Nudie Cohen took the American Dream about as far you could take it and then went one step farther. Escaping the pogroms in Czarist Russia at age 11, Nudie made his way across Depression-era U.S. working as a boxer and shoe shine boy, before setting up shop in NYC as a tailor, specializing in, (yes) ‘showgirl undergarments’.
From there the way as only up, from Ziegfeld undies to the flashiest of rhinestone and chain-stitched wonders for the glitziest of showbiz greats. Setting up shop in sunny Southern California, Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors became the place for everyone from John Wayne to Elvis to order hand-tailored Western wear masterworks, intricate creations, less clothing than meticulously detailed folk art.
Each piece was unique and born from an unbridled embrace of ‘go gig’ American extravagance, the kind of gleeful decadence that could only be manifested through an young and awed immigrant’s eye.
The Nudie legacy lives on, with Cohen's granddaughter Jamie, who grew up in the shop, learned the trade and continues in the grand family tradition.