the industry.

Twitter / @BoF

Earlier this month, Fiona Pargeter — who previously held the same position at Swiss bank UBS — joined Chanel as their Head of Diversity and Inclusion. Though Pargeter obviously comes with previous experience, she also lacks something that seems important in an inclusion director. Namely, she isn’t a member of one of the marginalized communities Chanel hopes to further incorporate.

According to a post on VOGUE, the role was created as “a sign of Chanel’s commitment and its importance to the house.” In an interview with THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, a Chanel representative elaborated on this new position. The statement read:

“Fiona Pargeter just joined the company in the position of head of Diversity and Inclusion to evolve our existing diversity and inclusion approach. Diversity and Inclusion has been led for a couple of years in our People and Organization function by our people communication and engagement leader. Fiona has been hired to continue to create momentum for our efforts. This recruitment is a sign of our commitment to these topics and its importance to the house.”

While the position doesn’t necessarily require the director of diversity and inclusion to be a minority, this appointment does raise some valid questions.

Twitter / @Brigitte_Vezina

Was Pargeter the best person for the job based on her experience and skill and is that why she got the job or was it another example of failed diversification? Was her hiring a purposeful attempt to avoid tokenism and diversity hiring? Only the decision-makers at Chanel can speak towards that.

Can a white person honestly do a good enough job at reaching out to marginalized communities? Do they understand enough about the racism that Black and brown people face? Can they make a difference in the systems that oppress these communities? We aren’t sure but history has shown us that the only ones who create this kind of systematic change are people who have experienced the atrocities of said system themselves.

In response to Gucci’s controversy, streetwear designer Dapper Dan was tapped to lead a predominately black “Changemakers Council.” Additionally, the brand hired a Black Vice President of Brand and Culture Engagement, Antoine Phillips. Prada recruited director Ava DuVernay and artist Theaster Gates to co-chair the Diversity and Inclusion Council after their own backlash. Likewise, H&M made their own hires after their accusations of racism. Annie Wu was instated as Global Leader of Diversity & Inclusiveness for the company and Nigerian-American Ezinne Kwubiri was made the North American lead.

Can these Black people and people of color do a better job than Pargeter just because they understand the pain of racism? Possibly but we can’t say for sure.

Of course, Twitter had a lot to say about the Chanel hiring as well.

Twitter/ @heirjordan973

This Twitter user pointed out that Chanel’s response to too few Black people and POC in their company was to hire yet another white person. It almost reads like a bad joke when it’s put that way but it is exactly what the fashion company did in this situation.

There’s no telling how impactful this hire will prove for Chanel or other members of the industry but, in the meantime, we can vote with our dollars instead. Buy from Black and POC owned brands and know for sure that your money is going directly back into marginalized communities instead of systems that would further oppress them.

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