Jaime Castaneda at the Grammy Museum, 2017

Part Six

Jaime Castaneda:
Western Heir

Touted as “the last of the cowboy tailors,” headquartered on North Hollywood’s Lankershim Boulevard, Jaime Castaneda is advancing the design innovations and techniques of his West Coast forerunners Manuel, Nudie, and Turk. Born in 1955, Castaneda grew up in a rural town in Zacatecas, Mexico, where he apprenticed to a local tailor at age twelve.

Coming to Los Angeles in 1974, he was hired to make pants at Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors. When Manuel Cuevas left Nudie’s to open his own shop, he took along Castaneda as head tailor. Since opening Jaime Custom Tailor and Western Wear studio and launching his signature label in 1994, Castaneda has adhered to his mentor Manuel’s collaborative approach, designing for Bob Dylan, Buck Owens, Marty Stuart, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, and other musicians.

Buck Owens, 1989. Photo by Walden S. Fabry

Buck Owens

In the later part of his career, Buck Owens wore this Jaime Custom Tailoring jacket, embellished with smile pockets, stitched arrowheads, rhinestones, and embroidery influenced by Native American artistic expression. Courtesy of Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

This photo of Connie Smith by Marty Stuart was featured in Country Music: The Masters, his 2008 collection of portraits of his musical heroes.

Connie Smith

Custom made by Jaime Castaneda, this rhinestone-studded guitar strap was a gift to singer Connie Smith from her husband, Marty Stuart. It replaced a nearly-identical strap stolen from her in the 1960s.

Marty Stuart, 1996. Photo by Raeanne Rubenstein

Marty Stuart

Marty Stuart calls this Jaime Custom Tailoring creation his “chandelier shirt.” Accented with hundreds of rhinestones, the lace-up shirt has detachable metallic fringe and appliqués of various shapes, including Stuart’s initials, horseshoes, and pistols.

Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X in the 2019 music video for “Old Town Road (Remix).”

Billy Ray Cyrus

Billy Ray Cyrus wore this Jaime Custom Tailoring costume in the 2019 music video for Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road (Remix).” Decorated with contrasting leather fringe, piping, smile pockets with stitched arrowheads, pearl snaps, rhinestones, and embroidery, Castaneda’s design was inspired by classic Nudie suits from the 1950s. Courtesy of Billy Ray Cyrus

Chris Scruggs, c. 2019. Photo by Jared Manzo

Chris Scruggs

Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Scruggs is steeped in classic country music and vintage hillbilly boogie. He embodies a river-deep musical pedigree passed down through his parents, singer Gail Davies and musician Gary Scruggs, and his grandfathers, banjo master Earl Scruggs and musician Tex Dickerson.

Jamie Castaneda designed this outfit—modeled on an iconic Nudie suit worn by singer Carl Smith in the 1950s—for Chris Scruggs. Embellished with contrasting leather fringe, piping, and embroidered musical notes, appliquéd guitars, and Scruggs’s initials on the shotgun cuffs, the rhinestone-enhanced ensemble is completed with a neck scarf. Courtesy of Chris Scruggs

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