Lansky Brothers (better known as Lansky's) is a clothier in Memphis, Tennessee, run by Bernard Lansky. It has gained worldwide recognition for being and having been the choice location to buy clothes for music celebrities including Roy Orbison, Isaac Hayes and Elvis Presley.
Samuel Lansky bought a shop for his two sons, Bernard and Guy, at 126 Beale Street in the late forties. Originally a store which sold leftover Army supplies from World War II, Bernard took advantage of the elevating Beale Street music scene and looked to provide clothing for the typical characters of Beale who wanted to dress dapper. After a few years of business, Lansky Bros. already had an impressive list of customers, among them being Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington and B.B. King.
At the start of 1952, Bernard noticed a young man who would continuously walk past his window and look inside, but never actually came inside to buy anything. Eventually, Bernard went to invite the man in. It was seventeen-year-old Elvis Presley, who worked at the local Loew's Theatre. According to Bernard, Elvis told him that he was going to buy him out when he got enough money. According to the historical marker on Beale Street in Memphis, Lansky responded: "Elvis, don't buy me, buy from me!" Once Elvis became an international superstar, Lansky Brothers provided much of his attire, including his outfit for his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. "I put Elvis in his first suit, and I put him in his last," Lansky recalls.
In 2001, Lansky's established a new line of clothing entitled "Clothier To The King," which provides reproductions of clothing that Elvis actually wore combined with new 1950s-inspired clothing. Lansky Brothers has since moved its location from Beale Street to Memphis' renowned Peabody Hotel, and is still as busy as ever. Bernard Lansky remains an ideal figure of Memphis history. Musicians who currently shop there include the likes of The Jonas Brothers, Robert Plant, Eddie Floyd, Stephen Stills, Steven Tyler, Dr. John, Gavin DeGraw and numerous others.
On Sunday, August 14, 2011, Lansky Bros. unveiled a historical marker at 126 Beale St. to celebrate the history of Lansky Bros. at the original location.
Bernard Lansky died on November 15, 2012. The cause of his death according to his sister was Alzheimer's disease.
- S.S. Fair (September 23, 2001). "Clothier To The King". The New York Times.
I put Elvis in his first suit, and I put him in his last, Bernard says, more seriously.
- Los Angeles Times wire services (November 16, 2012). "Bernard Lansky dies at 85; Memphis clothier to Elvis Presley". Los Angeles Times.
I put his first suit on him and his last suit on him, Lansky was fond of saying.
- "Bernard Lansky, Clothier Catering to Music Royalty, Dies at 85". New York Times. November 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
Bernard Lansky, a Memphis haberdasher who dressed the royalty of rhythm and blues, including the King, Elvis Presley, died on Thursday at his home in Memphis. He was 85.