Tailor To The Stars…
Legendary Hollywood tailor Sy Devore fitted the 60s swingiest dudes with modern styling that is still emulated today.
"In a very good year, I have my choice between a Rolls-Royce,
a new house in Beverly Hills or a suit from Sy Devore."
— Bob Hope
Look at 1960s films or photographs of Hollywood’s legendary “Rat Pack” (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop) and you can’t help be impressed how stylishly hip and suave these guys looked in their sharkskin suits, skinny ties, tailored shirts and V-neck sweaters. Examine more closely and you’ll see the impeccably detailed styling that went into their clothing: fine fabrics, perfect collars and lapels, and all-around immaculate fit. Behind their sleek, modern silhouettes stood one main man: Sy Devore, “tailor to the stars.”
Brooklyn-born in 1908 to Russian immigrant parents, Seymour Devoretsky started out in the footsteps of the family tailoring business. In 1944 he combined his sartorial skills with his love of show business and moved to Hollywood, where he opened his own glamorous shop on Vine near Sunset: “Sy Devore.” There he designed for big bandleaders and their orchestras, including making V-neck sweaters for Basie’s entire band courtesy of Ella Fitzgerald. Word got around, and by the 1950s Jerry Lewis was buying Devore’s private label alpaca sweaters in every color. Where Jerry went, Dean Martin soon followed, and that was Devore’s in to the Rat Pack, whom he outfitted in custom clothes with signature high-collared shirts Devore called “the Dean Martin.” With the help of movies and television, the shirts became popular around the world. Nat King Cole, Bob Hope, Danny Kaye, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis - even Liberace and young Elvis were faithful Devore clients. What’s more, these celebrities didn’t merely shop there; they hung out regularly with the well-liked Devore, and the shop became known as a cool gathering place. It even had a barber shop in the rear.
After dressing the Rat Pack for their 1960 hit movie Oceans Eleven, that success enabled Devore to open three more locations, including one inside the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, a favorite haunt of Sinatra and his buddies. Devore passed away in 1966, and the original store closed in 1979. Still family run, the store’s newest incarnation in Studio City is about five times the size, and now caters to the likes of Mark Wahlberg, Jake Gyllenhaal, and many television actors especially. Devore not only defined an era of men’s style, but made a lasting mark on fashion today. The store honors its founder’s legacy with a permanent display of vintage designs worn by the Rat Pack. Watch the video for some scenes from the original Oceans Eleven that perfectly illustrate the look and style that made Sy Devore “tailor to the stars.”