Johnny Cash is one of the most badass musicians ever. His brand of folk-country was filled with references of doing drugs, giving a finger to the law, and shooting a man "just to watch him die." You could say that Johnny Cash was gangsta rap way, way before N.W.A. stomped onto the scene.

Cash also looked cool because he always wore black from head-to-toe. But, contrary to popular belief, the singer didn't always dress like the O.G. street goth; he had a stylist, too.

Meet Manuel, the designer who convinced Cash to wear black, and helped establish a bit of his legend. Esquire recently interviewed the man behind the Man in Black, and recalled the day that he made the garments for Cash. When asked about the fateful day, this is how Manuel responded:

Johnny Cash was so surprised. He said, "Brother, how come you made me nine outfits, but they're all black?" I started kidding with him. I said, "There was a special on black fabric, so I decided…" [Laughs.] I told him, "I think that you're the man in black. You should wear this color. It's your vibe, it's your aura. Something tells me you should wear this color." He said, "Alright, I'll try it." And I don't know how many shows he had around the United States, but then he came back and said, "Manuel, I want to you make me outfits every week. The color is not in question any more."

There you have it, even the legends of music were influenced to dress a certain way, and it benefited their careers, too. 

[via Esquire]