Th ere are few artists that are so well known that they are only called by their first name especially in the realm of clothing – Manuel is one. His full name is Manuel Arturo Jose Cuevas Martinez, Sr. and he was born in Coalcoman, Michoacan, Mexico in 1933.
He launched his career in his native Mexico then moved to LA in 1951 and eventually worked with Nudie Cohn (famous for his Nudie suits) before moving his family to Music City in the 90s. Known as the ‘Rhinestone Rembrandt’, Manuel has carved out a unique niche in the fabric Nashville and you have probably seen his work but never known it. He is credited with developing Johnny Cash’s Man In Black style, Elvis Presley’s gold lame suit, and designed clothes for Hank Williams, Porter Waggoner, Glen Campbell, Alan Jackson, Jack White, Jimmy Dickens, Keith Richard, and Marty Stuart.
Today, Manuel maintains his shop Manuel Couture at 800 Broadway near downtown in Nashville. Although he is best known for his elaborate rhinestones suits he also offers original designed clothing for men and women and accessories.
Custom orders are welcome and there is a tab on his website where you can submit your information and get an estimate from Manuel.
He does not consider himself a fashion designer but instead a ‘Costumer and Artist’. It is hard to deny how many country stars we have all seen in concert, at the Opry and on television award shows adorned in Manuel’s custom designs.
If you travel to Nashville I highly recommend paying his shop a visit as you never know exactly what outfits will be on display at that moment. You can also view some of his great designs online.