Saturday, July 11, 2020

"Tailor to the Stars" Sy Devore 1966 Hillside Cemetery

Celebrity Tailor Sy Devore (October 31, 1907 - July 11, 1966) was born Seymour Devorestsky in Brooklyn, New York. He was married to Erika Peters. Their birth daughter Marti, along with her uncle Al, continued the store until 2007. Their adopted daughter Lisa is not involved with the business. 

Sy Devore is probably best remembered today for his stylish suiting of the Las Vegas "Rat Pack."


"Sy Devore, a Russian immigrant tailor’s son, opened his first shop in the early 1930s in the theater district of New York, catering to show business clientele. He moonlighted as road manager for the Andrews Sisters. It was his jazz band clientele and friends, the Dorsey Brothers and Count Basie, who touted Hollywood as the place where Sy should be. In 1944 Sy opened a store at Sunset and Vine.  His younger brother, Al, joined him the next year. Sy was a designer who quickly became known as “tailor to the stars.” In 1946 the Devore brothers opened Slapsy Maxie’s, a nightclub on Beverly Blvd.  Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis performed opening night to a sold out fabulous Hollywood crowd that included Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Ronald Reagan, Sam Goldwyn, and Darryl Zanuck.

"Early customers included Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, George Burns and Sidney Poitier.  Bob Hope quipped, '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.' Hollywood was booming and the store was in the center it all --ABC was next door, NBC across the street, the Brown Derby up the street and Musso and Frank’s around the corner. 

"Sy Devore made his biggest impact with the trendsetting Rat Pack.  It was Sy who designed their skinny sharkskin suits and narrow ties.  Sy partied with the Rat Pack and soon opened stores at The Sands Hotel in Las Vegas and in Palm Springs. Sy Devore worked with costume designers from major motion picture studios, creating wardrobe for hundreds of films including Oceans 11, The Nutty Professor, Anything Goes and Viva Las Vegas.

 "In 1962 Sy Devore opened in Sherman Oaks Fashion Square.  It immediately became the place to shop in the San Fernando Valley.  With its famous Hollywood legacy the Sherman Oaks store drew from all of the studios, with costume designers from television shows including Days of our Lives, L.A. Law, Twin Peaks, Dallas and The West Wing. 

"After Sy Devore’s passing in 1966, Al Devore’s daughter, Marti, began working at the Hollywood store while studying at UCLA.  After Al’s passing in 1974, Marti took the helm, assisted by Lenny Freedman, who started working at Sy Devore in the 1950’s. Danny Marsh joined in 1988 and became a partner in 1995.  In 2000, the store moved to its current location in Studio City.  In 2007, Marti sold the store to Danny,  knowing he would successfully continue the Devore tradition."

Sy Devore is interred at Hillside Cemetery.

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