If you live in Nashville, chances are you know the name Manuel. He is an icon and a legend in Music City and rightfully so. He’s designed clothes for Elvis, Johnny Cash, Salvador Dali, and all three Hank Williams’. But, what you may not know is that there is another Manuel in town. He is none other than Manuel Cuevas’s son, Manny. If you don’t know Manny, it’s high time to change that. Manny is an amazing designer in his own right and has been sewing and learning alongside his father since he was six years old! Manny has his own clothing label “Wear It Out Manuel” and his own showroom in East Nashville! He could have his store anywhere in Nashville, but he chose the up-and-coming Cleveland Park area of East Nashville. As an East Side resident, I appreciate him being a pioneer and setting the precedent for others to follow.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Manny at his workspace/showroom located at 1001 Dickerson Road. I was able to chat with him at length about his background, childhood growing up among celebrities such as Salvador Dali and Johnny Cash, his vision for his clothing line and future, as well as his commitment to customer service. I left Manny’s feeling excited about his future endeavors. Here’s a little rundown of my visit with Manny.
I initially contacted Manny because my curiousity was piqued when he posted a photo on facebook of a very sexy bustier he had made. I wanted to see it in person and also see his store and get to know more about him.
When I arrived, Manny greeted me with a warm smile. He made me feel welcome right away and remembered that I had asked about the black bustier. He immediately began wheeling racks of women’s clothing out to the open floor space for me to see.
I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the garments I saw! It definitely was a bit of visual sensory overload but in a good way. I fell in love with every single garment I saw without exception! Manny’s clothes are beautifully made with attention paid to every detail. From the cut of the garments and the feel of the fabric to the unexpected details, it’s clear that there is lots of thought put into all aspects of the design and execution.
This black leather jacket is an excellent example of Manny’s attention to detail. The leather is super soft and the accents are sterling silver. Gorgeous pink lining! This jacket would look great on a 20 something punk rock chick as well as a 60 something sophisticated, hip grandma! Manny’s pieces are at once timeless and modern.
While I was browsing through the items, Manny proceeded to tell me stories about the history behind his label and the garments themselves. The name “Wear It Out Manuel” was a natural progression. Manny began signing his garments for his customers “Wear It Out”. This is because Manny wants his pieces to be worn over and over and cherished for a lifetime. These pieces are investments and if you think about them that way, you definitely get your money’s worth and then some!
Each piece has a story behind its conception and creation. It’s interesting stuff and when you hear Manny talk about the processes for making each item, you realize how much care and workmanship goes into each piece.
I could see this black embroidered jacket on Lucinda Williams. Just look at the detail!
Manny also has a few pieces that he designed before he started the “Wear It Out Manuel” label. There were two jackets in particular that caught my eye. There was a blue one and a pink one both suede with faux fur collars.
This jacket is so hip and modern! I want both of them, but OH, the PINK ONE!!
I didn’t know that it was possible to fall head over heels in love with a piece of clothing! When I tried this jacket on, it happened. It felt so amazing! Manny wants his customers to feel like each piece was made for them even if it’s not a commissioned piece. I have to wonder if Paul McDonald experienced something similar when he put on the custom made embroidered suit Manny made him for his appearance on American Idol?
Judging from the looks of things, I’d say the answer is likely “yes”. If you watch American Idol then you probably saw Nashville singer Paul McDonald (singer for The Grand Magnolias http://thegrandmagnolias.com) rockin’ an old school, flower embroidered suit. Well, that was custom made by Manny of Wear It Out Manuel. What you may not know, is that the suit Paul wore is not the one Manny originally made for him. That one was stolen when it was en route to Manny’s showroom! Yep, Manny had to produce another suit in 24 hours complete with fabric being overnight-ed from Europe! Now, that is truly impressive!
Manny is an artist in every sense of the word. If his father is “The Rhinestone Rembrandt”, then Manny is “The People’s Picasso”. He thinks about not only his vision and how the garments will look and feel but also how they will fit and become an extension of whoever wears them out. Manny has a vision though and he is looking toward the future. I got a sneak peek at his new collection and I was blown away! Manny is clearly an ever-evolving artist. He does the classic embroidery and rhinestones and does it superbly, but Manny’s designs extend far beyond that. I saw pieces that were very modern and had no hint of country western. They did have Manny’s signature originality, wear-ability, quality, and attention to detail.
If you are a musician and you want a one of a kind piece, you should definitely visit Manny. He will gladly collaborate with you to create a unique, one of a kind piece just for you. Are you a fashionista who wants something different? Go see Manny! Live in another state but want Manny to design something for you? No problem! He actually has people send him garments that they wear and he designs something for them based on that item’s measurements. He’s that good! Manny also told me that he will add rhinestones and bling to people’s existing pieces. Of course, the charge depends on the amount of work and cost of the materials, but still I’d say that’s pretty cool of him!
Do yourself a favor, get to know Manny! Go by and see him at 1001 Dickerson Pike, Nashville, TN, 37207 and check out his website at www.wearitoutmanuel.com. You can thank me later!
This is where things happen! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Manny! Be sure to tune in to Channgel 49 this Saturday, 03/05/11 at 11:00 to see Sheyla Paz Hicks (Spanish TV Nashville) working the red carpet wearing a dress by Manny of Wear It Out Manuel!
Thanks Manny for your time and thanks for making a positive contribution to the fashion community in Nashville!
Wear It Out Manuel!
The Legend Continues…..
By: Angela Wynne