Simon Vozick-Levinson
January 18, 2008 AT 04:00 PM EST

I was sad to hear that Bill Belew — the guy who designed Elvis Presley’s iconic black-leather suit from 1968 (pictured), plus an assortment of jumpsuits from later in the King’s career — had passed away at age 76. Not because I identified as a particularly big fan of Belew’s. Sort of the opposite, actually. But his work with Elvis obviously had a huge impact, burning a powerful image of rock stardom into our collective consciousness — and up until now, I don’t think I’d ever even heard Belew’s name.

Which got me thinking: How many other costume designers out there contribute to the way we think of our favorite musicians, without getting an ounce of credit in the press? Let’s take a moment to salute Bill Belew’s contribution to pop culture, andconsider some of the other nameless toilers who deserve our props. Off the top of my head, I can think of the French eyewear house that dreamed up Kanye’s amazing Venetian-blind shades, Amy Winehouse’s miracle-working hairdresser, and perhaps the genius behind Feist’s sparkly blue-sequined onesie? I’m sure those P-Dubs who are more fashion-savvy than myself (so…all of you) can come up with some much more clever suggestions for which rock designers we ought to be celebrating now, before it’s too late…

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