The Tailor Behind Elvis Presley’s Signature ’50s Style Dies in Memphis

Bernard Lansky dressed the King in high-fashion clothing 

Bernard Lansky, the man who helped created Elvis Presley's signature fashion style in the '50s — pegged pants and two-toned shoes — died Thursday in his Memphis home. He was at 85.

Presley frequented Lansky's men's fashion store on Beale Street — a popular spot for blues, rhythm and blues and jazz music — after years of admiring the clothing styles as a teenager working at a nearby theater.

"When I get rich, I'm going to buy you out," Lanksy recalled Presley telling him before becoming a rock 'n' roll star.  "Don't buy me out," the salesman responded.  "Just buy from me."

And that's exactly what the musician did, just after Presley signed with Sun Records in 1954.

"I put his first suit on him and his last suit on him," Lansky bragged.

"It's a statement to say that he dressed one of the most influential entertainers of all time," Julie Lansky, his granddaughter, told AP.  "He knew that for any entertainer, they had to look different."

Lansky's success continued long after his most famous client died on August 16, 1977. After moving his shop to the Peabody Hotel in Memphis' downtown district in 1981, he went on to dress musicians like B.B. King, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, ZZ Top, Kiss and Hootie and the Blowfish.

All of his clothing shops remain open to this day, and in 2001, he and his son Hal began a new clothing line drawing from his Early Elvis styles.