Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. was the man who created the iconic red-and-blue Superman suit we know today. He also played an important role in keeping the character relevant during a low point in his history. Samuel Reeves Jr. was born in Dallas, Texas, on July 10, 1920, to Samuel Nowlin Reeves and Emma Inez Nowlin. As a young man, he worked as an artist for department stores and advertising firms before serving as a pilot during World War II. After the war he went back to work as an artist, this time focusing on drawing advertisements for different companies. These experiences inspired him to become a professional costume designer and illustrator after his discharge from service. Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. first met fellow Texan Glen Orr Wilson while working at Montgomery Wards’ advertising department in Minneapolis MN around 1948. The two men would go on to form a partnership that lasted almost 20 years; creating costumes and theatrical sets together for plays and films until they decided to focus their creative efforts exclusively on designing costumes for films starting with “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” released in 1956 by Columbia Pictures company known today as Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc..
What Made Reeves Such a Successful Costume Designer?
Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. was a talented costume designer and illustrator who worked with and inspired many well-known Hollywood stars and directors. He was part of a team that created the iconic red and blue suit that we know today as Superman’s costume. Reeves was also a skilled artist and craftsman who was passionate about his work and always put his heart and soul into what he created. He had a gift of creating costumes that were iconic, memorable, and recognizable by both the actors and the audience. Reeves created costumes for many characters and roles in popular Hollywood films including The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The Virginian, The Magnificent 7, The Great Escape, and The Great Race. He was known for his attention to detail and putting a lot of effort into creating memorable costumes that would inspire or excite people. He also often drew inspiration from different cultures and history to give the costumes a unique, authentic, and timeless feel.
The Creation of the Iconic Red and Blue Suit
Reeves’ most famous creation is the iconic red and blue Superman suit that we know today. Reeves and his team put a lot of thought and effort into creating the Superman suit. They wanted the costume to be eye-catching, authentic, and memorable. So, they based the look and design of the suit on what was popular at the time including the clothing styles of the 1940’s, the type of fabric used in military uniforms, and the energy that was created by the atomic age. The actors who played Superman in the first few films wore their costumes with the underwear outside the pants. This was a common practice at the time and was done to prevent the costume from riding up while the actor was flying. The red and blue suit that Reeves created was a one-piece suit. The red and blue color combination was chosen to make the costume stand out on black and white film.
How Reeves Kept the Superhero Relevant in the 60’s
After Reeves and his team created the iconic red and blue Superman suit, the comic book industry experienced a decline in popularity in the mid-1960s. Reeves and his fellow designers came up with a unique and creative way to keep interest in the character and his costume alive. They created a live costume exhibition featuring the original costumes used in the Superman films. For the next several years, the exhibition toured around the United States and Canada. Thousands of people were able to experience Reeves’ costumes up close and in person. The exhibition helped keep the character relevant, inspired future generations to read the comics, and helped generate revenue for Reeves.
The Legacy of Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr.
After Reeves retired, he moved back to Texas where he lived out the rest of his days. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 83. His design work on the Superman costume has inspired many artists, designers, and people in general. It has also been referenced and recreated in different ways in popular culture like in the video game Superman 64, music, and clothing. Reeves and his team’s work on the Superman costume was ingenious and helped keep the character and his story alive. Their designs helped inspire and excite new people while also keeping older fans interested in the character and his story. Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. was the man who created the iconic red and blue suit that we know today as Superman’s costume. He also helped keep the character relevant at a time when his popularity was falling.