The late André Leon Talley’s boundary-breaking fashion journalism helped people embrace and purchase fashion, and Christie’s live sale Wednesday of items from his estate had a similar effect.
Interest in Talley’s life and influence on aspiring fashion and design professionals has continued since his death last year at the age of 73.
First up Wednesday’s in-person sale of The Collection of André Leon Talley at Christie’s Rockefeller Center fueled $1.38 million in sales. And an online sale wrapped up Thursday, generating an estimated $2.1 million. At press time, the combined sales reeled in more than $3.55 million.
When the final gavel was lowered Wednesday at the Midtown auction house, all 66 lots sold. The tally well exceeding the presale estimate of $321,100 to $455,900. Thirty percent of bidders were new to Christie’s and more than 40 percent of the new registered bidders were Millennials, the auction house said.
Among the numerous items that outperformed presale estimates was Talley’s red “Sleeping Bag” clutch coat by Norma Kamali, which sold for $25,200 — well above the presale opening-bid estimate of $500. Some might have recognized the outerwear from Talley’s ad for Ugg. More might associate it with the similar looking floor-length puffer by Alaïa that Rihanna put on midway through her halftime performance at Sunday’s Super Bowl that was seen as a tribute to her late friend Talley. Afterward, a photo of him wearing the Norma Kamali coat and a video of him with Rihanna was posted on Talley’s official Instagram page.
The former Vogue creative director’s personal belongings were top sellers at the live sale. A set of three Louis Vuitton lacquered canvas suitcases monogramed with his initials “ALT” raked in $94,500, outperforming its low-end pre-auction estimate by more than 31 times. A pair of canvas hard-sided Louis Vuitton briefcases designed with splashes of graffiti by Stephen Sprouse sold for $69,300. One trunk, personalized with “André Leon Talley” painted in yellow that fans of the 2008 movie “Sex and the City” might recognize from his cameo, was auctioned for $44,100.
Other standouts were two illustrations by Karl Lagerfeld of Talley, which each sold for $32,760. Andy Warhol’s “Diana Vreeland Rampant (after Jacques Louis David, Napoleon at St. Bernard)” painting sold for $94,500. A 1996 Lagerfeld-shot photograph of the supermodels Kate Moss, Shalom Harlow and Naomi Campbell in bed went for $30,240. Another standout from the selection of art from his estate was photographer Bill Cunningham’s “Diana Vreeland and André Leon Talley, 1974” image sold for $13,230.
Proceeds of the sale will go toward the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York and the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina.