August 26, 2021 Rock & Roll, Entertainment, Sports and Americana
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/26/2021

Offered is a shirt owned by Elvis Presley that became the "prototype" for his iconic high-collar long sleeve dress shirts custom made by I.C. Costume Company. Elvis gave the shirt to Memphis Mafia member Alan Fortas with instructions to give it to I.C. designer Bill Belew. While famous for creating most of Elvis' signature stage jumpsuits, I.C. also made a great deal of personal clothing for Elvis. The shirt's label reads "Tempo The California Shirt" and its larger collar and elastic sections on the arms and wrists were the details Elvis responded strongly to--these were picked up by I.C. when they designed their shirts for Elvis. The brand of the shirt is also interesting, because other "Tempo" shirts were known to be worn by Elvis in the period after the "'68 Comeback Special." The shirt is accompanied by a letter from Alan Fortas that reads in part:

When we finished filming the NBC special Elvis and the guys went to numerous mens clothing stores in LA shopping. Elvis ran across a style of shirt in this one store that he (fell) in love with. It had a long pointed collar and these puffy sleeves with elastic gathering at the upper arms and at the wrists. Elvis said 'I've got have some of these. This is the look I want in my shirts.' Unfortunately they only had one shirt left. And it was this light blue with thin pale yellow stripes. It was made by Tempo the California Shirt company. We we had just finished the special and Elvis loved the designer for the show Bill Belew, so Elvis said ' I'll get this for Bill so he knows what I want.' The shirt was shown to Belew and Bill said 'I've got it Elvis, these will look fabulous on you.' Bill didn't need the shirt as he did a quick sketch and that's actually how these shirts Elvis wore later came about. This light blue shirt with thin yellow stripes with a Tempo California shirt...was the shirt that started Elvis' trademark shirts which would evolve into ones with high collars as well. I've kept this shirt for all these years.”

The shirt is size “M” and maintains its original collar and care tags. The collar tag reads “Tempo The California Shirt.” Elvis was known to wear other “Tempo” brand shirts during the time around the '68 Comeback TV Special. The shirt presents with moderate wear. Near Mint condition.

Elvis Presley Owned “Tempo” Brand Button Down Striped Shirt – The “Prototype” for Elvis Iconic I.C. Costume Shirts of the 1970s
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium: $0
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Number Bids: 0
Auction closed on Thursday, August 26, 2021.
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