THE URBAN POP CULTURE INFLUENCE ON AUCTION HOUSES
THE URBAN POP CULTURE
INFLUENCE ON AUCTION HOUSES
How Nike made it to Sotheby’s
Each year several prestigious auction houses are offering a carefully curated selection of what is to be considered the “Hottest” or the most important pieces of the year in their catalogues. During these last years we noticed new emerging categories that have long been overlooked by these institution as they were judge not interesting or not exclusive enough. My interest for the history of fashion houses got me to understood which designs were considered as the iconic designs, when we hear Chanel we immediately think of the camelia, the tweed, the number 5, the matelassé and the double CC, we cannot think of Dior without immediately visualizing the canage stitching on a Lady Dior bag that got its name from one of the most loved and talked about persons that ever walked on earth or the Bar jacket that got its name from one of the places where Mr. Dior was frequently visiting, Hermes Evoque hand stitched leather, quality and minimalism, the brand once started as the perfect Sellier, their saddles were remarkable, the hand stitching and the way they worked the leather and the history behind the creation of their handbags that were inspired by icons.
The stories behind these nowadays very recognizable signatures are the ones that created and built their history, more particularly the people that inspired these creations or that were early supporters of the pieces.
The Lady Dior bag got its name from no other than the beloved Lady Diana that completely integrated it in her wardrobe, the Princess’s outings were monitored and scrutinized, what is she wearing, WHO is she wearing… Women wanted to dress like her, style their hairs like hers, she became the face of the later-on named Lady Dior bag, regardless to say that the sales skyrocketed.
Grace Kelly of Monaco gave its name to one of the most sought-after bag ever created, The Kelly by Hermès. The story that links the Princess and the handbag is a very special and emotional one. It was formerly called sac a dépêches until it crossed the American Monegasque actress’s life on a film set where she fell in love with it, but the bag gained popularity after she became Princess of Monaco and was photographed using it as a shield to protect her first pregnancy from the paparazzies.
Another successful design by Hermès is the Birkin bag, Birkin has been long associated with nonchalance cool French attitude, and we owe it all to the mysterious Jane Birkin that literally inspired Jean-Louis Dumas on a Paris-London flight, the actress had placed her straw bag on the overhead compartment of her seat, but the contents fell to the deck, leaving her and dumas to scramble to replace them, she confined him into having difficulties to find a large weekend bag she liked. Dumas took challenge to create a supple black leather bag that could gather all your essentials, he found inspiration in the Haut a Courroies which Hermès created around 1900, The final version is a smaller, everyday bag that is made to fit everyone’s needs.
These pieces started attracting a lot of attention because of the persons they were associated to. Everybody had their eyes on Lady Diana, Grace Kelly of Monaco and Jane Birkin, therefore the demand on these pieces was growing each day and they become Social Status Symbols. Being victim of their success, the production of these bags cannot meet the demand so waiting lists have been created where customers could write down the specs of their dream bag.
Here enters Pop culture, on an episode of Sex and The City Samantha Jones that plays the role of a successful PR agent enters a Hermès store and ask to sell “A bag” that the sale assistant hand her, he then proceed to tell her the price and that there is a waiting list of 5 years, she looks at him utterly shocked and exclaims “FOR A BAG?!” the SA snatches the beautiful red Birkin 35 cm from her and retort “it’s not a bag it’s a Birkin”, this became the iconic scene of one of the most watched TV Shows that is still referred to as the Bible of Fashion, I will let you imagine the impact on the Pop culture.
The Birkin quickly started been seen on the arm of the most influent persons in the fashion/music industry and has always been considerate as a unisex handbag, matter of fact I think it was one of the first unisex luxury handbags.
Amongst the most influential persons that carried a Birkin bag in the early days we have:
Victoria Beckham whose Birkin addiction resulted into having one of the largest collection ever reported and thanks to her popularity she introduced the bag to several persons who had never heard of it before, let’s take a moment to appreciate her stunning Himalayan.
Marc Jacobs, former creative director of Louis Vuitton and now of his own name brand is one of the most persons that wear it the best, in the true nonchalant chic city spirit, here’s one of his iconic styles.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are undeniably one of the biggest figures of minimalist structured style, The Row is Home to the timeless chic wardrobe, their love for classic pieces can be reflected in their choice of their handbags, here is Ashley carrying a beautiful Birkin 35 cm in gold in hat is believed to be a Barenia Leather.
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