News Item

Bernard Lanksy, "Clothier to the King," Passes Away

November 15, 2012

Bernard Lansky, the co-founder of Lansky Bros. Clothing who was known as the "Clothier to the King," passed away early Thursday morning at age 85.

Lanksy was a Memphis icon known for outfitting Elvis Presley among other famous musicians. He has been credited for influencing the fashion of rock 'n' roll. He was also a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, retail visionary, businessman and storyteller.

Mr. Lansky started his retail business in 1946 on 126 Beale Street in Memphis with a $125 loan from his father, Samuel. After World War II, the store started selling Army Surplus goods but when the supply dried up, he changed direction to a high-fashion men's store in the 1950's.

During this time, Bernard dressed many of the young musicians of Memphis, including Elvis. His legacy has been solidified by more than 65 years of customer service to people from the Mid-South and around the world. Bernard was most proud of being a part of the inception of the Memphis music heritage.

Besides dressing scores of musicians and performers from across American culture, Bernard built stores and worked tirelessly to keep his customers looking sharp. Within the last few years, he was honored with his own Bernard J. Lansky Street sign on Beale Street, The Peabody Hotel's Duck Walk of Fame, and an Historical Landmark was officially placed by the Shelby County Historical Commission for Lansky Bros. contribution to Downtown Memphis’ rich history. Bernard’s retail presence still remains with Lansky at The Peabody with second and third generations continuing his vision of bringing the latest in fashions to Memphis.

A Public Service will be held at Baron Hirsch Synagogue, 400 South Yates Road, on Friday, November 16th at 11:00 a.m., with interment to follow at Baron Hirsch Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be directed to Baron Hirsch Synagogue, Memphis Jewish Home & Rehab or Mid-South Chapter of Alzheimer‘s Association.