There are few people as fabulous as the man, the myth, the “Rhinestone Rembrandt” – Manuel. Have you ever wondered who was behind the clothes of legends like Johnny Cash (the man in black), Elvis (that gold lamé suit), Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, The Grateful Dead, and more? You guessed it: Manuel.
Originally from Coalcomán, Mexico, Manuel has always had a knack for sewing and a flair for the dramatic. His designs stand out like no other, and they are truly one of a kind. No, really! Manuel never makes the same design twice, so every item is it’s own masterpiece.
Manuel’s store and sewing space is located on the corner of 8th and Broadway. When we stopped in to check it out for ourselves, we tried on ornate jackets covered in beautiful sequins and beads, beautiful heels with flower patterns covering from heel to toe, and neckties with the most delicate patterns.
We drooled over a rack of jackets covered in bright colors and rhinestones – there was one designed for every state. We wanted to take home just about everything in store and rock it around town. Who wouldn’t?
The best part- we were lucky enough to meet the man himself during our visit! In a stroke of good luck, we met an equally fabulous Neil Diamond tribute singer, Black Diamond, who insisted that we meet his close friend and costume designer, Manuel. Of course, we said tell us when and we’ll be there.
Manuel looked every bit the part, in a dapper blue suit he made himself. He flashed his famous smile and told stories of his younger days traveling the states. His sewing room in the store is small and simple, the walls lined with fabric and colorful spools of thread. He was humble, kind, and generous, offering to take photos and answer questions as he showed us his favorites in the store.
Next time you’re downtown, stop in the store and try on a piece of history. Find something you love? Go ahead and pull out the credit card, it’s worth the splurge!
C & A