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Bernard Lansky: 5 Fascinating Facts About Elvis’ Clothier

Fans of Elvis Presley – and we’re thinking of the young, dashing Elvis of the mid-1950s – couldn’t help but notice how utterly cool his clothes were. For a young working-class hero from the South, the King was impeccably tailored, and rakishly so, in pink and black shirts, pegged pants and iridescent sharkskin jackets, and two-tone shoes. That’s because Presley got his threads from a hepcat who really knew 1950s male fashion: Bernard Lansky, the proprietor of Lansky Bros. on Beale Street in Memphis.

Lansky, who died on Nov. 8 at age 85 in Memphis, ran a haberdashery that appealed to musicians, gamblers, and other edgy Mississippi Delta outlaws who liked to look, as Lansky himself put it, “real sharp.” So it was only natural that Presley started window-shopping at Lansky’s back when he was an usher at a nearby theater and then bought his first fancy duds from Lansky. The rest was history. Anyway, here are five fascinating facts about the man who made America’s greatest rock-and-roller look so suave.