As a teenager, she moved to the wine country of Sonoma County, acquired her own horse, and began to show in her 4-H club and school shows. Although she couldn’t afford the fancy silver tack and arena-ready horses of some of her peers, she learned how to tool leather and admired the traditional craftsmanship of the equestrian arts. In her late teens and early twenties she became interested in music, especially the country and western she had heard played over the loudspeakers during classes at the hot and dusty horseshows. Eventually she turned again to leather tooling, and her interest in vintage clothing led her to start mimicking Nudie suits.
She met Jamie Nudie and Bobbie Nudie in September of 1994, as the Lankershim Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors store was closing. Long fascinated with Nudie, the experience of being in his store was a revelation.
Mary Lynn moved to Nashville, and drank up the culture (albeit relegated to mostly historical musings) of Nudie suits and guitar shaped swimming pools. Her collection of Nudie suits and memorabilia now include a pair of Nudie’s own mismatched boots. She admits to putting them on from time to time for inspiration.
Mary Lynn acquired a sixty-year-old chain-stitch embroidery machine and took up the art of machine embroidery, just like that found on the original Nudie suits. Today she works with Jamie Lee to re-create the Nudie magic. Leatherwork, silverwork, embroidery, rhinestones, and the best rodeo tailoring to be had can be still be ordered from Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors, www.nudiesrodeotailor.com.
Jamie Lee Nudie
Jamie Lee Nudie was born to Barbara Cohn and Sun Studiosensation Jimmy Wilson in North Hollywood, California. The granddaughter of Nudie and Bobbie grew up in Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors, greeting the stars and other clientele with a friendly persona.
As a teenager, her grandfather’s antics and wild means of transportation and clothing would sometimes perplex her, but Jamie’s Poppie was always there to lend loving support, and she could always confide in him. One of Nudie’s more colorful pieces of advice, “Never be a squaw to no man,” has stuck with Jamie, as she explores a modern woman’s dilemma of balancing personal relationships and professional aspirations.
Jamie Lee also shared Nudie’s love of food, especially his penchant for a good cup of joe, and opened “Nudie’s Custom Java” to keep the Nudie legend alive.
Jamie lives in the San Fernando Valley where she cares for her three children and her grandmother, Bobbie Cohn, as she works on many projects pertaining to the Nudie legend.