PEORIA, AZ — While Tuesday marks 45 years since Elvis Presley died, his style, energy, and legacy live on through a Valley man you may not have heard of until now.
Ciro Romano, who turns 92 in October, is one of the star's former tailors.
Even though Romano worked with the superstar for nearly a decade, his "past life" comes as a surprise to fellow residents at the Orchard Pointe at Terrazza assisted living facility in Peoria.
Romano has led quite a life and it's not just because he's been on this planet longer than most of us. He immigrated to the U.S. from Italy in his 20s, served in the U.S. Marines, and raised a family, but one thing that was constant through every stage of his life was his love for clothes.
Romano says he was a 7-year-old when he started learning to sew clothes.
He explains that once he became a teenager, he could sew full suits and that's when he started earning an income for his talents and making a name for himself.
After serving in the Marines, he headed to Hollywood, sewing for the Ice Capades and several movie studios where he would eventually catch the eye of another tailor he knew from his days in New York City.
That person just so happened to be working with one of the biggest stars of our time.
Romano would soon find out his clothes were fit for a king!
Starting in 1968 with his comeback tour, Romano was one of Elvis' tailors!
He even helped create those iconic jumpsuits, which normally would take a week for a team of people to create, although Romano says if needed, the team could crank them out in as little as three days.
"I used to make the pattern, then I'd give it to each department," Romano added, while also confirming he was like "the boss."
No matter how big of a star Elvis became, he never forgot about the people who helped him along the way, like Romano; he remembers on several occasions Elvis tipped him $500 — big money now and especially so back in 1968-1977, the years Romano worked for him.
Romano worked with Elvis until he died in 1977.
He went on to work with other major stars like Muhammad Ali, Liberace, and the Osmonds, to name a few.
Although his Hollywood days are behind him, Romano is enjoying life at the Orchard Pointe at Terrazza where he looks back fondly on his days working for one of the biggest rock stars we have ever seen -- a true labor of love that always seemed to be the perfect fit.