Meet Cowboy Fashion Designer Nudie Cohn


[SEWING MACHINE] [ MUSIC PLAYING] ADRI MURGUIA: Hey,
this is Adri. And we’re here in Santa Clarita
Valley to meet up with Jamie Nudie, who is Nudie
Cohn’s granddaughter. And she is carrying
on his legacy. Let’s go find out what
this is about. Hi. How are you? JAMIE NUDIE: I’m great. How are you? ADRI MURGUIA: Good. I’m Adri. JAMIE NUDIE: Nice to meet you. I’m Jamie. Please come in. My grandfather was Nudie. He went by one name only. He immigrated here from Kiev,
Russia at age 11. He settled in New York. He first started making
g-strings for all the showgirls, and just had
a flair for it. And he traveled to Mankato,
Minnesota, where he met my grandmother. They fell in love, and finally
settled in Hollywood. He loved old Western film. And he’d sit there, and he
thought, gosh, they sort of were missing something
on stage. And he came up with the
idea of putting rhinestones on clothing. He first approached
Lefty Frizzell. And he said, Lefty, if you’ve
got the guts to wear a shirt of mine, I’ll make it for
you, free of charge. If it takes off, you’ll
start to pay me. Lefty got up on stage,
and it was a hit. They got a storefront on Victory
and Vineland in the early ’60s, and approached Roy
and Dale when Roy was working for Republic Studios. And Roy had said to him, I’ve
heard about you around town. And sure I’ll let you
do some work for me. But I want the kid in the
nosebleed section to be able to see me. -It’s the king of the
cowboys, Roy Rogers. And here he is. JAMIE NUDIE: So my grandfather
made shirts for Roy with fringe. And on every piece of fringe
was a rhinestone. And when Roy got up on stage,
that kid in the nosebleed section saw Roy. The lights hit the fringe
and the fringe danced. And it would sway
back and forth. From there it just took off. Everybody had heard of Nudie,
and wanted to come into his business, and have him
make suits for him. This is a vintage that was done
for “Rodeo Queen.” And you can see, who’s got
a waist that small? ADRI MURGUIA: Where did he
get all the rhinestones? JAMIE NUDIE: The rhinestones
were actually shipped in from New York. ADRI MURGUIA: Really? JAMIE NUDIE: Yeah. This was done for an
Elvis impersonator. ADRI MURGUIA: This is
like a replica? JAMIE NUDIE: It’s
a replica, yes. ADRI MURGUIA: This
is so crazy. JAMIE NUDIE: Love
the gold lame. ADRI MURGUIA: Where’s
the original? JAMIE NUDIE: The original
is in Graceland. ADRI MURGUIA: Oh, right. JAMIE NUDIE: Colonel gave
it to the museum. And that’s where the
original’s at. Here’s a photograph. This was probably in the
early ’50s, Oh, ’57. Here’s Colonel here, and
Elvis, and Nudie. Nearly and Colonel Parker
were great friends. Colonel Parker had been manager
for other artists, and Colonel had come to Nudie
and said, I’m taking on this new act. He said, I want you to make
something for him that’s out of this world spectacular. In 1957, the gold lame suit
for Elvis was born. And, as a matter fact, my
mother was a young girl. And Colonel and Nudie got
together and surprised my mother on her 18th birthday,
having Elvis sing. They went on a date. The gold lame suit
was a huge hit. Here is Nudie on the cover of
“Rolling Stone” in 1969, the same year that John and
Yoko are in bed again. I mean, who makes the cover
of “Rolling Stone”? He was an immigrant from Kiev,
Russia, and he makes the cover of “Rolling Stone” in ’69. That’s crazy. ADRI MURGUIA: He looks
so badass. JAMIE NUDIE: Yeah. Not only did Nudie make
a lot of the clothes. But through the 50 years of
business, he made 18 cars. He thought he needed
a calling card. ADRI MURGUIA: Oh my god. I mean, it’s like in perfect– JAMIE NUDIE: It’s in
perfect condition. It has under 30,000
miles on it. ADRI MURGUIA: I have four
guns right here. Just here I have four guns. And you take this out? JAMIE NUDIE: Yeah. He started with a 1950 Hudson,
and went on to Pontiac Bonnevilles. And not too many people had
white cars back in those days. And so he was kind of like the
first to set the market and have a white car, but then put
steerhorns and guns and silver dollars on it. And some cars had embroidered
seats. We called them the horny cars. In the ’70s and in the ’80s,
all the rock groups started wearing them. It wasn’t just Western film. It was Chicago, America, ZZ
Top, Bootsy Collins, Teddy Pendergrass, a lot of rock
groups and stuff that he had done it for. It was something that was
unique, one of a kind, eccentric, very out
of this world. For example, in the ’70s, the
Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, him and Nudie were
more like father son. And he looked up to my grandfather as a father figure. Here’s the Flying Burrito
Brothers. There’s Gram Parsons with the
famous pill, marijuana suit. Here’s a replica of
Gram Parsons’s. ADRI MURGUIA: Oh my
god, the pills. JAMIE NUDIE: You can
see the back. ADRI MURGUIA: Love that. Do you ever wear this? JAMIE NUDIE: I do. ADRI MURGUIA: Does
it look cool? JAMIE NUDIE: Now you have
officially been Nudified. ADRI MURGUIA: I’ve
been Nudified. Oh my god, so great. This one is the best. Do you thing you’re going
to bring it back, like you’re going to– JAMIE NUDIE: Oh,
I know I will. ADRI MURGUIA: Yeah? JAMIE NUDIE: Yeah. ADRI MURGUIA: I really
want one. JAMIE NUDIE: Well, you can
get a Nudie T-shirt. I want to be able to educate our
younger generation to know that you can be anybody. And you can do anything if
you set your mind to it. If you have the drive,
and you have the ambition, you can do that. And that’s what I feel as
though I’m here for, to further educate younger
generations, let them know that you can do something
like this. And have an idea, and
let it sparkle. Put a rhinestone on it. [COUNTRY ROCK MUSIC PLAYING]

100 thoughts on “Meet Cowboy Fashion Designer Nudie Cohn

  1. Martin Fry ( ABC) flushed his lame jacket down the toilet. ( Bet he had a new one made for when the endless reuinion tours began!).

  2. " jackets with rhinestone-bejeweled pot leaves and gargantuan uppers and downers"

    That's not what those things are at all!

    They're very obviously… no wait, that's exactly what they are. wtf.

  3. I met Nudie many times. We'd get out of school and see his cadillac parked in front of a bar near our junior high school in Fresno, CA. It was the white one with the horns and calfskin seat and the coins embedded in the landau cover. It was the first car I ever saw with an alarm. As soon as we touched the car, Nudie would come out of the bar with a drink in his hand. He was really a nice guy and told us all about making Elvis's clothes. When I finally got my driver's license, we would drag race.

  4. Was part a of the Soviet Union until its demise and gained independence in 1991. Perhaps she found it easier to say "Russia" instead of Soviet Union?
    People really like to interchange the two when speaking of the past.
    ~good day

  5. Well when she was a kid in was part of the USSR. Which is sorta like being in Russia. So maybe that's why she said it was in Russia.

  6. WHY is this guy a douchebag?! He liked old westerns and rhinestones. So he combined the two and was really successful. How does that make him a no-talent doucebag with no sense of beauty? Clearly he and many other people thought his clothes were beautiful, that's why they paid thousands of dollars for them. Beauty is subjective. Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it's not beautiful to someone or many someones.

  7. The only douchebag here is you and your ignorant post about someone who influenced the music industry through his creative outlook on the clothing industry. Famous musicians came to him to have them make suits for him. Your just a hater I would guess teens , early 20s and clearly has his head up his ass. I think anyone who reads your infantile post will see that. Do yourself a favor next time you want to post something as ignorant and uneducated as this save yourself some embarrassment scrub.

  8. Ukrain might have been part of Russia when Nudie emigrated to the US. You know how eastern Europe has changed so much during all of the XXth century.

  9. I thought they were supposed to be poppies on the Gram Parsons suit?!?
    Bit disappointed they didn't mention Captain Beefheart's suit that he's wearing on The Spotlight Kid cover….

  10. I sound like a 13 year old having a tantrum? I said 6 words your the one that went on a rant putting words in my mouth.

  11. I think the fact Vice focuses on such obscure topics like 70's rhinestone cowboy fashion is what makes these documentaries so good. I think it's what we've all come to expect from Vice. Vice has a knack to dissect even topics that aren't particularly an interest of mine and make it worth discussing. I think it's funny a Russian immigrant would appreciate stereo-typical cowboy culture enough to bedazzle it. It's fascinating to look closely at what most might not appreciate initially. >w>

  12. The Gram Parsons Nudie is not even close to his Jacket. Sad that I could make a exact copy but she can't? I don't understand. If she put the original into production she would really be honoring her Grandfather.

  13. Nudie made the gorgeous suit you see Lolly Vegas wearing in the Midnight Special video of Come and Get Your Love, as well as the more subtly elegant grey suit Lolly wears in the Come and Get Your Love VH1 video, also here on YouTube, and the great red suit Lolly wears in the One More Time video you can see here. Search Redbone and you'll see them. There's something really special about the way Lolly wears these suits.

  14. The magazine is called Rolling Stone, not Rolling Stones. How could she keep making the same mistake over and over again when the cover is right in front of her face!!??

  15. I met Nudie in 1974 when I had two shirts specially designed by him.  I still got them and I still wear them on stage.  They are like antiques! They've been "let out" once or twice! HaHa!  One of them has Roy Rogers trim!  I'll have to put them up on YouTube one of these days.  I loved Nudie's work!  We all did.  He was the best.  He was the last word in costuming!  He was and is a class act!  Thanks for reading, Flint Long

  16. I just remembered…I"m wearing my two Nudie shirts in a YouTube video called, "Flint Long Boogie Woogie!"  You guys absolutely have to check that out and check out these two  cool shirts, one green with fringe and the other red, white and blue roses!  Long Live Nudie's Legacy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *