Bill Belew Died

Bill Belew, who headed the design team for Elvis Presley's stagewear and much of his personal wardrobe from 1969 to 1977, died of cardiac arrest yesterday after a prolonged illness. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that donations be made to any of a number of Bill's favorite charities per his wishes. A list of those charities and other details will be posted here as soon the family provides the information.

Bill Belew and his design team made an outstanding contribution to the definition of Elvis Presley's personal style on stage and off. Belew designed the now iconic black leather suit Elvis wore for the key components of his all important 1968 "comeback" television special, along with his other outfits for the show. The collaboration continued through the 1970s, including the famous jumpsuits Elvis wore on stage, most notably the American Eagle jumpsuit made for the global television concert event Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite.

"You could be daring as a designer and put anything on Elvis and he could make it work. And the simplest outfits that didn't seem particularly remarkable on the rack transformed into something spectacular when Elvis put them on. He was that beautiful and powerful a presence. As a wardrobe designer Bob Mackie had a perfect muse and a perfect canvas in Cher. I got to have that in Elvis." - Bill Belew

Bill Belew played a special role in Elvis history and was a beloved friend to all at Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Source: EPE - Elvis Presley Enterprises / Updated: Jan 8, 2008 
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Reactions

ElvisCriticsSuck (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 11, 2008report abuse
Bill's Company, IC Costume Company also made the majority of Elvis' "Superfly" Suits and shirts in the '70's. The late comedian Andy Kaufman was such a fan, he was one of the first to have Bill make him a Two-Piece version of the famous suits. Between Bill Belew and Dennis Roberts passing, Elvis has some cool threads again in Heaven!
Mark S. (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 10, 2008report abuse
Yeah, Bill Belew FORCED Elvis to wear "women's cat suits", Harvey Alexander! That's exactly how it happened... Have some respect, will you? RIP Bill.
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2008report abuse
Yes, and 'Do The Clam' is a good record.
Viva (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2008report abuse
Elvis looked his best when wearing Bills designs: The American Eagle suit and the Black leather define an era and speak volumes. A great shame to hear of his passing, but at least his family can rest assured of Bill's place in history as being one of the true innovators of fashion within the music industry. Everyone copied Bills designs in the seventies and his contribution ought to be publicly recognised by the fashion industry.
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2008report abuse
Sorry, but I can't mourn a man who put Elvis in women's cat suits.
Pietro S (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2008report abuse
Thanks for all your life and beautiful work. Rest in peace.
samcra (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2008report abuse
"He was that beautiful and powerful a presence." ... so so true! Rest in peace Bill.
king al (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2008report abuse
Thank you Bill. Rest in peace.
jb4elvis (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2008report abuse
Thanks for all of your contributions, Bill. My thoughts and prayers for Bill's family. Rest in peace.
Sirbalkan (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2008report abuse
He was a designer, rest in peace Bill
Elvisnites (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2008report abuse
The man had remarkable talent. May he rest in peace.
My boy, my boy (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 8, 2008report abuse
Bill definitely helped defining Elvis's image over the years. My favorite jumpsuit of all is the white one Elvis wore at MSG in 1972...The one I can't help but dislike though is the one on the CBS special in 1977...I rather just listen to the show instead of watching it ! R.I.P Bill, up above with E

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