Manuel's Broadway storefront
Iconic Nashville designer Manuel opens a new retail storefront.
Written By: Lily Clayton Hansen
Photographers: Mandy Whitley Photography
Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and Jack White all wore threads designed by Manuel Cuevas—better known simply as Manuel. And with the debut of his ready-to-wear line, New Vision, you can, too. The perfectly manicured “Rhinestone Rembrandt” recently opened a 3,100-square-foot location just blocks from bustling lower Broadway. It’s walking distance from his favorite hangout, Robert’s Western World, but metaphorically worlds away from his former midtown location, which housed his exclusive atelier for 25 years. Located in a foot-traffic-heavy spot and offering affordable clothing and accessories, the new retail space aims to bridge the gap between celebrity couture and the everyday customer.
With the philosophy that everyone deserves to look red-carpet ready, New Vision, which employs cost-efficient design, currently offers the designer’s handmade, one-of-a-kind blouses and button-downs (dresses, skirts, boots, jeans and leather goods are in the works) at a fraction of the cost of his specialty items—prices range from $50 to $600. “I do what I do because I love it, but my satisfaction comes from seeing my clients happy with something very different from other designers’ work,” Manuel explains. “People like the unique pieces so much, they buy five instead of one!”
Known for his lightning-fast sewing skills (and signature silk scarf), Manuel has mentored tailors and budding designers and is in the process of raising funds for a nonprofit design and textile institute; he hopes to train students from all over the world while manufacturing the New Vision line in a Nashville-based factory.
As if that weren’t enough, a documentary about the designer’s life is currently in production—and it’s sure to be filled with nonchalant reflections on his life among the stars.
As he casually told us, “The pieces I made for Salvador Dali are no different than the American flag swimsuit I made for Raquel Welch.”