Nudie Cohn started his business with a loan from Tex Williams, who auctioned off a horse to pay for the chain stitch sewing machine. The country-western musician was the first of many to wear the designer.
“Colonel Tom Parker came to my grandfather [left, with Presley] and said, ‘I have this new kid. I want to do something spectacular that has never been done before,’ ” says Jamie Nudie of Elvis’ gold lamé suit, which then cost $10,000. It is now on display at Graceland.